Keweenaw area schools announce spectator policies for fall sports

Games, matches contingent on governor’s approval; no timetable for decision

Houghton's Raven Johnson (5) and Rachael Hall (13) defend a hit by Hancock's D'Andra Kero (8) on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Hancock, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Fall high school sports are approaching, but in front of limited spectators.

Executive orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer limit spectators at high school sporting events to 25 percent of a gymnasium’s capacity, or 250 people, whichever is smaller. The limited capacity includes players, officials, game staff, administration, media and fans.

“In order to comply, only parents and guardians of athletes will be allowed to attend these sporting events,” said Calumet High School athletic director Sean Jacques. “Vouchers will be issued to parents on a game by game basis, and this voucher must be presented in order to purchase a ticket for admission.”

Following MHSAA rules, spectators must wear a mask and practice social distancing while attending athletic events.

Jacques said the press release was sent on behalf of Calumet, Baraga, Chassell, Dollar Bay, Hancock, Houghton, Jeffers, Lake Linden-Hubbell, L’Anse and Stanton.

“Many local school districts have live streaming capabilities through the NFHS Network, or other platform,” the release said. “Contact your local school for more information about streaming of athletic events.”

While area schools have schedules in place for the cross country, volleyball, soccer and swimming and diving — the sports allowed under virus restrictions — the policy is contingent on whether competition is actually allowed by Gov. Whitmer.

Michigan High School Athletic Association director Mark Uyl told the Associated Press on Monday that the decision for volleyball, swimming and diving and soccer competition rests solely with Gov. Whitmer.

“We’ve heard for two weeks that more guidance is coming. Everybody is kind of on pins and needles about what’s going to happen,” he told The Associated Press.

The MHSAA postponed football on Aug. 14 until the spring.

Uyl added he’s hopeful Whitmer will release more guidelines this week because after Labor Day, he said, the MHSAA will have to “look seriously” at postponing all fall sports because further delays would interfere with winter and spring sports.


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