The Viroqua School Board approved having family members only as spectators at home volleyball and football games at a special meeting Monday night.
The decision was part of the 2020-21 fall sports plan, part of which was approved at a special meeting Aug. 27.
Each volleyball and football player will be allowed to have two family members at the home games, or four if there’s a split family. All spectators must be masked and social distancing is required. Masks will be provided if families don’t have them. If masking and social distancing isn’t followed, games will be closed to spectators.
Athletic Director Eric Anderson presented the volleyball and football plan to school board members. He said to ensure the safety of volleyball spectators and players, family members would watch their athlete’s team play, and leave the gym immediately. Touch points would be sanitized after each game.
He also outlined how home players and the opposing team would enter and exit the gym to eliminate cross traffic, and how family members would enter and exit. Home players’ family members will sit on the west side of the high school gym.
Anderson said there are 40 players on the football team, with 30 suiting up for games. He said with the spectator restrictions, there would be 80 people in the stands.
Anderson said anyone watching a football game from the hill on the football field’s north end, just outside the chain-link fence surrounding Blackhawk Field, would need to be masked and to observe social distancing. He also said children wouldn’t be allowed to play football games or tag, and would be required to sit with their families.
Neither the concession stand nor the bathrooms will be open, Anderson said. He added both the football games and volleyball games will be livestreamed.
Anderson said football players have been wearing the face shields in practice; however, when it rains they can’t see what’s in front of them. He added the shields fog up like eyeglasses when it’s dry, and anti-fog spray has been tried with limited success. He asked if players could remove the top portion of the face shield and wear a cloth mask under the bottom portion when it’s raining.
Board president Angie Lawrence said it was an administration decision and if “players can’t see, they can’t see,” and that she and the board support Anderson’s decision.
Board clerk Robert Nigh said maybe officials will have to stop games in order to allow time for players to put on fresh masks.
“We’ll re-evaluate as we go along,” Anderson said.
In other business, board members approved the resignation of Mattea Rudrud, elementary special education paraprofessional, and Kathy Williams, Better Futures High School program aide, and appointed Joe Willis C-Team volleyball coach, and Karri Yttri, middle school volleyball coach.
Angela Cina can be reached at email@example.com.
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