TSSAA still enforcing attendance limits at sporting events

TSSAA wishes to remind every member school that with the Governor’s announcement today we are still under the Governor’s Order No. 70 as it pertains to the individuals who are allowed to attend athletic contests. Please keep in mind that these are minimum standards and can be more restrictive depending on the circumstances. For instance, the restrictions in place at the State Bowling Tournament to be held this week, which permits only bowlers and coaches to be present in the bowling center during competition, will remain in place.

Those individuals allowed to attend must still have their temperature checked, wear a mask, and practice social distancing the entire game. Those who fail to do so are hurting all of our student-athletes and their possibility of completing the season. The Order was scheduled to expire on January 19th at 11:59 p.m. but has been extended by the Governor through February 27, 2021.

It is our understanding that the definition of a “household” has now been extended to include grandparents. This will allow them to attend contests if their grandchild is participating. School faculty members and staff may also attend.

TSSAA inquired about allowing Cheerleaders and Dance Teams to participate, but the amended Order maintains the temporary suspension of cheerleading and dance at contests. Our understanding from the Governor’s Office is that this provision was a risk-based decision at this critical time based on the best medical and CDC information and guidance available regarding the spread of COVID-19 primarily through respiratory droplets, with cheerleading posing a particularly high degree of risk because it involves projected voices within a confined indoor space for an extended period of time.

The “COVID-19 Sport Specific Modifications” for Spring Sports will be added to the guidelines on the website sometime this week. Please go to the COVID-19 Return to Play link and click on the COVID-19 Sports Regulations and Rules Modifications in order to access this information. It is vital that all coaches are aware and adhere to these modifications.

It must also be noted that all of the COVID-19 Guidelines that were in effect for Fall sports apply to Winter and Spring sports. This includes the fact that there can be no scrimmages, jamborees, play days, or practices against another team. This also includes football Spring Practice.