The effect of COVID-19 on the 2020 High School sports seasons will present challenges for players, coaches, school administrators and fans alike. From temperature tests to how many fans can attend an event. File photos
By Tim Chambers
We definitely are living in a world of change. So why shouldn’t we expect attending an athletic event to change in 2020? It is one thing to stand in line waiting to purchase a ticket, but imagine being in a long line to have your temperature taken before entering a gym or stadium. It’s one of the changes I can see on the horizon when it comes to attending high school sporting events. Football players might not be the only ones wearing face masks. And social distancing could be a thing in the stands on both the home and visitors sides.
Let’s imagine fans, school administrators, coaches, and athletes, along with cheerleaders and game officials having their temperatures checked before entering a facility. If your temperature is above 100.5 degrees, you won’t be permitted to attend or play unless they can prove that they have not tested positive for COVID-19.
Fans cannot be admitted to a game if they have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID symptoms. Registered nurses will be on-site to take up admission. After all, not everyone is able to perform these tasks. Can it be enforced? It could be tough to enforce, but it something that the TSSAA has already put on paper. The lines at a game won’t be that long to get in because facilities will probably be at a capacity of 30 percent or less.
Imagine being able to stretch out at a game with two or three seats between you and the next person. Holding hands with your spouse or girlfriend will be hard to do unless you’re an octopus. Fans over the age of three must wear a facemask. Concession stand workers must wear face masks, and you must have social distancing around the stand. Does it sound crazy? It should be a bit much, but these are a strong possibility for 2020 sports.
Attending a game is going to be much different in 2020 than in past years. Concession stand revenue is critical for some organizations to function. It also helps offset the cost of uniforms and other things.Ticket prices help pay for game officials, which has now become pricey due to the number of games played.
How many fans can attend?
Football games would be different at Johnson County because many fans set in their vehicles or in chairs they brought at the parking lot and around the fence. These should not be counted or factored in. Expect to see possibly prepackaged food items being sold along with cans or bottles for sodas and water. You may also see a limited number of high school bands perform at games.
Smaller bands such as pep band that are smaller in number could perform. These are just a few changes that could be seen at a high school sporting event in 2020.It’s been a weird roller coaster ride so far since last March.