After a semester of strict guidelines, restrictions are remaining for sports crowds for the upcoming summer and fall. Even with the new COVID-19 restrictions for vaccinated people, no adjustments by the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) have been made.
The February update brought improvements to the previous guidelines. The update allowed presence of 25% stadium capacity and 25 members of staff, including players, when traveling. New guidelines have still not been issued for the upcoming academic year.
Sandra Warner, the executive director mission continuing/risk management, confirmed that no updates were made to the current protocols by the KJCCC at the current time, but that the official documents with the guidelines will be updated.
Randy Weber, executive vice president of Student Success and College Strategy, explained that the protocols will stay the same for the rest of the Spring semester since all remaining sports are outdoors, but for the upcoming semester, the college will evaluate the regulations.
“We will continue with the current allowances through spring 2021 seasons,” Weber said. “We will evaluate [the protocols] for next academic year throughout the summer. All remaining competitions this spring [softball, baseball, and men’s & women’s soccer] are outdoor sports.”
The current policy for fan attendance at sports games is very simple. Randy Stange, athletic director, explained how these guidelines have been placed as a “pass list”. This list contains two people per student athlete that can see the game from the stands with a social distance between each group of people.
“Our policy has been that we would allow “pass list” guests in,” Stange said. “If you are on the pass list, when you come to the game you will need to show some form of ID. We would take your temperature and then you would be allowed in. Each team has its own pass list made by the people within it. Two people are allowed by player.”
Stange reinforced that the pass list from each game were kept, so if any issues happened, the college would be able to contact trace those around the person that was diagnosed with COVID-19. He made sure to reinforce the crowds were very small and that visiting fans were not allowed as well.
“We would monitor those people,” Stange said. “We kept past lists from every game. So, if there was an issue where somebody came in that had COVID-19. In some way, I have records of everybody that attended the game. It is really limited because we are talking about very small crowds. We have not let visiting fans in to indoor and outdoor events.”
For Weber, the biggest challenge that COVID-19 brought to the athletics department was the health of student athletes in game and practices while also dealing with scheduling multiple competitions at once.
“The biggest challenge COVID-19 presented last spring was the realization for our student athletes that they would no longer be able to compete and finish their spring 2020 seasons,” Weber said. “During this academic year, the greatest challenges have included: keeping athletes healthy, scheduling multiple competitions within a compressed schedule, and ensuring a safe environment for practice and games to occur.”
For more information about the Athletics department, go to the Johnson County Community College Athletics website.
By Matheus Camossa