What Governor Reynolds’ Proclamation Means For Winter Sports in Iowa, Semifinal and Championship Football

This morning, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced an updated proclamation that will affect high school and youth sports in Iowa. 

The Governor’s latest proclamation starts November 11th at midnight and runs through November 30th, which cuts into the start of the high school sports season. 

In regards to youth and high school sports, the proclamation reads – 

  • “If more than 25 people and indoors, all spectators over 2 years old must wear masks and maintain 6 feet distance from other spectators.”
  • “Only two spectators are permitted for each youth athlete”. 
  • “Athletes of any age can be closer than six feet and are not required to wear masks.”  

Essential dates in regards to the proclamation – 

  • November 20th – First girls’ basketball competition
  • November 23rd – First girls’ and boys’ bowling/boys’ swimming competition
  • November 30th – First boys’ basketball and wrestling competition

The IHSAA released a statement Tuesday night regarding the state football semifinals and finals scheduled to begin Thursday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The IHSAA says that, due to the dome’s size, the semifinals and finals will be considered outdoor events; therefore, the two spectators per youth athlete will not apply. 

“We appreciate the consideration of Governor Reynolds in allowing the University of Northern Iowa and Black Hawk County to develop plans that keep fans socially distant at the UNI-Dome,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “We believe that with the seating plan and our mask mandates in place, we can conduct the state semifinals and finals games safely.”

The IHSAA’s original seating plan will stay as initially planned, “through reserved seating at the UNI-Dome, spectators will be seated in group pods and will be at least six feet away from other groups. Tickets can be purchased in groups of up to six, and prohibited seats will be marked. Spectators, officials, staff, sideline personnel, cheerleaders, media members, and all other non-athletes will be required to wear masks while in the UNI-Dome. Tickets went on sale Saturday exclusively to participating schools. Remaining tickets are to become available for public sale on the day of the games”, said the IHSAA.

Also, Wright County Public Health released a joint with Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics, and the three Wright County public schools: Belmond-Klemme, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, and Eagle Grove.

According to their statement, the following restrictions will be in place, “until further notice”, which is different from the Governor’s proclamation that’s set to expire on November 30th. The following restrictions will be in place at Belmond-Klemme, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, and Eagle Grove. 

 

  1. Only parents are allowed to attend as in-person spectators at athletic competitions. The parents admitted may include step-parents and guardians, as well as the parents of cheerleaders. Exceptions will be made for the very young children in need of supervision by these parents.
  2. By order of Governor Reynolds, each student-athlete will be limited to two parents total. Student-athletes will provide names for a list of parents that will be at the admissions table. Only those parents on the list will be admitted.
  3. Students will not be admitted to athletic contests. This includes the students of visiting schools as well as the students of the home host school. Cheerleaders, and on occasion dance teams, will be permitted. Pep bands will not be in attendance and will not perform.
  4. A six-foot distance must be maintained between non-family groups at all times. This includes cheerleaders and dance, team members.
  5. All visitors who attend the athletic contests must be properly masked at all times.
  6. The consumption of food and drink will not be permitted at home athletic contests. Concessions stands will not be open and operating. Vending machines will be off. No food or drink sales will take place in Wright County host schools during athletic events. No outside food or drink will be permitted in. Attendees at school activities will not be permitted to take off their masks to consume food or drink.

“These restrictions will remain in place—likely throughout the winter sports season—until further notice.” – Joint Statement 

The Governor’s office told KIOW Tuesday evening that these mitigating measures can be extended at any time. 

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