Parents confused over spectator guidelines for school sports

Parents in Portsmouth say they're confused about spectator guidelines for the upcoming Fall II sports season.

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WLNE) – Parents in Portsmouth say they’re confused about spectator guidelines for the upcoming Fall II sports season.

Fall sports like volleyball and football were moved to the spring due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Rhode Island Interscholastic League seems to give the go ahead for socially distanced spectating in their new guidance released this week, but parents say they’ve been told by the Portsmouth athletic director that the ban on spectators for the indoor sports will remain.

“I just thought hopefully with volleyball, we’d be able to get to the court,” said parent Jean Lehane, whose daughter is a senior on the Portsmouth volleyball team.

In the RIIL guidance for the Fall II season, it simply says spectators must be socially distanced and wearing masks, whether indoor or outdoor.

However Athletic Director for Portsmouth Public Schools Stephen Trezvant told parents and the school committee that spectators still are not allowed at the volleyball games per the Interscholastic League’s policy.

“The guidelines are really confusing,” said Karen Ferris, whose daughter plays Unified Volleyball. “We need answers.”

On top of that confusion, the Department of Health released new guidance today relaxing restrictions at indoor gymnasiums and allowing greater capacity.

Parents of seniors especially, say it’s hard to stomach possibly having to watch their last season on a computer screen.

“Some of these sports these kids have been playing since second, third grade. We’ve been there since day one,” said Ferris. “How sad is it that we can’t be there for their last game?”

ABC 6 reached out to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League to see if they could give any clarity on these spectator guidelines. They declined to comment, but did say they would review any new guidance coming from the state.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island