RSD Spectator Guidelines Allow Only Family To Attend Fall Sports Competitions
From masks to limited spectators to competing outside the county, fall sports competitions during the 2020 season have experienced little normalcy. However, recently updated spectator guidelines add a little regularity to the season.
Activities Director Shane Matzen released updated spectator guidelines on Twitter Wednesday, Oct. 7, stating that the St. Louis County Health Department approved plans for RSD to increase the number of family spectators allowed at fall sports games.
The initial spectator guidelines allowed two parents per player to attend home games, but these new guidelines allow parents to spectate home and away games and permit additional family members to attend home games as well.
Matzen said allowing more family spectators is important to support athletes with large immediate families.
“We wanted to allow different family situations to work,” Matzen said.
For games on the MHS stadium field, the guidelines allow home family spectators to sit on the socially distanced markings on the bleachers. If the bleachers reach maximum capacity, spectators can overflow to the hill by the bleachers.
Visiting team spectators are expected to sit in their personal lawn chairs near the visiting team bleachers.
St. Louis County Health Department included Matzen in their decision and finalization process regarding the increase in spectators.He said the change in spectator guidelines came about as a result of the COVID-19 trends going in a positive direction in St. Louis County.
Matzen said he hopes in the future students will be able to attend sports competitions, but as of right now, the MHS venue does not allow spectators outside of family to attend.
“Having two parents per player is already close to reaching the maximum capacity of our venue,” Matzen said about having football, band, colorguard, cheer, and Mystique spectators on Friday nights.
With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Matzen believes in the success of opening up the spectator rules through various uses of technology, including scanning the QR codes before entering the venue.
“Every single one of us, no matter what our job is, we all agree we want to give our kids the opportunity to participate,” Matzen said.
Junior Kami Matthews, varsity softball player, said spectators are important to the competition atmosphere.
“Overall, support from family, friends and fellow students raises our spirits and makes us play for an audience bigger than ourselves,” Matthews said. “ It is such a good feeling knowing that there are people out there rooting for you because it gives a purpose when playing.”
Before the spectator guidelines allowed parents to attend away games, Matthews said her team live streamed their games on Facebook for those who could not spectate in person.
Matthews said she misses supporting her peers at their competitions, which she said are some of her favorite high school memories. However, she said the new spectator guidelines will run smoothly, which might lead to the opportunity for students to attend in the future.
“By this point, fans are so excited to attend games that they will do whatever it takes to attend the game they wish while following all the rules,” Matthews said.
Coach Kenny, varsity soccer coach, also said spectators are important at games, though, he said his players still perform to the best of their ability with or without fans attending.