Schools in the Summit Athletic Conference will not allow any fans at fall sports through the end of August.
This goes for all fall sports at home events for schools in Southwest Allen, Northwest Allen, and Fort Wayne Community Schools, as well as Bishop Dwenger, Bishop Luers, and Concordia.
Beginning Sept. 1, if large group gatherings are allowed, each school will get a ticket allowance, with a maximum of four parents or guardians only allowed to attend.
These rules are for all events involving only two schools.
Carroll High School Athletic Director Dan Ginder says that they expect some will be unhappy with the changes, but that it was more important to get students back on the field.
“It’s been awful hard to open school and keeping it open is going to be even harder and this is one of those things that we think can help with that transition into our new normal,” said Ginder. “This is one of those things that we think is just good for kids’ health. Mental health, social health, emotional health, all those things combined to make the whole kid.”
On September 14, the conference will reassess the situation and decide how to move forward but they hope to see a start and official end to the fall season, something that sports in this past spring did not get.
“Our spring sports were completely lost,” said Ginder. “They lost everything so at this point, let’s celebrate the fact that we get to compete.”
The announcement came the same day the IHSAA released its COVID-19 resource guide for schools. The document offers sport-specific safety guidelines.
Among the regulations: anyone not actively participating in the event should wear a mask, and schools can sell concessions but pre-packaged items are suggested.
The guide allows host schools to determine their own attendance policies, but bleacher capacity will be limited to 50 percent and cannot exceed more than 250 people per set of bleachers.
Schools also must limit areas where people might congregate, the IHSAA said.