By Tim Chambers
Many things have been absent at this year’s basketball games, with one of those being cheerleaders. That will likely change next week due to Governor Bill Lee’s announcement that he will lift the sporting events’ restrictions in Executive Order No. 74.
“The guidance and rules of local education agencies and the TSSAA remain in place, but Executive Order 74 will be suspended effective Monday, February 1,” Governor Lee said in a statement today. “I encourage Tennesseans to keep up their responsible personal choices as we work towards a COVID-free Tennessee.”
The TSSAA COVID-19 Regulations and Rules Modifications for practice and competition, as well as the current restrictions on preseason scrimmages and jamborees adopted by the Board of Control at their July 22 meeting, are still in place for all sports and must be followed.With the Governor’s announcement, the restrictions limiting cheerleaders and members of the general public from attending contests will be lifted on Monday, February 1.The TSSAA rules regarding masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and COVID-19 recommended venue capacities will remain in effect.
“We are proud that our member schools have been taking steps to follow the Governor’s orders and limit the spread of the virus,” said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of TSSAA. “It is vitally important that we continue to be smart and safe in our activities, wear a mask, wash our hands and practice social distancing at every athletic contest.”
Member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that will allow adequate social distancing (e.g., 1/4 to 1/3 of typical seating capacity, depending on the particular venue’s characteristics) and should mark/designate bleachers or seats to promote social distancing among spectators. Member schools must facilitate compliance with any applicable state or local order limiting gathering sizes for public events participation.
In consultation with local health providers, member schools in areas experiencing high virus transmission should consider further limitations on attendance (e.g., family members only or no spectators).
Limit informal gathering in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
This week’ schedule
The Longhorns will play two games on the road this week. They will be at Sullivan East on Tuesday and at Unicoi County on Friday.
The Junior High Boys and girls finished up play on Saturday with losses on the road after a fourth-place finish in the District.
The girls lost on the road to Cherokee Middle School located in Kingston, Tennessee, while the boys were defeated at Fort Loudon. Both teams had to travel over three hours to play their regional games.