Audience at Events

Laurel Padilla, Reporter

With the loss of last year’s spring sports season, the determination to get a semi-normal season is high. 

Previously, Shawnee County had set the maximum capacity at 1,000 per venue for outdoor events or 75% of the venue capacity. In order to follow the social distancing requirements, Heights was allowing 4 visitors per athlete in most sports at home events. 

However, starting on Apr. 5 spring sports were allowed to have an unlimited audience at home events with no regulations. For the girl’s swim team there is no home facility, so they must follow Hummer’s regulations which do not allow visitors.

“The more we do to follow COVID-19 procedures, the better the chances are of seeing a postseason with minimal interruption, loss of games, and quarantines,” Cody Whitney, athletic director, said. 

Compared to fall and winter sports, spring sports will not use wristbands to delegate spectators. 

Team snacks and beverages must continue to be individually packaged in order to distribute to participants. Buffet-style meals are still not allowed for team meals. No food or drink will be allowed on the busses to or from competitions. 

“Spectators are expected to wear masks at all events, including those held outdoors where an individual may be within 6 feet of others,” Whitney said. “Spectators should also sit in family/residential cohorts (those living in the same physical residency) and abide by Shawnee County social distancing guidelines of 6 feet separation between groups.”

Spectator policies are unique to each school and school district in alignment with each county-specific mandate. In addition, all passes continue to be suspended for the year in order to control the number of spectators. This includes the USD 450 Student and Family Activity Passes as well as the Home Run Club passes. 

Some schools have a family policy indicating that regardless of the number of siblings on a team, they will only be allowed to have a set number of spectators per family. These policies can be found on school websites for the teams that will be visited. All spectator guidelines continue to be subject to change and are pursuant to local restrictions.