Gillespie CUSD 7 announced on Tuesday their policies for athletic events following announcements made by IHSA and IESA that allow various athletic seasons. In a collaborative effort to navigate these unusual times related to athletics, activities, and COVID-19, the South-Central Conference members have developed some general guidelines all schools in the conference will be following.
Guidelines and policies may be changed at any time based on tier mitigations and Illinois Department of Public Health changes.
“Although everyone is thrilled to be able to allow our student-athletes opportunities to play and compete, there are logistical limitations and mitigation measures that all teams and schools will be following,” Superintendent Shane Owsley announced. “Please understand that this seems to change daily in some cases. ”
Currently, winter athletics will have shortened seasons. The limited number of games and available weeks will force some rescheduled games to be canceled due to quarantine or a variety of reasons. Some events may not be rescheduled.
Every attempt to live stream home games will be made on the Gillespie High School Facebook Page. In-person spectators are also welcomed to video/live stream from their seats.
Only home fans with a ticket are allowed to attend in-person activities and the high school will determine the number of tickets distributed to each player and family. Each basketball player will receive two tickets for family members for every home game.
Capacity will be limited to 50 spectators and all guests must wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. Guests must maintain a distance of 30 feet between players, so all guests will be seated in the upper-most row inside the gymnasium. No chanting or yelling will be allowed and no concession stand will be available.
Inside the gymnasium, CUSD 7 is only allowing basketball players to participate excluding cheerleaders, dancers, and band members. However, cheerleaders, dancers, and band members can participate in outdoor seasons like football.
Arriving for events
CUSD 7 will allow home team players and coaches to arrive at the facility 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to begin and players must come dressed for the game. Home team players and coaches must enter through the west gym doors along LJ Avenue.
Visiting players and coaches will also enter the facility 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to begin entering the gym through the breezeway. Visiting players must also come dressed for the game.
Spectators will be allowed to enter the facility 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the event and will also enter through the breezeway doors. All spectators, adults and children, must have a ticket to enter.
Both home and visiting teams will have to certify the health of their respective players and coaching staff. School officials will also conduct temperature checks prior to the games. Anyone that does not meet the health certification requirements will not be allowed to participate in the event.
Leaving the events
When a game has ended, it is advised that spectators exit the facility through the exit doors. Spectators are asked not to gather near the playing area to wait for or meet with student-athletes and instead should wait for student-athletes in their vehicles. If a spectator chooses to wait in the facility for a student-athlete, they should stay in the designated bleacher seat until the student-athlete has been dismissed by the coach and then exit the facility.
“We want our student-athletes to have this opportunity to participate and compete and to allow that, we will follow guidelines as outlined by IDPH,” Owsley concluded. ”We appreciate your help in advance and know that although this is not ideal. Everyone’s focus is on providing our students safe opportunities to participate in activities and athletic events.”