PCPS Athletics Attendance restriction

Per updated guidelines released by Polk County Public Schools on Jan. 27, capacity at indoor events in school gymnasiums will be capped at 25 percent, or approximately 300 spectators.

Polk County Public Schools staff announced Wednesday, Jan. 27, that the school district will limit attendance at athletic events for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year in an effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

“The pandemic continues to pose a very serious health risk,” Dan Talbot, the school district’s senior coordinator of athletics, explained. “At this time, it’s the right call to reduce attendance at our athletics events to help protect our students, staff and spectators.”

Currently, attendance at athletic events is capped at 50 percent. Beginning Feb. 1 and for the remainder of the school year, attendance will be further reduced depending on venue.

Talbot said that schools are already taking steps to ensure family members are able to attend their student-athlete’s games, even under the current 50-percent cap. Schools will continue those efforts under the new capacity protocols.

“We know how important athletics are to our students and their families. Our athletic directors are working incredibly hard to make sure families can attend the games,” Talbot said.

The new capacity protocols are as follows:

  • Capacity at indoor events in school gymnasiums will be capped at 25 percent, or approximately 300 spectators.
  • Capacity at baseball and softball games will also be capped at 25 percent, or approximately 200 spectators.
  • Capacity at track and lacrosse events will be capped at 25 percent. The actual number of spectators allowed will vary depending on the facility.
  • At tennis events that take place at community tennis courts, capacity will be restricted to ensure social distancing. The actual number of spectators allowed will vary depending on the facility.

Each individual school will be responsible for developing procedures to ensure that attendance at their athletic events meets the updated capacity limits.

Face coverings have been mandatory at athletic events since the beginning of the school year — and this remains a requirement.

Per the release, PCPS staff continue to closely monitor the pandemic and constantly evaluate the health and safety procedures in place within its athletic programs.

“As the pandemic and the school year continue, it may be necessary to make further adjustments to our athletic programs,” Talbot said. “The first priority is always health and safety.”