Athletics Contest Procedures During COVID

Objectives:

  • Provide student-athletes with a safe and healthy contest experience.
  • Invite a limited number of spectators to contests, based on a two ticket/lanyard per student-athlete allotment
  • Educate stakeholders that our intention is to put procedures in place that help to reduce risk, but that the school system cannot eliminate risk. The success of our contests will rely on everyone’s support.
  • Encourage and expect spectators to stay home if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, if you are sick, if you have tested positive for COVID 19, or if you are awaiting a COVID 19 test result.

 Note: AACPS’s ability to continue to allow spectators will be dependent on how well our guests cooperate with health and safety guidelines.  At any time AACPS reserves the right to reduce or stop spectators from attending events.

Procedures:

  • The host school will follow set up for each athletic contest space using health and safety guidelines in the AACPS Fall Sports Plan and the MPSSAA Fall sports bulletins (that include COVID specific modifications).
  • Schools will establish and announce “gate opening times” for all events. Spectators are asked not to congregate in groups, in the parking lot or around the entrance, and stay in their vehicle until that time.
  • Attendance tracking forms will be maintained for both teams involved. Event workers in close proximity to the field/court will be listed on the home team’s tracking form.  Spectators will not be included.
  • All spectators will wear face coverings and maintain social distance of at least 6 feet or more at all times. Only Families members may be closer.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available at entrance/exit points. Spectators are asked to wipe down their seat upon arrival.
  • Upon entering the facility, all spectators shall immediately go to their seats and remain seated throughout the contest to the extent possible.
  • There will be no re-entry. Once you leave a ticketed event, you may not re-enter.
  • At the conclusion of a contest, spectators must exit the facility (maintaining social distance) and go directly to their cars. Upon exiting. spectators are asked not to congregate in the parking lot or around the exit.
  • Spectators may not congregate in or round the play area to interact with student-athletes before, during, or after the contest.
  • No outside food or beverage.
  • There will be no sales of any kind during event (concessions, spirit wear, etc.).
  • The Office of Athletics will provide health and safety signage (masking and distancing), lanyards for non-stadium events, and a common public address announcement to be used by all schools.
  • Photographers and media are permitted to attend. They must have identification, always wear a mask and maintain social distance of at least 6 feet or more.
  • JV and Varsity teams should leave the event after their contest. Players are asked not to congregate in or around the play area, in the parking lot, or around the exit.  When members of a team cannot leave immediately, they must be clearly identifiable with team gear, always wear a mask, and socially distance in an area designated by school staff.  (see our Transportation Procedures document).
  • Cheerleaders who are doing sideline cheer are to be positioned away from other groups and maintain social distance during sideline cheer components when feasible.
  • Host school dance companies may perform at half times.
  • Host schools may facilitate masked, socially distanced senior recognition/introductions. However, no additional tickets will be issued for this purpose.  No team photographs may be taken.
  • Pixellot cameras are in place at all AACPS gymnasiums and stadiums. In the event one of these cameras is not functioning we will work to correct the issue as timely as possible.
  • Attendees are discouraged from yelling, chanting, or singing. Spectators should consider ways to safely cheer such as stomping or clapping.
  • Avoid are discouraged from using restroom facilities at high traffic times, such as intermission, half-time, or immediately after the event.

 Ticketing:

  • There will be no charge for admission.
  • Each spectator must have a ticket (stadium/gymnasium) or lanyard (other outside) to enter an event. This includes children.
  • No ID cards, badges or other passes will be accepted. Specifically, AACPS employee badges, senior citizen cards, multi-game punch cards, and or MPSSAA cards will not be accepted.
  • Ticketing / Lanyards
    • For stadium/gymnasium contests – field hockey, varsity soccer, football, cheer, volleyball
      • 2 tickets will be given to each participating student-athlete and coach to be distributed to family or friends.
      • Tickets may not be sold for financial gain. Such actions may result in the removal from the team.
    • For contests not in our stadium – JV soccer, cross country, golf, unified tennis
      • 2 lanyards will be given to each participating student-athlete and coach to be distributed to family or friends.

Supervision:

  • Police officers may or may not be available for game assistance. Schools have asked for support with football.
  • School administration will assist with supervision coverage of events, including those not in stadiums/gymnasiums.
  • ADs will use their supervision funds to staff events.
  • While we hope that families and community members will adhere to our health and safety expectations and we will provide reminders about those expectations, AACPS staff will not engage in confrontational situations with noncompliant spectators inside or outside our facilities.
  • If necessary, schools have the authority to suspend or end contests if health and safety protocols are not be adhered to. Any violation of the governor’s orders may result in AACPS banning spectator attendance.  We hope to avid this.