September 9, 2020
Re: Final Athletic Event Spectator Procedures
Dear Manheim Township students, families, staff, and community:
We are excited to welcome the fall athletic season, with opening events starting this week. A significant amount of work has occurred in order for us to effectively operate the athletic and extracurricular programs within the parameters of our PDE Athletic Health and Safety Plan and the Extracurricular Health and Safety Plan. In order to facilitate events in a safe and orderly manner, we are seeking your assistance in helping us provide a safe forum for our student athletes, musicians, and related staff as we open our campuses for activities.
On our website you find Manheim Township’s Athletics Spectator Attendance and Procedure guidelines. In planning for these events, and in an effort to be consistent with all athletic venues across Lancaster and Lebanon Counties, school districts developed procedures in alignment to coincide with the legislative mandates and the guidelines/ recommendations from the PIAA and the Lancaster Lebanon League. This information below reflects the current status of the Governor’s order dated September 2, 2020. Also, please know that these orders can change at any time. MT student athletes will receive more specific information from their coaches/advisors.
The following guidelines are established with regard to what parents/spectators may experience during their student-athlete’s contest during the Fall sports season:
- At this time, there is a 25-person limit to all indoor events. As such, Girls Volleyball is the only indoor competition to be held. Unfortunately, due to the number of participants, coaches, referees, game officials and lines-persons, the 25-person limit is met WITHOUT the ability for spectators to attend. As such, neither home nor visiting spectators will be permitted.
- At this time, outdoor events are limited to 250 people. With the exception of football, the other Fall sports can occur without much interruption. The athletic directors of both teams will ensure that collectively the number of participants, coaches, referees, game officials and spectators does not exceed the 250-person limit. This applies to events held within and outside of the gated fields/stadium.
- Football, by the very nature of the number of participants (players, coaches, referees, band members, cheerleaders, and game officials) will require limitations on spectators. Visiting spectators will NOT be permitted at any local football game. Smaller local school districts will be determining protocol for allowing home spectators to attend their home football contests (to include parents, staff, photographers, press/media, etc.). At Manheim Township School District, due to our participation size, we are unable to accommodate spectators at this time.
- Everyone attending the sporting event, including coaches, officials, athletes on the sidelines, staff, and spectators, age 2 and older must wear face coverings unless they are outdoors and can consistently maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet. However, attendance at any event is subject to appropriate behavior and adherence to our health and safety plans. Anyone who refuses to adhere to our guidelines will be asked to leave. We greatly appreciate your cooperation.
- Due to heavy restrictions on food service, there will be no concessions at this time.
- Lancaster County and Lebanon County athletic directors are working to ensure that varsity football and girls volleyball events will be live streamed to the general public.
PLEASE NOTE: Other school districts may have other rules in place. Please be sure you understand the rules at other school district’s events should you choose to be a spectator at an away event when permitted.
Understanding that our playing areas are oftentimes part of, or adjacent to, public recreational areas, community members may attempt to view events from afar. School districts appreciate the continued support of our student-athletes, and respectfully request that any viewing in public areas (beyond our established perimeters) is done in a safe manner by practicing social distancing. It should also be noted that these peripheral spaces were not designed or intended to host spectators. Those choosing to spectate from these areas accept any relevant risk and commit to all standards and expectations that exist within the typical viewing area for home contests. We encourage our families and community to take advantage of the livestreaming that we will be providing for some of our home athletic contests.
We understand these are trying times for the families of our students and our student-athletes themselves. We are doing our best to work through these issues and orders as they are provided and updated. Our goal is to follow through on the guidance we are presented, while remaining flexible when changes occur. As soon as new information is available, we will update you immediately. Please contact the Athletic Office at 717-560-3098 with any questions.
Director of Athletics