The Friends Schools League has become the latest area high school conference to shut down fall sports.
In a statement Tuesday, the FSL athletic administrators said “unprecedented challenges” related to the coronavirus outbreak forced the postponement of competition in sports such as soccer, cross-country, tennis and field hockey.
“Recognizing our profound responsibility to our student athletes, their families, our schools and the surrounding communities, the Friends Schools League Athletic Administrators have reached a sense of unity to make the difficult decision to postpone official Friends School League fall interscholastic athletic competitions in all sports, effectively immediately,” the statement read.
The Friends Schools League members are Abington Friends, Academy of the New Church, Friends’ Central, Friends Select, George School, Germantown Friends, Moorestown Friends, Shipley School, and Westtown School.
“We did not reach this sense of unity lightly,” the FSL statement read. “We have met weekly since mid-June to explore potential scenarios that would allow for safe interscholastic competition between our schools as has been the case for each of the preceding 38 fall seasons since the league’s founding.
“With every alternative we considered, from delaying the start of the fall season, to staggering the start, to postponing some sports but not others, we always returned to the questions of whether we believed a proposal was responsible, equitable, and safe for our students, families and communities.”
The statement also said the league would look into the possibility of designing a “compressed fall competitive season” later this year.
The news comes as the PIAA board of directors is scheduled to meet Friday to announce plans for fall sports. Most indications are that the organization that oversees high school athletics in the commonwealth will pledge to try to push forward and stage competition in football, soccer, cross-country, field hockey, and other fall sports.