Public and private K-12 schools under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PISAA) in the yellow and green phase of reopening can resume voluntary sports-related workouts. That was part of preliminary guidance for high school and recreational sports teams that was released Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration.

Philadelphia is in the yellow phase and appears weeks away from moving to the green phase. All Pennsylvania counties are in the yellow or green phase.

The Wolf administration said that schools must first develop an athletic health and safety plan in alignment with the Department of Education’s Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Schools guidance, which is approved by the local board of directors and posted on a respective school’s website.

“Pennsylvania has some of the best athletes and teams in the country and they can now begin to safely return to organized sports,” Gov. Wolf said in a statement. "This guidance balances keeping student athletes safe from COVID-19 while allowing them to participate in an important part of their lives.

“This is another step toward reopening our state and getting things back on track. As students and teammates get ready to train and compete, it’s important that they follow precautions to protect each other and their community from the risk of COVID-19.”

According to the guidelines, gatherings of all participants, including players, athletic staff, officials and spectators are limited to 25 in the yellow phase and 250, or 50 percent capacity, in the green phase, as outlined in the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania.

Bob Lombardi, the executive director of the PIAA, was ecstatic to see summer workouts able to return.

“I think it’s a good day,” Lombardi said in a phone interview. “It gives schools the opportunity to develop a plan so they can allow their students to get back on campus and have voluntary workouts.”

“I am cautiously optimistic,” he said about having a fall sports season. “I think schools have an opportunity here to take a step-by-step evaluation of how to handle activities on their campus and learn some lessons almost as a laboratory and put some best practices for the fall. Hopefully it sets us up a foundation for the possible start of fall, we are cautiously optimistic.”

Recreational and amateur sports teams in the green phase that are not affiliated with a K-12 school can hold in-person activities, including games and practices. Examples include basketball, ice hockey, field hockey, football, soccer, swimming, baseball, softball, lacrosse, gymnastics and kickball. Youth sports organizations should follow CDC guidelines.

The preliminary guidance is a starting point for summer sports teams and the Wolf Administration will continue to work with stakeholders. The guidance for fall, winter and spring sports seasons may be updated.