Spectators are Returning in NJ High School Sports


By Lauren Faltas, Sports Editor

As of February 12th, 2021, Governor Murphy lifts the restriction of no spectators, finally allowing individuals to watch high school sports live. Many athletes and fans are excited that spectators are finally allowed, but there are many restrictions that follow.

Along with Murphy’s restrictions of only allowing 25% capacity in the facilities, Wayne Hills High School has also set safety rules in place. Here are some of Wayne Hills guidelines: There are NO visiting parents allowed. Only home parents may attend. Each home player at each level may be permitted “two primary caregivers” 21 or older in attendance. NO siblings are permitted. Siblings on a team will only get 2 parents/guardians to share. Each individual attending must complete a COVID-19 prescreening for the day of the event. Home spectators will enter the first set of doors and are to sit on the bleachers across from the scorers’ table and bench area at a socially distanced location. All attendees must follow all COVID-19 protocols regarding social distancing and face coverings must be worn at all times. Face covering must cover the nose and mouth.

These regulations in place are to ensure the safety of both players and spectators. While the rules stated above are not all of the rules that the Wayne Hills athletic department has put in place, they are the most important ones.

Sophomore Daniella Miller, a member of the Wayne Hills girls basketball team, expressed her thoughts regarding spectators. “I am excited that my family is finally able to watch me play live instead of through a screen,” Miller adds, “as long as everyone follows the guidelines I think this will work very well.”

While many athletes are excited about the return of spectators, many are not. Spectators are only allowed in the Wayne Hills facilities, which means sports played in outside facilities are still not allowed to have live viewers. Phase 1 and 2 of sports are currently being played right now. Out of all the sports in phases 1 & 2, only basketball and fencing are played at Wayne Hills High School. The following sports are still played through Wayne Hills High School but are required to practice at outside facilities: ice hockey, swimming, and bowling. Athletes of these sports are upset by the fact that their facilities are not allowing spectators. Each outside facility continues to work under specific conditions and is not able to allow spectators at this time.

Also, the sports that take place in outside facilities are not even live-streamed. This leaves families with no possible way to see their children engage in their favorite sports. Hopefully, as Covid cases continue to drop, even more restrictions for fans can be lifted in the future.