COVID precautions mean unusual sights in stands of high school sports

Created: October 10, 2020 06:58 PM

SPENCERPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) — This weekend, some school districts in Monroe County welcomed spectators back into low-risk sporting events. 

Saturday was the first game of the season for the girls’ Varsity Soccer team in Spencerport. Aside from wearing masks, not much has changed for players on the field.


“Nothing really changes with our mentality, our blueprint of how we run our team and our program,” says Head Coach Jamie Schneider. 

In fact, the biggest challenges may be taking place in the stands. If attending a school sporting event this fall, spectators will have to wear a mask and maintain social distancing by keeping six feet apart from others. Another major change? Only two guests are allowed in attendance per athlete, something Coach Schneider says might be the biggest challenge of all this season.

"That is difficult,” says Schnieder, “I think the only-two-spectators-per-athlete is the most difficult thing."

The number of guests in the stands will be closely monitored.

"Every student athlete has two badges and they give them to the individuals that they want to attend this game, and at the ticket counter they show those two badges, and we check off the roster to keep track of the number allowed in the game," says Schneider.

In a regular season, having six to eight supporters in the stands would be common for varsity player Sabrina Trapani. But this year, her friends and family will have to take turns. Sabrina’s mom, Sara Trapani, says "each player having two spectators is really tough... it's nice when the kids can have their friends, have a cheering section, it's nice when the grandparents can come or your friends or your neighbors or coaches that want to come watch them play, and you know, they don't have all that so, it's gonna be different for sure."

Despite the restrictions, Coach Schneider says they’re happy to be back, they’re taking it one day at a time, and the team even has a divisional championship on the line this year. They’ll also be streaming games virtually so supporters who can’t join them in person can still participate online. 

“I think it'll end up being okay,” says parent Sara Trapani. “We're just hoping if we keep following the rules that maybe it'll change and loosen up a little bit and more people can come."

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