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Archive for the ‘coronavirus updates’ Category

Willie Smith is watching to make sure you follow all guidelines. Don’t make him come down there. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

No concessions. Limited seating. Masks for all spectators.

As Coupeville High School moves from spring sports to fall sports during the Age of Coronavirus, there will be some fairly strict guidelines for fans attending volleyball, football, or soccer contests.

The ability to follow these rules will dictate whether events remain open to fans.

 

Volleyball at CHS and CMS gyms:

Varsity matches will be played in the CHS gym, JV matches in the CMS gym.

JV spectators must exit through the side doors of the gym, and not back through the main lobby, and must leave the facilities after the match.

Due to limited seating, JV spectators are NOT allowed to also attend the varsity match.

An exception will be made only for parents whose daughters play for both JV and varsity.

“With the regulations in place for six feet of distance between fans/groups, it severely limits the number of spectators allowed in our gyms,” said CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith.

“This is why we have to limit spectator numbers and not allow those fans that watch the JV match to be able to watch the varsity matches.

“It is simply a matter of numbers and seats, and we just don’t have the size to accommodate everyone we’d like to.”

Spectators for varsity matches should enter through the main lobby 20-30 minutes prior to start time, and go directly to the CHS gym.

Senior parents and families will be given first choice of bleacher seats behind the benches in the CHS gym.

Family groups (one household) are allowed to sit together, but must maintain six-foot distance from other spectators/groups.

Blue tape on the bleachers in both gyms will be used to maintain six-foot distances between spectators.

Cones on the bleachers indicate areas where spectators are not allowed to sit.

The “crow’s nest” in the CHS gym is limited to two individuals and is reserved for home and visiting camera operators only.

Bathrooms will be open, but no food is allowed in the facility, and concessions will remain closed.

Masks have to be worn at all times.

 

Football and soccer @ CHS Stadium:

Same as the gym – bathrooms open, no food allowed in, no concessions, and masks are mandatory.

Red tape will be used to divide the bleachers into six-foot sections, with red X’s marking rows where people can not sit.

Spectators are allowed to sit in groups of 10-15 (no more than two households together) but must still maintain six foot distance from other spectators.

Fans can spread out along the outside of the track, but are NOT allowed on the track.

Teams will remain on the field at halftime, with no gym or shed access.

The press box is limited to a maximum of three people — the announcer, the clock operator, and one media person.

Which means, you try and take my seat in there, you probably get tasered.

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Attendance at high school sporting events can double in size, from 200 to 400, as of March 18. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A full return to high school sports competition in Washington state took a new, positive turn Thursday afternoon.

In a press conference, Governor Jay Inslee announced his Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery plan will transition back to a county-by-county evaluation process Monday, March 22.

Island County will no longer be lumped into a region, and will stand on its own. Also, smaller counties will be held to different numbers than larger counties.

Under the plan, all counties will move into a new Phase 3, which allows for increased fans at outdoor and indoor sports events.

Currently, the cap is 200, and many leagues have opted not to allow fans for any sports.

The Northwest 2B/1B League, which includes Coupeville, currently allows home fans at baseball, girls tennis, and softball competitions.

Road fans are barred, and no fans at all are allowed at track meets.

As of Mar. 18, the limit jumps to 400 individuals at “outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%” and “indoor facilities — so long as 400 people does not exceed 50% capacity for the location.”

Physical distancing and masking protocols will still be enforced.

Five of Coupeville’s six scheduled track meets, including a home event April 3, fall after the increase from 200 to 400 fans.

NWL Athletic Directors have not yet commented on how the change will affect the status of road fans, or whether fans will be allowed to attend track meets.

While many leagues opted to open with traditional fall sports, the NWL chose a spring-fall-winter format for this pandemic-afflicted school year.

That should prove to be a financial boon for the league.

By holding off on football, the leading money maker, until season two, the NWL will benefit from increased crowd capacity, something which has dinged most schools currently playing on the gridiron.

The transition also makes it much more likely winter sports, considered the “highest risk” by the State Department of Health, will play during the planned season of May 3 to June 12.

“The sports guidance applies to a safe and healthy expansion of youth sports,” Inslee said on his official Twitter account. “High-contact sports like basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading will be allowed to have competitions again.”

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With the pandemic restricting live access for fans, you can see Coupeville High School athletes like Hayley Fiedler online. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a tricky dance.

After a year-plus absence, high school sports are back.

But to keep them back, people will have to follow guidelines set down by the Washington State Health Department.

While there have been cases of mask scofflaws gettin’ up to no good in places like Mossyrock, which caused Naselle to cancel a road trip there, the early results from Coupeville have been positive.

Having made it through the first home contests for Wolf softball, track, girls tennis, and baseball, CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith is in a good mood.

A cautious one, but a good one.

He released the following statement Wednesday:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our players, coaches, and fans that have been at our events for their support in following our safety guidelines and rules and ask for your continued support as we move forward.

As we prepare to begin traveling to games, this is just a reminder that our league guidelines prohibit any away fans attending.

With that in mind, our league Athletic Directors are working very hard to provide streaming platforms for those games which will allow our fans to watch those games.

During this time and under our current situation, it is not about politics, opinions, or taking a stand.

It IS about giving our kids the opportunity to be safe and continue to play now and through the remainder of the season(s).

Once again, thank you to all that have attended and continue to follow the guidelines and policies in support of all of our athletes and coaches.

 

To watch road contests (or CHS home games), try the links below.

Friday Harbor and La Conner broadcast for free, while Darrington and Coupeville charge $4 a contest.

 

Friday Harbor:

One link is for baseball, one for softball, but the Friday Harbor IT department hasn’t determined which is which yet, so you’ll need to check both.

Friday Harbor Tiny Radio | Facebook

Friday Harbor Tiny TV – YouTube

 

La Conner:

La Conner Athletics Alpha Channel – YouTube

 

Darrington:

Justgame Web Services (justagamelive.com)

 

Coupeville:

Justgame Web Services (justagamelive.com)

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Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King

Things are chugging along on schedule.

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King announced Wednesday that the district plans to bring back its high school students to a hybrid in-person learning model beginning Monday, March 15.

That decision covers grade 9-12 and will give all Coupeville students a chance to resume some form of education back inside school buildings.

CHS students follow on the heels of kindergarteners and special needs students, who returned in mid-January.

The Coupeville Elementary School followed in February, and middle school students begin March 8.

Parents are allowed to choose that their students remain in online schooling this school year, however, and it’s been reported that 30% of CMS students will go that route.

Under the hybrid plan, which was approved 4-1 by the Coupeville School Board, middle and high school students, who share a campus, will have distance learning from 8-10:30 AM.

Two days a week, half of each school’s student body will attend the school from 11:30-2, where they will remain in the same classroom with the same teacher.

Decisions to resume in-person schooling have come after frequent consultation with the Island County Public Health Department.

As students return, work continues, King said in his statement.

The district is waiting for guidance from state officials before planning the 2021 CHS graduation.

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Catherine Lhamon and fellow track stars return to action – but with less fans than seen here in 2019. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One week from today, Coupeville High School sports returns from a year-plus layoff.

When the Wolves host a five-team track meet Thursday, March 4, it will be the first time a CHS squad has squared off with a rival in any sport since Feb. 11, 2020.

As everyone adjusts to a new reality and continues to work through an ongoing pandemic, school officials released a statement reflecting the challenges and their optimism.

 

It is with great pleasure and optimism that we are writing to you today to talk about athletics starting back up for our high school students.

It has been a long journey and one that we are most likely not through with yet, but at least we have some positive progress to getting back to some normalcy.

The reason for this letter is twofold: one, to explain how Coupeville and its new league, the Northwest 1B/2B League, will move forward with this season and two, to appeal to you, our community, in supporting those decisions that the league and our district has had to make in order for this season to occur in a safe manner.

First and foremost, our league’s focal point was safely getting the kids back on the playing field; it was not about creating opportunities for league, district, or state championships.

While all of us are competitive in nature and we want those opportunities for our students and schools, this year was more about participation.

So it was in that vein that we created shortened seasons which offered game opportunities, and yes, the possibility of a league championship, but more importantly gave our kids a chance to play.

This year is not going to be the same as every other year: officials are struggling with membership, all of our current plans are still very tentative, and it is very possible that games or seasons may have to be canceled.

All of this is and continues to be driven by COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols that are necessary to control the spread of this virus.

Not everything we will do during our seasons will be popular but it is what our schools and athletic departments are required to follow in order for our kids to have the opportunity to play.

What will all of this mean for families and spectators?

It means that during home events, we are asking that if you are coming to watch that you are healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms, either that day or within 48 hours of your attendance.

For a list of COVID-19 symptoms please see page 2 of this copy of state guidelines — Employervisitorscreeningguidance (1).pdf – Google Drive.

District provided transportation to and from games may be limited due to limitations created by our current in-person school schedules and the limited number of students who can ride on a bus due to social distancing requirements.

This means parents may need to provide transportation to and from some competitions.

No away fans are currently allowed at any athletic event; this is a Northwest 1B/2B League policy.

We will review this policy as each new sports season begins.

This does create the possibility that parents will have to transport their children and not be able to attend competitions.

We require masks to be worn at all times while on our campus or in our facilities; if a mask is not being worn you’ll be asked to leave.

We will ask that you practice social distancing while watching and stay a minimum of six feet apart from anyone who is not part of your household.

Spectators will be limited for athletic events.

We have a limit of 200 total people at all events; this includes teams, coaches, officials, and workers at the events and we will have a process in place that will address how people can attend events such as football, volleyball, and basketball.

For most of our other sports we believe our number of spectators will fall within the given parameters of 200 total people and just ask that you follow the health and safety guidelines as previously mentioned.

The only sport we will not allow any spectators at this year will be our track meets and it is simply a numbers issue.

We will have two home meets this year, March 4 and the Northwest 1B/2B League Meet on April 3; between the athletes, coaching staff and workers needed to run those meets we will easily meet the 200 person limit.

Fortunately for us, and this is true of all events occurring at our track/stadium and our high school gym, we have a streaming system in place and we are already scheduled to stream each one of our events on that system.

You would simply need to go to  High School Sports Online – Stream Live & On Demand (nfhsnetwork.com) and sign up for a subscription in order to view these events.

While this step forward for our athletes is still far from returning to normal, we are excited that it creates an opportunity for our students, especially our senior athletes to play.

So please, as games begin in a week, follow the guidelines, work with us and understand that of all years, this is the year that we put the emphasis on our kids getting to play games for the sake of fun and enjoyment and we are going to work together to ensure that we do this safely.

Thank you,

Willie Smith — CHS/CMS Athletic Director
Geoff Kappes – CHS/CMS Principal
Steve King – Coupeville Schools Superintendent

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