The Suburban Council is finalizing a multi-detailed plan that will allow a limited number of spectators to attend its fall sports competitions in the coronavirus environment.
Albany High School is the lone league member that will not allow fans to see its student-athletes play, and no fans will be permitted at league swimming and diving meets, according to its administrators.
The league’s schools will also have teams competing in cross country, golf, tennis, field hockey and soccer this fall.
“We are still putting some stuff together, but I think it’s a solid plan,” Guilderland athletic director Dave Austin said.
The league will be following the New York State Department of Health and New York State Public High School Athletic Association mandate that allows only two spectators per participant at each event. Those participants will be given two badges with lanyards to forward to those who are going to attend a competition.
“When we hand out uniforms, the kids will get two passes,” Austin said. “You show up wearing the pass and that’s your ticket to get in.”
The badges can be interchanged, and those attending will be asked to stay socially distant.
“The first game it might be mom and dad,” Schenectady athletic director Steve Boynton said. “The next game it might be mom and grandma.”
Part of crowd control will be an individual or individuals scanning the spectators, and if no badge is visible, that individual will be approached.
“We are trying to keep it down to a reasonable number,” Boynton said.
Spectators should expect to have their temperature checked upon entrance, and to fill out a contact tracing form that includes name, phone number and a brief questionnaire. Spectators will have to wear a mask when entering and walking the athletic grounds. Austin said it has yet to be determined if spectators will have to continue wearing their masks when situated.
“We’ve all got to pull together,” Austin said. “Fall sports will be in the spotlight. We could set the table for the winter, Fall Season II [which begins March 1] and spring seasons.”
The fall season in New York starts Monday, and teams can begin competing after a required number of practices.
Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] oe @jim_schiltz on Twitter.