UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Distanced and at-home learning, little to zero socializing with friends and no sports, just a few of the effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While school districts across the state have outlined plans and guidelines for the upcoming school year in regards to heading back into the classroom, social distancing during sporting events may not be the easiest thing to do.

Many schools around the country are weighing the risks of proceeding with extracurricular or postponing them, most school districts will move forward with the 2020-2021 football season beginning on August 13.

During a short football scrimmage game at American Fork High School on Saturday parents and spectators were greeted by signs throughout the entrance to the football field encouraging masks and social distancing from other families while enjoying the game.

The Alpine School District released its Return to Play Spectator protocols. The guidelines state that attendance will be at a 25% capacity, and face coverings are required to attend ASD events, additionally – games may be delayed or suspended for disregard of these protocols.

The rules stated in Alpine School District’s Return to Play are in accordance with state health department guidelines, as school resumes with sponsored athletics and activities.

1) Ticketed Events 

  • School officials will determine the capacity of their home venue seating and may sell 25% of the capacity to spectators. Athletes/Cheer/Band/School Supervision/State Passes do not factor into the 25% unless they are in the bleachers. (4 tickets per athlete, cheerleader, performer, coach is recommended) 
  • School officials will also determine the capacity of their venue’s visitor seating and will work with the visiting school to sell 25% of tickets for visiting spectators.
  • All ticket purchases must be done in advance via an electronic (VNN) touchless system or out of the main office. Same day ticketing will NOT be sold at the gate at the event.
  • A spectator agreement form is required for spectators who must agree to it before an individual can purchase tickets. 

2) Non-Ticketed Events

Gymnasium (volleyball) use will follow the same capacity guidelines as ticketed events. The school may limit capacity by issuing electronic $0 cost tickets or have a plan to limit capacity.  Spectators are required to wear face coverings

All other non-ticketed events including sophomore and JV games, spectators are required to wear face coverings

3)  Spectator Agreement Form

Spectator Agreement Forms will be signed by students and parents before attending extracurricular events. It is expected that fans of visiting schools will have signed an agreement form at their home school for events both home and away. Spectators are required to wear face coverings.

4) Concessions

Cash will not be accepted / Credit Cards are acceptable. Use grab and go style.  Workers required to wear masks and gloves. Maintain signage to keep patrons 6 feet apart in lines.  Make hand sanitizer readily available to customers and employees/disinfect regularly.  

5) Auditorium 

25% Seating capacity (families may sit together after ticketing process has occurred) 

On Monday, it was discovered that a student from Skyridge High School’s sophomore football team had contracted COVID-19 causing the school to cancel sophomore football team activities through August 18. Activities may resume on August 19. This is an effort to abide by Utah County Health Department requirements and keep student-athletes and Skyridge families safe. Families were notified and advised from Alpine School District to have their student quarantine through August 18.

The Alpine School District acknowledges that not everyone who wants to attend an event is going to be able to, so live streaming options will be available. ASD football stadiums and main gyms have been equipped with cameras in conjunction with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Network. The cameras are designed to follow the ball, and broadcasts can include live announcing and local advertisements.

The NFHS Network is a subscription-based service that streams high school events all across the country.

Two plans are available:

$10.99 billed monthly with cancellation anytime, or $69.99 for an annual pass, which breaks down to $5.83 per month. 

Officials from the Canyons, Granite, Jordan, Murray, Salt Lake City, and Provo school districts are planning to follow similar standards in their districts unless or until local conditions require adjustments.

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Tracy Smith
Curtis Booker, joined the ABC4 family in January of 2019 as a Digital Content Producer. In May of 2019, he transitioned into learning the inner workings of becoming a news producer assisting with various shows. Curtis most recently rejoined the Digital team as a multi-media journalist in February of 2020.