As the fall season nears during the midst of a pandemic, athletes and fans are questioning what football and softball games may look like. The Panthers and surrounding teams have begun practices and camps after a long break.
MSHSAA have encouraged schools to offer live streaming of games and performances to reduce attendance at events so that current gathering size and social distancing can be met. Sidelines, benches and performance and participant areas will have social distance guidelines established by local participant areas during contests and events. MSHSAA released the following statement, stating, “The COVID-19 pandemic presents state high school associations with a myriad of challenges. The MSHSAA Board of Directors and MSHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) offer this document as guidance on how our state association can consider approaching the many components of “opening up” sports and activities in preparation for the fall seasons, and beyond.”
Those allowed at events will be grouped into tiers from essential to non-essential and decide which tiers will be allowed at an event if local and or state health department guidelines restrict group sizes. Only Tier 1 and 2 personnel will be allowed to attend events until state/local health departments lift restrictions on mass gatherings.
Tier 1 will be those who are considered essential including participants, coaches/directors, officials/adjudicators, event staff, medical staff and security. Tier 2 are those who are considered preferred which include media. Tier 3 are those who are considered non-essential which include spectators and vendors.