Anyone planning to attend a high school athletic event this fall needs to match their fandom with a willingness to abide by the safety guidelines and protocols established by Section I.
In a release dated Oct. 5, the Executive Committee of Section I adopted a set of spectator protocols; topping the list is that only home spectators will be allowed at interscholastic athletic events during the fall regular season. If there are postseason sectional tournaments, the Executive Committee may revisit this decision to allow spectators from visiting teams to attend.
The Executive Committee also ruled that only two spectators per home athlete be permitted to watch the event.
Spectators must also follow all New York State Department of Health guidelines regarding face coverings and social distancing. However, each school district has the right to be more restrictive.
Fans are also being required to remain 6 feet apart, except for members of the same household or family.
Schools have been encouraged by the Executive Committee to have health screenings for spectators. For example, according to athletic director Andrew Klaich, Dobbs Ferry is asking all those who wish to attend to fill out a simple Covid-19 questionnaire, which is available on the school district website.
The form includes questions pertaining to fever, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, congestion, stomach distress, and loss of taste and smell. It also inquires if you have been tested for Covid-19 in the past 14 days and if you have travelled internationally during that same time frame. A “Yes” response to any of the form’s questions results in denial of access to a school district facility.
Though not definite yet, Hastings will probably take that same route and ask spectators to fill out a screening form.
Irvington will also have a form on its website that will need to be completed and submitted the night before a scheduled contest. From those submissions, a gate list will be drawn up for event supervisors.
Irvington athletic director John Buonamano, in a letter to district parents, added that spectators will have to enter the facility through the entry point they chose on the form. Seating will be limited to designated areas in the hillside bleachers and immediate area.
Ardsley, to date, is the lone Rivertowns district not planning any extra screening for spectators.
Districts may also encourage spectators to provide contact tracing information.
In their press release that afternoon, the Section I Executive Committee noted, “If deemed necessary, school districts may choose to be more restrictive and place additional limitations on the number of spectators at their athletic events.”
It continued, “In addition, the host district has the ability to restrict any spectator from being in attendance who does not comply with the guidelines set forth by the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the local health department and the host district.”