The LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has issued guidance on youth sports found at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening_SportsLeagues.pdf The Foothill League, which encompasses the William S. Hart Union High School District, must follow this guidance.
The protocol specifies that the only observers allowed to be in attendance at any league sporting event are from the competing athlete's immediate household for "age appropriate supervision (pg. 6)." Everyone entering the athletic facility will be required to be screened for Covid-19, which includes a survey and having your temperature taken. In addition, each household must be separated by six feet, wear masks, and "refrain from shouting, singing, or chanting” (pg. 6).
The State also has guidelines limiting the percentage of occupancy on a school campus and in an indoor gymnasium. This, in addition to the Youth Sports Protocol, requires an overall limitation for observers per student-athlete to a maximum of two (2) per game.
Each athlete will be allowed six (6) family members on an entry list, from which the two (2) observers who will be allowed into the game can be cleared upon entry. No children will be allowed on the list as they would not be attending for supervision purposes. So, for example, Johnny Smith is a football player and has his mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, grandmother, and grandfather on his list. At the entry gate to the stadium on game night, two (2) of those family members will be allowed into the stadium.
Only athletes, coaches, select game management and cheerleaders will be allowed on the field. No observers will be allowed onto the field, even after the game is over. Athletes will be required to stay six feet apart and wear masks while not engaged in active competition. The sidelines on the football field have been expanded for this reason, and spaces like dugouts will not be available for use. Baseball and softball players will actually be occupying socially distanced space in the stands, yet another reason why facility space is limited for observers.
“We are all so excited to see our student-athletes on campus practicing and we are happy that they will get to compete this year after all,” said Hart District Director of Human Resources, Equity Services, and Athletics Dr. Mariane Doyle. “It is with that spirit that we extend as much as we can within the limitations and challenges we have been presented. We are grateful for the understanding of parents and the community as we continue to do our best to serve the students, and we will continue to monitor county and state guidance on observers and capacity limits.”
Anticipating an enthusiastic season of sports where all three seasons have been condensed into one, Hart District administrators are setting up supervision plans and working with their site teams to manage welcoming back athletics and students to campus simultaneously as they anticipate reopening schools for instruction on March 29th.