The fall sports season is scheduled to start with a limited number of fans at the games.
Administrators from the Frontier League, who have been working on plans for practice, attendance at games and masks and social distancing, released guidelines and policies Sunday evening, Aug. 23.
To help in limiting the crowd size to facilitate social distancing and safety at events, the Frontier League will be limiting volleyball, soccer and football players, as well as cheerleaders on the roster to perform, to four tickets per person. Those tickets will be good for home and away games in the Frontier League. Coaches will receive two tickets.
Dance team and band members will receive four tickets for home games only.
The availability and number of tickets could be less per county health department guidelines and facility space.
Any non-roster players for that night’s game will not be allowed to have spectators enter the stadium.
League passes are being issued for administrators and school board members.
Member schools in the Frontier League are Baldwin, Bonner Springs, Eudora, Louisburg, Ottawa, Paola, Piper, Spring Hill and Tonganoxie.
Athletic directors will work with coaches if the availability of tickets for a contest is reduced.
Administrators are looking at expanding outside seating in grassy areas to accommodate more people.
Live streaming will be done for as many home events as possible so fans who do not have a ticket can follow the action online.
Pass lists will be created for credentialed media and event workers and other essential personnel to enter without tickets or admission, but these individuals will not be allowed guests.
Appropriate face coverings will be required for all those attending indoor events.
Social distancing will also be required from those who do not reside in the same household.
Fans at outdoor events will be required to social distance from those who do not reside in the same household. Appropriate face covers will be required to enter the facility, at concessions stands and at restrooms.
While masks are encouraged at all times, fans may remove their face coverings once proper social distancing of six feet from all people not residing in the same household occurs and is maintained.
Many schools are moving the dates of senior nights to ensure seniors are recognized this fall.
Louisburg High School will recognize volleyball senior night Sept. 1, boys soccer senior night Sept. 3 and football, dance, cheer and band on Sept. 4.
Paola High School will hold its senior night for football at its first home game against Bonner Springs on Sept. 4.
Osawatomie will recognizde its senior football players, cross country, band and cheer and dance team Sept. 4. Volleyball senior night will be Sept. 10.
It is a school year that will look a lot different, but it is good to see the student-athletes have a chance to compete, Paola Athletic Director Darin Gagnebin said.
“Practices will require all participants to be in masks unless involved in rigorous drills and scrimmages,” Gagnebin said.
“Screenings will be done daily prior to practice for all participants. Locker rooms and all used equipment will be sanitized after every practice and game,” he said.
Each sport has specific guidelines as part of a fluid document in place at Louisburg Middle School and High School, said Louisburg Athletic Director Michael Pickman.
“Every activity has its own specific guidelines for game day, because each sport is different,” Pickman said.
Schools are trying to make the environment for practices and games as safe as possible, Osawatomie Athletic Director Wade Welch said.
“Some of the universal practices that we are implementing are requiring students to have their own water bottles, coaches will wear masks while coaching, symptom checks prior to practice or competition, limiting the sharing of equipment and cleaning when necessary, and assigning groups for practice to limit mixing as much as possible,” Welch said.
Concessions workers will be required to wear masks and gloves. Only prepackaged food and beverages will be allowed.
The Pioneer League is also working on guidelines and policies for the fall sports season.
Osawatomie and Prairie View, members of the Pioneer League, have been following guidelines and recommendations from the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
The Pioneer League is proposing a limit of four tickets per player on the roster, but has not formally adopted the policy.
Masks must be worn by fans at indoor events. Fans at outdoor events must wear masks to enter the facility as well as restrooms and concession stands.
The Pioneer League believes facilities at league schools can handle enough fans with proper social distancing without limiting the number of fans who can attend.
Osawatomie and Praire View have several games against Bishop Ward which could be impacted by local health guidelines.