Mount Ida is gearing up for the start of the 2020 football season with the first action taking place Thursday, August 20, as they scrimmage against Lavaca.
Coach Zack Wuichet is busy getting both the Junior Lions and Lions teams ready for the starts of their respective seasons. The scrimmage set for August 20 will be senior high only. The benefit game will begin at 5:30 p.m.
While fans are excited to see the Lions kick off the new year attendance policy has yet to be determined. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) released a new directive for youth sports which includes high school sports.
The directive reiterates the general requirements announced in previous directives. All participants are to maintain a minimum of six feet physical distancing except when actively participating in the sports activity. Everyone involved must be screened prior to any activity and they must wear masks when not actively participating in a sports activity.
All surfaces must be sanitized regularly and activities such as huddles, high fives and fist bumps are prohibited.
The directive states that all facilities must follow the directive for large outdoor or indoor gatherings, whichever applies to the sport being played. Attendance at football games would utilize the outdoor facility guidelines.
These guidelines state that events can be attended by up to 66 percent capacity. Walkways leading to all entrances and exits and exits must be clearly marked in six feet intervals to maintain a safe distance entering and leaving the facility.
People should sit six feet apart with families being able to sit together. Seating should be limited to every other level of bleachers to assist in the six foot distancing rule. Face coverings are required for everyone over the age of 10. Hand sanitizer stations must be available at all entrances. Attendees are asked to self-screen before entering the facility.
Concession stands can operate but must abide by all directives for restaurants and food service facilities.
All schools will be required to submit a plan for approval before they can host an event.
Coach Zack Wuichet wasn’t sure Monday what this meant regarding Thursday’s scrimmage, but the ADH’s directive paves the way for fans to attend football games this year. A plan will have to be approved before Mount Ida can allow fans to attend games.
The directive could cause some fans to not be able to attend away games after driving to a venue. The ADH directive encourages venues to utilize online ticket sales when possible. Smaller schools may not have the resources to sell tickets online. Visiting fan attendance could be limited due to home fans accessing online ticket sales first.
Mount Ida opens their senior high season with three road games. They begin the season at Danville, August 28. They will travel to Perryville September 4 and Jessieville September 11.