With the start of fall and school sports on the rise, changes to the rulebook are not just for the players; parents might just want to pay attention.
According to an email sent by Kim Edwards, secretary to the activities director, and written by Jerry Collins, activities director, talking about how games will go this year, one change is that “At this time, we do not plan to limit the number of spectators allowed to attend any games.”
Last year’s spectators limit was due to COVID restrictions that happened during the school year.
According to Collins the new decision to remove the spectators limit is influenced by the county and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Schools right now don’t require or recommend masks for outdoor activities, but do recommend them for indoor sports.
This doesn’t mean that all is back to normal though. The threat of COVID still has a hold on high school sports.
“Spectators should be within their own family group and distance away from other family groups,” Collins said. In the student section spectators will be encouraged to wear masks and parents will be notified for sports that have large crowds and when they need to wear their masks, Collins added.
This year to help with safety the activities office are also bringing up digital tickets to make sure there is less time waiting in line and dealing with cash next to people.
The decision for more spectators is also a huge relief to some of the fall sports. This was especially true for football.
Munir Prince, assistant activities director and assistant football coach, said, “They were really excited because last year there were only two spectators per family which was the rule that outdoor sports had…and normally they had four to even six family and friends who wanted to watch.”
“It raises morale and also raises spirit…It is one thing having friends or family. There is another thing of having your classmates cheering on, which didn’t happen last year which took away from the atmosphere and school comradery,” Prince said.
Indoor sports are also affected by COVID concerns. Right now women’s volleyball is playing with COVID restrictions.
Junior Eleanor Kanerva said via email, “It’s a little nerve wracking to have more people in the stands because there’s more eyes on you, but at the same time it makes it more fun to play, and there’s more people cheering for you which is nice.”
This will be Owen Crews’ first year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his sophomore year.