MCPS Athletics Provides Update; Will Start Allowing Spectators at 25% Capacity This Saturday

by MCS Staff
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MCPS Athletics has sent a letter to the community include welcoming back spectators at 25% capacity starting on 1/29, and updates on overnight travel as well as an updated Return to RAISE Plan.

The full letter can be seen below:

“Dear MCPS Community:

Thank you for your continued support of MCPS Athletics, as we navigate the ever-changing challenges and dynamics of COVID-19. Here are some important program updates and reminders:

Welcome Back Spectators at 25% Capacity

Beginning Saturday, January 29, the number of ticketed spectators at contests in MCPS facilities will be limited to 25% of facility capacity. While capacity restrictions are in place, please note the following:

  • ●  Tickets will be made available through GoFan digital ticketing at 12:00 noon on game day. For games with anticipated larger crowds, tickets will be available to families of participating student- athletes first through a presale (time communicated between the participating schools). A maximum of two tickets per transaction will be allowed.
  • ●  MCPS and MPSSAA passes, season tickets, and MCPS staff admission will be honored.
  • ●  Spectators and school operations will align with the Winter 2021–22 Spectator and Game-Day

    Guidelines.

  • ●  For non-MCPS facilities, operations will comply with the procedures and protocols of the host facility and/or jurisdiction.
  • ●  For swimming and diving meets, attendance will be limited to one spectator per student-athlete, if facilities allow.
  • ●  Gymnasium events will continue to be streamed through the NFHS Network.
  • ●  There are no capacity limitations for outdoor competitions.

    Media will be allowed at contests per the following guidelines:

  • ●  Media must confirm their attendance with the MCPS Public Information Office and host school athletics specialist prior to the contest. Approval from the school principal must be secured during this process. A 24-hour notice is requested.
  • ●  School media (newspaper/yearbook) may attend contests, per the approved procedures of the MCPS extracurricular activities program, along with the approval of the sponsor and athletics specialist.
  • ●  Schools will designate a viewing location for media that ensures appropriate social distance at all times and does not interfere with the operations of the contest.
  • ●  Media must wear masks at all times and maintain social distance protocols.
  • ●  Post-game interviews will occur in a designated location and with the approval of the athletics specialist or game administrator onsite. A minimum of six feet of social distance must be maintained at all times, with masks being worn.

Overnight Travel

All overnight travel is cancelled through February 17. Updates will be provided when confirmed.

Team Pause Guidelines

To align with the latest guidance, if a team reaches the number of positive cases indicated below in the previous 10 days, team activities may need to pause. A decision on the status of team operations would be determined by an individual analysis of the positive cases in regard to team operations, which would be conducted in collaboration with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

  • ●  For team rosters <25, if a team has three or more active positive COVID-19 cases of student- athletes in the previous 10 days, team activities may be paused for 10 days. The 10-day pause begins from the last exposure (team activity, practice or contest).
  • ●  For team rosters 25 or greater, if a team has five or more active positive COVID-19 cases of student- athletes in the previous 10 days, team activities may be paused for 10 days. The 10-day pause begins from the last exposure (team activity – practice or contest).
  • ●  Boys/girls and JV/varsity in the same sport continue to be treated as separate teams when calculating the number of positive cases in student-athletes.

    Return-to-Play Form

    A student who has tested positive for COVID-19 must complete and submit the Return to Play Clearance Form: COVID-19 Infection Medical Clearance prior to returning to competition. Students who test positive and are symptomatic must complete the entire form. It is recommended that asymptomatic students also complete the entire form; however, only the parent/legal custodian consent section is required prior to return.

    Spring Registration

    Registration for high spring sports and out-of-season conditioning is open through ParentVue! The first day of the spring sports season is Tuesday, March 1. Only students who have completed the registration process, which includes submitting verification of vaccination or medical exemption, and meet all other eligibility requirements, will be eligible to tryout and participate.

    Winter Postseason

    The winter postseason begins on Saturday, January 29 with the bocce division tournaments! More detailed information regarding postseason events can be found on the MCPS and MPSSAA websites. Updates will be provided on an ongoing basis.

    NFHS Network

    Contests in stadiums and main gymnasiums will continue to be broadcast live on the NFHS Network. Parents and fans can subscribe to the network and have access to all games for a monthly subscription of $10.99/month (or yearly pass for $69.99/year). All games are free after 72 hours. Information regarding programming is provided by local schools.

    Middle School Athletics

    Middle school basketball schedules are available here. Any potential rescheduling of middle school contests impacted by COVID-19 will continue to be coordinated through league coordinators and the Athletics Unit.

    Registration for middle spring sports (boys’ and girls’ soccer) will open through ParentVue on Monday, February 7, 2022. The first day of the spring sports season is Tuesday, March 8. Only students who have completed the registration process, which includes submitting verification of vaccination or medical exemption, and meet all other eligibility requirements, will be eligible to tryout and participate.

The Return to R.A.I.S.E. Plan will continue to drive program operations in regard to COVID-19 procedures and protocols. The plan is reviewed on an ongoing basis by the COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics. The latest version is always available on the COVID-19 Athletics Information webpage.

Communication and Resources

Our COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics will continue to evaluate and implement the latest safety measures. Updates and guidance from the Task Force will continue to be provided and are available on the COVID-19 Athletics Information webpage. Specific questions should be directed to your school’s athletics specialist (AD), athletic coordinator (AC), or coach.

We appreciate your continued commitment and support of our student-athletes and MCPS Athletics! Montgomery County Public Schools”

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