Ches-Mont hopes Gov.’s new ‘fan’ guidelines bring more students into fold (and a few fans)

Leaders of schools in the Ches-Mont League met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the new guidelines issued Tuesday morning by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on spectators at sporting events, according to Unionville High School Athletic Director Patrick Crater.

Gov. Wolf’s new guidelines for capacity at outdoor events.

In the meeting, Ches-Mont officials decided the new guidelines would be largely used to allow more students to “be part of the Friday night experience,” while also allowing parents and guardians to see their kids play.

Student-athletes at all Ches-Mont schools who play football, soccer, field hockey or volleyball will receive two passes to give to family members only, Crater said. The passes will admit those family members to games involving that student-athlete. So a student can invite his parents to one game and his mom and grandmother to another game.

No members of the general public will be admitted to games.

The new plan gives much more leeway to teams to decide who can dress and who can stand on the sideline. The old plan was for 60 people to be allowed on each football sideline, which for most teams would mean about 45 players and 15 staff members.

Now, teams can use their own discretion on who can dress for games, which should allow more down-roster players and junior varsity players to take part. 

“It gives us a path forward to open the doors a little more,” Crater said. “Originally were were only going to have 45 football players on the sidelines for a game. Now we hope maybe more of our players can be part of the Friday night experience, as well as students in the band, cheerleaders, and others who  are usually part of a ‘normal’ Friday night.”

Gov. Wolf’s new guidelines for capacity at sporting events indoors.

While football is obviously the sport where fans are most interested in attending, Crater said this opens the door a bit for a sport like volleyball, the lone indoor fall sport. In volleyball, schools were going to have to force some actual players in the game to sit in a different room or in a hallway, which will not be necessary now.

“No matter what happens, masking and social distancing will remain the most important things, and staying home when you’re sick,” Crater said. “We’re happy to possibly open up this circle a little bit, but the most important thing is always the safety of our students.”

All teams are planning to stream video of their games on the internet. Those links will be shared on Pa. Prep Live as soon as they are made available. 

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