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Spectators at St. Louis area track meets
Joined: Sep 2015
Good morning. I have a question for St. Louis area coaches. My understanding is that STL County schools decided that there would be no spectators at area track meets. There is no corresponding guidance that would prevent spectators from the County Health Department, and most other outdoor sports appear to allow 2-4 spectators per participant. By the end of winter season, many indoor sports also allowed small numbers of spectators. I wanted to see if there is any chance that this policy will be changed. I am sure all parents would like to have some opportunity to see kids compete. Those of us who have seniors are even more hopeful given the circumstances. I hope that this policy can be reviewed and changed to be more consistent with the policies for other spring sports that typically allow for a limited number of spectators with appropriate distancing, masks, and health self certification. Thank you for any consideration.
Joined: Sep 2017
Especially since all the county meets are so small! Holt had 20+ teams this past weekend with plenty of room to space out.
Joined: Sep 2013
While I can't necessarily speak for St Louis Count, in Cass County we are lucky to have no official maximum limitations, only "recommendations" at this time. However, several other counties in the KC Metro still have limitations. These limitations are not geared towards fans, but maximum numbers of people that can be in the venue at any given time. Therefore, track is quite different than sports such as basketball or baseball. Baseball will only have 40 players and coaches in the venue, which then allows for more spectators. Track meets can have upwards of 400-1000 participants, which is causing issues for spectators at those types of venues. This is not meant to start a debate on what should or should not be allowed at track meets, just offering a perspective on limitations for frustrated parents. And, I've been there myself. I did not get to watch any of my son's indoor races this winter (MIAA had a very strict spectator policy) but have luckily been able to watch him at an outdoor meet this spring. On a side note, we (track and field) also seem to be the only sport that is actually following the guidelines. At every track meet we've gone to, athletes, coaches, and spectators are doing great jobs of following the "rules" for distancing and masks. However, it seems like no one wears masks at baseball and soccer games. Not meant to start any sort of debate on the "rules" just a simple observation on this as well :)
Joined: Sep 2007
Someone told Saturday at the Holt meet in Wentzville (St. Charles County) that the St. Louis Public High School Suburban Conference, which makes up all of the public schools in the St. Louis county and a few in Jefferson County and Franklin county, submitted their plan to the St. Louis County Health Dept. to hold track meets without spectators. I haven't heard when that plan was submitted, but you can imagine the heart-break and frustration that family and friends feel not being able to watch the meets in person. No spectators may have seemed like a smart bet months ago to get the county's approval, but with more and more people receiving the vaccine and Covid numbers dropping, It sure seems like you could hold a meet with some spectators. Obviously if you did but had limitations, some wouldn't make it through the gate and feel left out. Though during a pandemic, I would hope that most of us wouldn't throw a fit if others got in and we were left out, but thankful that not everyone was robbed of seeing their child/loved one compete. I know a family that has three kids on a team, including a senior, it's pretty devastating to only be able to watch one or two of the team's meets when they happen to be in another county. I can't believe the AD's at these schools and the conference leadership don't submit a new plan to allow even a limited number of spectators. No, I don't know how long and tedious the process is, but I'm sure there are plenty of readers that can give us some more info on this topic. Yes, Track and Field competitions have more competitors than any other sport, but being outdoors, you can make it happen safely. Smaller meets with fewer teams, masks, social distancing, etc. I know administrators and coaching staffs have a lot more on their plates with Covid protocols, but goodness... This is the same conference (and likely not the only schools/conferences) that I believe had to postpone the first week or two of Fall sports practices because they didn't believe MSHSAA would allow schools to compete if they were holding class virtually, and didn't have plans and protocols submitted for approval in August, putting the schools behind most of the rest of the state. The population density and high Covid cases obviously warrants greater care and protocols, but this situation with where things stand now, seems like it deserves to be re-addressed and another plan be formed to allow some loved ones into to watch. There are lots of great administrators and coaches in the conference and I hope some step up and make an effort and overcome the obstacles and red tape to make this happen.
Joined: Sep 2017
Watching 15,000 plus at Busch right now! Yes track has more athletes, but only a few participate at a time and teams space out around a whole facility.
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