There's a lot of excitement throughout the entire state as baseball and softball players and coaches prepare for their upcoming seasons. With new COVID-19 pandemic regulations in place, fans also have some preparation to do before attending the first game.
Iowa is the first state in the country to resume high school sports this summer. More accurately, high schools in Iowa will be the first competitive team sports to play at any level nationwide. All eyes will be on our state starting on June 15th as high schools navigate competitive team sports during the COVID pandemic. Schools in Iowa, including Decorah High School, are striving to make this a successful, safe season for everyone by placing COVID related regulations for spectators. The level of success of these mitigation strategies could determine what fall and winter sports will look like, so it's important that everyone does their individual part.
First and foremost, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around someone with the virus in the last 14 days, please do not attend the event. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own food and school-appropriate drinks to the games as concessions stands will be closed and sharing food is discouraged. Fans should also bring along their own hand sanitizer. Bleacher seating will be limited to abide by the physical distancing regulation, and it is recommended for fans to bring their own chairs to spread out around the field. Physical distancing is required with 6 feet of space between each family unit. Spectators not following social distancing and/or behavioral expectations will be asked to leave the contest.
Due to the events being outside, masks will not be required. Restrooms will be open and available. Some schools will be asking for a free will donation and others will not be charging. A suggested donation of $5 per person, however, will help cover school costs.
In a press release statement, Decorah High School Athletic Director Adam Riley says, "Regardless of the requirements, we ask that you remain respectful and compliant when you visit all fields and school facilities for events. The public health officials, school administrators, and coaches who have developed these strategies are doing their best and working hard to create a safe and healthy environment for all. We are fortunate to have an opportunity to play baseball and softball this summer and our fans are fortunate to be able to attend. Let's show the rest of the world this can be done safely and that we can be respectful to our neighboring schools and facilities when visiting. This summer will be unlike any other sports season, and we should be thankful that our student athletes get the opportunity to do something that they truly enjoy."