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Altoona board tables winter sports proposal

The Altoona Area School Board tabled a virtual athletics plan proposed by athletic director Phil Riccio at its meeting Tuesday night.

The proposal would have halted winter sports practices starting Thursday and resume practices on Dec. 14 with the intention of all teams being prepared to begin competition by Jan. 4 after completing the required 15-practice minimum standard. Riccio said teams practiced Tuesday and were planning on doing so tonight before the planned pause.

The plan included safety protocols and times for teams to use the facilities once practice resumed. Only the wrestling team would be allowed to use the team locker room and shower.

Following the motion to table the vote, the plan will now be discussed Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at the next athletic committee meeting and voted on at the Dec. 7 board meeting.

The two Blair County teams that compete in the Mountain League also have announced their winter sports plans.

Central, which also recently moved to an all-virtual status, has already suspended athletics through Jan. 3 and will not resume athletic practices until Jan. 4.

Tyrone is currently planning to return to practice on Dec. 1 and could start games as soon as Dec. 17.

All other schools in the Mirror coverage area will not start winter sports competitions until January.

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