Alabama high schools enforcing 20% capacity limit at games per state health officer’s recommendation

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CLANTON, Ala. (WIAT) — Jason Griffin knows it won’t be easy limiting capacity at Chilton County Schools’ basketball games this season, but he also knows it’s in the community’s best interest.

The district superintendent sent out notifications this week to parents that capacity will be limited to 20% for all winter sports. It’s a part of a new set of guidelines the Alabama High School Athletic Association released this week to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We want to do everything we can do to keep our community safe,” Griffin said. “And so if that means limiting capacity at basketball games, then so be it. We have to do what we have to do.”

The school system already was limiting attendance to 50%, so Griffin said they’ll simply scale that back more. Families of each Chilton County Schools athlete and cheerleader will be allowed to purchase two tickets for a game being played at a school in the district. Visiting teams will then have the same opportunity. After that, any remaining tickets will be sold to the public.

“It almost becomes just the parent/guardians and a few handful of fans,” Griffin said. “That’s pretty much going to be it. And so if that’s the case, that’s perfectly fine, too. We’ll have our student-athletes playing, and their loved ones can watch them play, and we’ll continue on until this craziness ends.”

Griffin said he’s happy just to allow the students to compete. Some parents have indicated the same to him.

“I had a parent last night contact me and say, ‘Hey we got the notification that things are going to have to happen as far as capacity, and we just appreciate the fact that our child is being able to play ball,'” Griffin said.

The capacity limit will cost schools money they typically make on athletic events, but Griffin said he’s already spoken with people in the community who are willing to make donations to offset those losses, if necessary.


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