COLUMN: Two-per-player fan rule will make winter sports look different

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     The high school winter sports season, assuming we’re able to have one, is going to look a lot different than any we have seen before, thanks of course to COVID-19 and to a proclamation made last week by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

     These may not be popular changes, but might be necessary in order for the teams to be able to play.

     “We want to be able to have a season, and we want people to be safe,” said Tim Lambert, the Monticello activities director and head boys basketball coach.

     The proclamation that will affect the most people is that only two spectators per athlete will be permitted into the gym for sports events. Each athlete will be given two tickets prior to the event, and can give those out to parents, grandparents, friends or whoever. Only fans with tickets will be allowed in.

     There are exceptions to this, including officials, scorer’s table workers, and, thankfully, media.

     This will go through at least Nov. 30.

     “Nobody knows if that will be extended,” Lambert said.

     Another big change is that, for basketball, the gym will be cleared out after each game and level. Most home dates will begin with the junior varsity girls’ game, after which the gym will be cleared out and fans for the JV boys will be allowed in, etc.

     Athletes will not have to wear masks during competition, but will if they are sitting on the bench, or during practices. Coaches will be wearing masks.

     Of course, as of now there are no practices, as the Monticello school district has switched to online learning at least through Nov. 24 due to spikes in COVID cases and closed all school facilities until at least Nov. 25.

     Fans won’t be the only ones affected by this.

     “It will have a huge impact on our gate and the (Monticello Athletic) Booster Club,” Lambert said.

     There is a plus for those who want to watch the events but will not be allowed in; live streaming will take place in the gym, using a school YouTube channel and incorporating announcers and graphics to make it as TV-like as possible.

     While this won’t be ideal for people who want to attend events just to support the Panthers, it’s better than nothing.



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