Update on Fall 2020 Athletics at Mercersburg

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Mid-Atlantic Prep League and Keystone State Football League—two leagues in which Mercersburg Academy holds membership—have announced the cancellation of all in-person league competition scheduled for the fall 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association has canceled all fall postseason championship events and tournaments.  

These are not decisions that are made lightly, as we believe athletic participation and competition is crucial to the physical and emotional health of our students, and that it strengthens school spirit and provides for a shared experience within our campus and alumni community. Our most important priority, though, is a safe and healthy return to campus for our students and community members—and these decisions ultimately give Mercersburg Academy the best chance for a safe and successful fall term.

We will continue to hold team-specific activities and workouts as it is safe to do so in accordance with our extensive school protocols. We will provide further details as they are confirmed. 

Statement from the Mid-Atlantic Prep League
The six member schools of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League strongly believe in the value of athletics as an important component of our students’ educational experience. In addition to providing essential physical activity, participating in sports instills in student-athletes the life lessons of perseverance, preparation, and dedication, and provides the critical socio-emotional benefits that come from competing alongside one’s classmates and friends. However, in a concerted effort to support our fundamental goal of sustaining on-campus learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and by unanimous agreement of the six member heads of school, the MAPL has canceled league interscholastic athletics competition for the fall 2020 season.  
 
Each member school may consider independent or selective competition later this fall if local conditions allow, and the MAPL collectively will explore opportunities for fall teams to compete later in the 2020-2021 school year, if it is deemed safe to do so. Moreover, each member school remains committed to providing robust opportunities for training, skill development, team-building, and physical activity through on-campus athletics and co-curricular programs. Lastly, the MAPL schools also will look for ways to hold virtual interscholastic competition this fall. Overall, it is our hope to maintain our primary academic goals and offer students healthy outlets for physical activity and competition while continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our communities.

MAPL members include Blair Academy, The Hill School, The Hun School of Princeton, Mercersburg, The Lawrenceville School, and Peddie School.

Statement from the Keystone State Football League
The Keystone State Football League announces the cancellation of in-person competition for the fall 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Keystone State Football League is exploring and organizing weekly virtual competitions and a culminating virtual combine event. The league will also explore options for a five-man flag football competition in the early spring of 2021.  

Coaches have begun discussions in earnest to design the virtual competitions.  More information will be available once those designs have been proposed and approved by the league.

KSFL members include Delaware County Christian School, Mercersburg, Perkiomen School, and Valley Forge Military Academy.

Statement from the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association
The PAISAA Executive Board has voted unanimously to cancel all PAISAA fall 2020 championship events. Given recent decisions by individual schools and collective leagues, along with the uncertainty regarding Commonwealth guidance and directives, it is not feasible to plan to stage and execute championship events and tournaments. 

The board also announced that a decision on PAISAA winter 2021 championship events should be determined at a later date, as the landscape of high school sports gains more clarity. A target for a decision is November 1, 2020.

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Classes at Mercersburg Academy begin Monday, September 14. Students will begin returning to campus Wednesday, September 9. (Read more about Mercersburg’s return to campus plans and guidelines.)