The following updates about Fall Athletics were provided by the Howard County Public School System Superintendent on February 25th during the Board of Education meeting:
- Specifically, I want to give an update on spectator participation for fall athletics. We got off to a wonderful start to sports beginning February 13, and I thank everyone whose collaboration on health and safety have allowed us to continue with an uninterrupted fall season. I will share that it was quite unique to have snow on the ground to start fall sports, as they typically begin during the sweltering heat of August!
- Based on current County and State guidance, games will be conducted as planned, meaning that all fall sports will be able to have their full complement of players.
- Additionally, we have finalized a plan to allow spectators at games. Based on current State orders, we are limited to a maximum of 250 people at outdoor contests and 100 at indoor, which includes the players, coaches, officials and other essential personnel. This leaves little room for spectators at certain sports.
- Therefore, all rostered student-athletes will initially be provided with two passes from their school to provide to family members that may be used to enter home contests. Because of the strict limitations on maximum occupancy at this time, only spectators for the home team may attend the game and must have a school-issued pass with them.
- We will continue to monitor State orders and adjust accordingly if the State allows additional capacity at outdoor and indoor venues.
- Busses will transport student-athletes to away games and all distancing protocols that are implemented on busses to and from school will also be enforced on busses to and from games. Students may secure alternate transportation to and from away games if they provide the school with a written note at least 24 hours in advance. Parents who choose to drive their student-athlete to away games will not be permitted to enter the game as a spectator at this time.
- We will be accommodating varsity and junior varsity teams. With the 20 minute shift in school start times, this will push our game times a bit later than they have been in past seasons. All games will be in-county this year, so travel times will be limited, but student-athletes and families should expect to be home from games a little bit later than in previous seasons.
- Finally, game schedules will be shared by schools with student-athletes and families.
I would keep an eye on this page (https://help.hcpss.org/athletics/SY-21-spectators) for additional guidance and information relating to spectators. I am guessing that the school system will be updating it in the near future.
I have requested a listing of schedules for the upcoming fall athletic sports from the Howard County Public School System. I will be sure to publish those schedules as soon as I get a copy (or see it posted online).