NewsEducation / November 12, 2020

New Restrictions To Slow Spread Of COVID-19 Means Fewer Sports Fans At School Games

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Some sports officials decided to take a break during the fall sports season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig says a lack of officials hasn't caused any games to be canceled.  - Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Some sports officials decided to take a break during the fall sports season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig says a lack of officials hasn't caused any games to be canceled.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced new restrictions for the hardest-hit counties starting this weekend, including limits on K-12 school events. 

Indiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Paul Neidig said he expected more restrictions on winter school sports – they'll be indoors, unlike most in the fall. 

Neidig said it's vital for athletes and fans to follow health recommendations in their area to protect themselves, and the health of others. But he said, more COVID-19 cases could also mean canceled games – which takes opportunities away from kids.

"We cannot get that back – last spring was gone. I cannot recreate spring and bring it back for student athletes who missed that," he said. 

Neidig said not every student was able to play every game this fall because of mandatory quarantines after students had close-contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 in their communities. But he said, for the most part the different sports seasons finished without too many cancellations.

Holcomb's new order directs counties in the state's orange or red health categories – areas in the state with the highest positivity rates and number of cases – to limit indoor school events to 25 percent capacity, or restrict attendance to sporting events to athletes, parents, and essential event staff.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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