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New protocols for Iowa sports

While Minnesota high school sports have been put on hold until mid-December at the earliest, Iowa high school sports have been allowed to remain in competition with a number of guidelines and protocols in place.

According to a proclamation made by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, high school sports can  remain in season with spectators limited to two per athlete, as well as social distancing and mask rules being followed at all times. Spectators may also only be present during the time their student-athlete or that student-athletes team is competing.

Both Lake Mills and Northwood-Kensett, as members of the Top of Iowa Conference, set forth the same measures for spectators to follow at their home events.

Each student-athlete on each the boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior varsity teams, and the wrestling team will be given two lanyard passes designed by the school. The student-athlete may give those passes to whomever they choose for admission into their games, home or away.  The passes will be marked with the student-athlete’s name, the pass number and the sport and level of sport for which the pass allows entry.

Each student-athlete will be given two passes to give to whomever they choose. Passes may be used for only the event they are marked with. Meaning spectators cannot stay for multiple events without multiple passes. – Lory Groe/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Passes are only good for the sport that student-athlete is participating in. For example, a girls’ varsity pass will only allow entrance to the girls’ varsity game. The passes must be worn at all times and there will be no entrance without a pass.

In order to avoid congestion, spectators are asked to arrive just before the start of the scheduled start time.

General admission will still be $5. According to Lake Mills activities director Jim Boehmer,  the athletic department relies on gate revenue, advertising and fundraisers to finance the budget each year. With many events being canceled over the spring and summer, opportunities to have those events were limited.

“We will still be charging admission into events to help recoup as much of the cost as possible,” Boehmer said. “The athletic department has seen a drastic loss of revenue due to losing our home track meets this spring, the loss of spring and summer fundraising activities by our spring and summer teams, and the loss of the gate revenue at home events this summer.”

Conference passes will be honored, but lanyard passes will still be needed.

Each school will also have designated seating areas for both home and visiting teams.

According to Northwood-Kensett activities director Jordan Reindl, the gym will be cleared after each game or event and spectators without a pass to the following event will be asked to leave.

Boehmer said Lake Mills will have marked seats spaced at least six feet apart for spectators to choose from.

The current proclamation by the governor ends Dec. 11 and will be revisited at that time.

Lake Mills is scheduled to have its first home events Tuesday when the boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior varsity basketball teams host West Hancock.

Northwood-Kensett’s first home event is also slated for Tuesday when the wrestling team hosts Cresco and Tripoli.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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