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WCSD outlines spectator policy; limited outdoors, none indoors

Times Observer Photo by Brian Ferry

Warren County School District announced its athletic spectator procedure Thursday.

Spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor events — football and marching band, soccer, cross country, golf and tennis.

There are limitations.

When it announced that fall sports would begin in September, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association was going against Gov. Tom Wolf’s recommendation that youth sports not be held until 2021.

In that announcement, PIAA said spectators would not be allowed.

Earlier this month, Wolf announced that he would relax the rules and permit spectators — subject to the limits for gatherings: 25 indoors and 250 outdoors.

That gave outdoor sports some space for spectators.

Varsity football games in the county, which started Friday night, “will be limited to 250 total people,” according to the district release.

The county teams and their opponents have agreed that any spectators at varsity football games will be spectators for the home team. “When a team is playing away, away fans will not be permitted to attend the game,” according to the district release.

“If tickets are limited at football games due to large student participation groups or we are deciding how to distribute some remaining tickets, we will start with senior participants and work our way through the classes until tickets are gone,” according to the release. “Efforts are being made to live-stream these events.”

Cheerleaders and marching bands will be attending their home football games.

For cross country, tennis and golf, there are no concerns. Those sports “should not be a problems,” according to the release. “They are all outdoors and the number of fans is not an issue.”

Soccer, junior varsity football and middle school football, “based upon previous years, should not be a problems with the outdoor 250-person cap,” according to the release. “To be safe, we are going to issue tickets for these events. Home players will get a number of tickets to distribute to family members. Leftover tickets will be offered to the away team for their family members.”

Events that involve two county teams are expected to draw more people and therefore have to have more restrictions in place.

INDOOR EVENTS

The news is not good for indoor sports.

Volleyball and middle school girls basketball “will be limited to players, coaches, and game personnel due to being indoors with a cap of 25,” according to the release. “Efforts are being made to live-stream these events.”

CONTACT TRACING

“All events will have a sign-in for every person entering the venue for contact tracing purposes,” according to the release. “Masks and social distancing will be required.”

“Athletes do not have to wear masks when engaged in the contest. They do have to wear them on the sidelines and benches.”

MOVING FORWARD

“The district is aware of the ongoing debate at the state level of government and will issue updates at the state guidance changes,” according to the release. “We appreciate your patience as we work hard to navigate the constant changes impacting high school athletics.”

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