Madison County Schools releases athletic safety plan

This school year, stadiums are being limited to 60% capacity and all game participants, including coaches and staff members, will have their temperatures taken before going inside.

Posted: Aug 18, 2020 8:38 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2020 7:27 AM

On Tuesday, Madison County Schools released its safety plan for athletic games and practices this school year. During sporting events, social distancing will be enforced and masks will be required.

This school year, stadiums are being limited to 60% capacity and all game participants, including coaches and staff members, will have their temperatures taken before going inside.

"Kind of sad. We aren't going to be able to have what we expected to have as a senior, but at least we are still getting to have it no matter what," said student, Haley Atchley.

Madison County High School Senior Haley Atchley is on the varsity cheer-leading team and because of the coronavirus pandemic, cheering won't be the same this year.

"It's going to be difficult not being able to play with the little kids during half-time and stuff like that," said Atchley.

Madison County Schools athletic director Lavell Everett says the 60% stadium capacity could change as the year continues based on the number of coronavirus cases in the area. He also says groups from the same household will need to stick together.

"Be sure your kids are with you at all times. Typically, they run around and have a good time at ball games. That's what kids like to do, but we are going to ask our parents to keep their kids with them at all times," said Everett.

Everett says band members and cheerleaders will be required to keep six feet between each other and if fans are not wearing masks or social distancing, they could be asked to leave.

"People have been asked to leave ball games before. This is a health and safety issue that doesn't affect that one person so we are going to work with people," said Everett.

Atchley says despite the new rules for football games, she doesn't think there will be any less excitement.

"Fans will still get into it because at least we are still getting to have football season," said Atchley.

She says her team can't wait to get back on the field.

"All we have to do is keep pushing through, that's all we can do," said Atchley.

The district says there will be a designated area in each stadium for those fans who are at high risk.

Other precautions in place:

The plan states sidelines will be limited to essential personnel and sidelines will be extended to the 10-yard line to ensure social distancing.

All staff members and game participants will have their temperatures taken and will be screened before entering the stadium.

Visiting teams are encouraged to have a travel squad to limit numbers on sidelines.

The plan encourages team members to arrive fully dressed to limit the number of people in locker rooms.

Administrators will monitor and limit the number of people in locker rooms and restrooms.

No showering in locker rooms will be allowed post-game.

Schools will be provided paper tickets for up to 60% of stadium capacity. Any tickets not sold before the game will be available at the gate.

Pre-packaged items will be available at concession stands.

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