IHSAA Issues Guidance On Spectators At Sporting Events

The fall sports season is right around the corner.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Atmosphere is part of the charm of high school sports.

While pro sports have moved forward with no spectators, the Indiana High School Athletic Association intends to allow spectators when falls sports competition starts this month.

According to the IHSAA’s COVID-19 Resource Center, spectators will be allowed to attend sporting events at the discretion of the host school with guidance from local health officials and in accordance with Governor Holcomb’s Back on Track plan that is currently in Stage 4.5.

Under Stage 4.5, face coverings are required through August 26, which includes outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. The face mask order could be rescinded, modified or extended by the governor. 

In addition, the following guidance has been issued if allowing spectators in a bleacher setting:

  • Family units may sit together but using 6 feet of social distancing between another family unit.
  • On a set of bleachers, it should be no more than 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people (even if the bleachers can fit more with social distancing).
  • If a stadium has multiple individual sets of bleachers, each separate area can be seen as a separate unit (see item 2 above). However, an important part is each segment must have separate designated entrances and separate designated restroom facilities in order not to exceed a total of 250 people. Schools might be able to accomplish this by having staggered arrival times if multiple entrances are not available. Bottom line is that they must do something to avoid people congregating (to get in or in line for restrooms).  
  • With large events, schools should work with and have approval of the local health department.

Concessions may be allowed at sports events, again at the discretion of the host school. All concession items must be pre-packaged prior to sale.

“The IHSAA fully supports its member schools in determining what is in the best interests of the health and well-being of their student-athletes and staff. Each IHSAA member school’s athletic department will operate with the approval of its school administration in moving forward throughout the 2020-21 school year. It will be the decision of each local school district to determine if they can safely conduct athletic practices and contests.”

The IHSAA added that the Resource Center will be updated, as necessary.

For more information on sport-specific guidelines, see the IHSAA COVID-19 Resource Center below. 


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