MHSAA allowing more fans at indoor, outdoor sporting events

Game on: Should Michigan high schools add esports?
Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:12:06-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive order to allow more fans at sporting events. The order goes into effect on Friday, Oct. 9. In response to this move, the Michigan High School Athletic Association is allowing larger crowds at games, under certain guidelines.

The updated MHSAA spectator rules are allowed for indoor and outdoor games in all regions of the state, a release states.

Social distancing is still required and must be followed at all times, and there is no change to the state's mandated state coverings for fans.

For "fixed" indoor sporting events like inside a gym or pool, 20% seating capacity is allowed for up to 500 spectators, with 25% allowed in regions 6 and 8. For "fixed" outdoor events that have stadiums, such as football or soccer, 30% of seating capacity is allowed for up to 1,000 spectators.

For outdoor events without stadium seating, like cross country or golf, there must be no more than 30 fans per 1,000-square-feet of the facility, up to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, a release states.

Read the full list of guidelines below:

1. The effective date of this new guidance under EO 183 is Friday, October 9.

2. Social distancing MUST be followed at all times for everyone except athletes involved in active participation during the contest. There is no change to the face covering requirements
under EO 153 (for all non-athletes) and EO 180 (for all athletes).

3. If an indoor event is in a fixed indoor seating venue (gymnasium or pool), 20% of seating
capacity is allowed for up to 500 spectators (25% in Regions 6 and 8). If your gymnasium
seats 2,500 or more, you would be able to sell 500 spectator tickets. If your gymnasium
seats less than 2,500, take 20% (or 25% in Regions 6 and 8) of your maximum capacity to
determine the number of allowed spectators.

4. If an outdoor event is in a fixed outdoor seating venue (football or soccer stadium), 30% of
seating capacity is allowed for up to 1,000 spectators. If your stadium seats 3,333 or more,
you would be able to sell 1,000 spectator tickets. If your stadium seats less than 3,333, take
30% of your maximum seating capacity to determine the number of allowed spectators.

5. If an outdoor event is NOT in a fixed outdoor seating venue (cross country, golf, soccer field
with no permanent/fixed seating), a site must maintain no more than 30 spectators per 1,000
square feet of the facility, up to a maximum of 1,000 spectators. We realize this will be challenging to enforce in cross country and golf in particular given the massive expanse of many
cross country and golf courses. In these cases, use every opportunity possible to announce
and remind all involved to keep social distancing at all times.

6. When spectator tickets are sold in advance, the availability of those tickets must be divided
on a 50-50 basis between the home and visiting school. If remaining tickets are sold at the
gate, they may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If tickets are not sold in advance, spectators are admitted on a first-come first-serve basis. All persons admitted with a
school, league or conference pass for regular season contests must be included in the spectator limits.

7. This new order eliminates the need for the MHSAA definition of “participant” as attendance
is no longer connected to the number of participants. Local schools can now determine participant groups to be included with regular season contests such as players, cheerleaders,
dance teams, pompon squads and bands.

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