Spectating School Sports 2021

Vivian Renkey, Writer

Like many other school activities in the 2020-2021 school year, fall sports were held back because of COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of being in the fall of 2020, FCPS decided to hold fall sports during the spring of 2021, after winter sports. On its website, FCPS states that “After completing a truncated winter high school athletics season, the fall athletics season is currently underway,” and it will then “be followed by a spring athletics season”.

Despite all high school extracurriculars being granted permission to start in-person activity on February 16th (FCPS), there are still many regulations put in place to guarantee the safety of athletes, coaches, and their family and friends. Spectators at games and matches are an aspect of fall sports that has been restricted. Before COVID-19, GTJHS could sell numerous tickets to anyone who wanted to attend a match.

However, due to COVID-19, it is unsafe to have a large number of spectators in one area. That’s why FCPS has come up with a plan on how family and friends can watch their athlete’s matches, while still remaining safe and healthy.

“FCPS is now allowing every student athlete to have three guests come to the matches,” says Miranda Malagari, coach of GTJHS Girls Soccer. Schools in Frederick have provided an online form to fall athletes allowing them to choose three individuals they want to bring to the match. These three people can be relatives or friends, or anyone else you would like to bring to your games.

The rules surrounding this form are very strict. It has to be filled out and submitted at least four hours before a match, and if more than three people are filled out under a single athlete’s name, none of that athlete’s guests are allowed to attend.

Despite these strict restrictions with the online form, it allows family and friends of an athlete to come and cheer them on. “I think it is great that families can still watch sports games while staying safe,” says one anonymous student athlete. “Athletes can have their families watch within the three guest limit and not have any sort of exposure, which is important.”

Another option provided for spectators of fall sports is to watch the games through livestreams. Live Streams are when a streamed video is being broadcast on a channel or website in real time. Live streams can focus on almost any topic, including high school sports.

If spectators wish to watch a game, but for whatever reason are unable to attend the match in person, they can go to FCPS.org, and click on the “athletics” link under Quick Links. The logo of each FCPS school is displayed on the website. Whatever school game you wish to watch, you can click on, and it will provide a YouTube link that will take you to the live stream of the game.

Although watching fall sports isn’t as accessible as it once was, an athlete’s family and friends can still find ways to watch the matches in a way that doesn’t put anyone at risk.