Schools urging spectators to observe all safety precautions to help make sure fall sports can continue
This week the fall 2020 interscholastic sports season officially kicks off, and to avoid a repeat of this past spring local school systems are asking all attendants at athletic contests in the coming days to adhere to the safety guidelines that have been put into place.
As reported in last week’s edition, everyone entering onto the campus at Williamsburg Independent Schools can expect to have their temperatures checked upon arrival if they are there to watch a game. Fans will also be expected to wear masks and keep a safe distance from other spectators who are not members of their own immediate family.
The wearing of masks and social distancing requirements should be universal this fall season, regardless of which school you plan on visiting. Also, it sounds as if limited capacity will become the new norm, at least for the foreseeable future.
Williamsburg announced last week that their seating capacity will be cut in half for athletic contests. A few days later, Whitley County Schools announced that they would also be operating with reduced capacity, specifying that only parents of players and cheerleaders would be allowed admission into the Colonel football team’s season opener this Friday, Sept. 11, versus visiting Somerset.
Whitley County Superintendent John Siler also added that the restrooms at football games will now be located inside the nearby gym lobby, as it will be much easier to control how many people are in that area at any given time, and he also mentioned that there would be restrictions placed on which items the concession stand would sell, sticking mostly to pre-packaged treats.
“We really need people to wear their masks, and to properly distance themselves from non-family members,” Siler urged.
Back over at Williamsburg, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jerry Herron recently spoke at a school board meeting, saying that, while it isn’t a law that spectators have to wear masks, school officials do have the right to require visitors to wear them and have their temperature checked before making their way onto campus.
Herron added that, while law enforcement will not be forcing anyone to wear a mask should they be there without one, they will certainly be stepping in to lend a hand if anyone becomes unruly about it.
A scenario that Herron and his fellow school officials and coaches are hoping to avoid is having to stop play because of fans’ unwillingness to follow the set guidelines. He doesn’t think it will come to that, however, as he said that he feels confident people will comply because of their collective desire for the student-athletes to actually have a season.
Corbin will follow suit with all other area schools, limiting capacity at upcoming games and requiring everyone in attendance to wear a mask and stay properly distanced while in the gym, or in the stands at a playing field.
All local athletic programs are encouraging fans to purchase tickets to games in advance if at all possible in order to limit the handling of money with physical cash transactions at the gate. In some instances, advance purchasing may be the only way to obtain tickets. This will also help to reduce the possibility of crowds forming outside of gyms and stadiums prior to contests getting underway.
In Corbin’s case specifically, prior season ticket holders and parents of athletes are being given priority to purchase tickets. If any tickets are left after those individuals have had a chance to buy them, sales will continue until capacity is reached.
Additional questions regarding safety measures or how to purchase advance tickets can be directed to our local school systems by calling:
Williamsburg Independent – 606-549-6044
Whitley County Schools – 606-549-7000
Corbin Independent – 606-528-1303
Knox County Schools (Lynn Camp) – 606-546-3157