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Update on Athletics
Update on Athletics
Tom Mulligan
Tuesday, January 26, 2021

As many of you have probably heard, Arcola is in a region that is back to Phase 4. This transition has led to significant changes with regards to athletics. IDPH released new guidance relative to sporting events/activities https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/sports-safety-guidance.  

Junior high and high school sports that are in season can practice, have intrasquad scrimmages, and even play games. With the Governor’s recent announcement, schools are all scrambling to put into place procedures that provide the most opportunities for our student athletes and families while staying within the guidelines set. 

Here is some important information regarding the district’s current plans:

1. Volleyball and boys basketball are in season for junior high students.  Practices have begun and games will begin the week of February 1.

2. The IHSA is still revising their seasons and plan to announce a revised schedule on Wednesday of this week.  

3. The new guidance allows up to 50 spectators in ADDITION to the team, coaches, officials and school staff needed.  This is a HUGE shift.  But, all non-family members (including athletes and coaches) must remain 6 feet apart while they are not directly involved in the athletic activity. 

4. In addition, all spectators must remain 30 feet from any participant, which includes the playing surface. Because of these restrictions, we are somewhat limited on spectators.

Based on these guidelines, the district’s current plan is the following (please remember this plan is evolving as information from IDPH and IHSA/IESA change):

  • If there are multiple games in Arcola on any one night and a contest is played in the junior high gym, there will be NO spectators in that gym because we cannot get 30 feet of distance between the court and any seats in the stands.

  • In the HS Gym, all team participants will be seated on the north side of the high school bleachers. They will need to be socially distanced 6 feet apart, which means some will most likely need to be seated even in the upper bleachers.

  • We can use two rows of bleachers in the south bleachers towards the very top for spectators. We will use the very top row and then a row 3 seats down. That leaves 6 feet between rows and allows for 30 feet from the playing floor.  Any rows below the 4th from the top would be closer than 30 feet and therefore, not allowed. 

  • By putting two seats together and spacing the seats six feet apart, we can fit 48 spectators in 24 spaces (2 per space). Only members of the same household can sit with each other in a space.

  • We plan to allow 48 home fans for the 7th grade (JV) game and then 48 additional fans for the 8th grade (varsity) game.  8th Grade (Varsity) fans will be allowed in the building as 7th grade (JV) fans leave the building. All spectators will be required to enter through the junior high/cafeteria entrance. Spectators for the 8th grade (varsity) game should remain in their cars until the spectators from the previous game begin exiting the building.  

  • We will only be allowing home team fans and the athletes’ families will be given priority.  There will be no tickets/seats available for the general public.  Although parents/legal guardians will be given priority, the process for what family members will be able to attend and how the tickets will be distributed is still being finalized.

  • There will be no admission fee for spectators and no concessions available.  Water may be brought into the high school gym.

  • Tickets will be pre-printed and will include COVID Self-Screening.  The spectators must bring the signed (signifying Covid symptom-free) ticket in order to enter. Tickets will be distributed to family members through the athletes.

  • The plan is to have a camera set up in the high school gym that will be able to live stream all games played in that gym on YouTube. We have ordered and are expecting a camera for the junior high this week and will install as soon as possible. More information on the broadcasts will be sent at a later date.

  • We are also working to update the district website for updated game schedules.  To access the most up-to-date schedule, create an account on Eventlink https://eventlink.com/.  To access the instruction click on this link: Setting Up An Account