Spectators To Be Limited For High School Sports

In response to Gov. Northam’s statewide measure to contain COVID-19, Virginia High School League Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy Haun said this week, “We want to make it very clear that the governor’s order in the reduction for public and private gatherings to 25 individuals applies to ‘spectators’ and not participants at those events. Nothing in the order prevents VHSL member schools from holding contests.”

Previously, the limit for individuals at a game was 250.

New Rockbridge County High School athletic director Mike Gale said that athletic directors are going to have several Webinars with the VHSL “to get more clarification as to what counts as a spectator. We just know the likelihood of having fans is not looking good.

Parry McCluer High School athletic director Mike Cartolaro said PM and other schools in the Pioneer District have agreed to allow only home fans at games. “We had a plan going for the 250 [individuals], and now we’re back to the drawing board and scrambling,” Cartolaro said. “At 25 [individuals], it makes it more challenging.”

“The biggest concern is for the kids to have the opportunity to play,” Cartolaro added.

For fans who can’t get to sporting events due to capacity limits, PM has plans to livestream them so they can watch them online. Cartolaro said PM will livestream the events either through the website www.hudl.com, which PM has a two-year contract with, and through the National Federation of State High School Associations. www.nfhs.org.

PM has had experience with livestreaming, Cartolaro noted, with sports information director Chris Floyd and others broadcasting the events on Facebook. Moving forward, Floyd will be the game announcer, and video cameras will be set up at different angles for people to view the action.

Gale said the Wildcats have plans to broadcast their games as well, but it’ll be mid-January before they have cameras installed.

Under the Condensed Interscholastic Plan, in which teams will plan about 60 percent of their normal regular seasons, high school sports will start with winter sports – basketball, wrestling, indoor track and field, swimming and sideline cheerleading – with the first competitions on Dec. 21.

The News-Gazette

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