ORLANDO, Fla. — We are less than a week away from the return of high school football, and districts have been hard at work making changes behind the scenes due to the pandemic.
Here are 9 changes you may find when you head out to high school football fields this year.
1) Fewer fans in the stands: Across Central Florida, games will not be packed with fans as usual at the start of the season. Some school districts are only giving athletes two tickets to help with physical distancing measures.
2) Players tested for COVID-19: In Orange County, all football players will be tested for COVID-19 before the start of the season. School leaders have not said how positive test results may impact the games. Athletes who refuse to get tested will not be allowed to play.
3) Delays for days: COVID-19 is already impacting start times and season-opening games around the state. DeLand High School had to cancel its football practice and their first game after an assistant coach tested positive.
4) Mask up: People in the stands will be asked to wear masks while in attendance as another layer of protection from coronavirus community spread.
5) No bands and cheerleaders (for some): Orange County Public Schools has elected to not allow marching bands and cheerleaders at the games.
6) Expanded sidelines: Some schools have elected to increase the size of the sidelines that the players stand in, to help with overall social distancing.
7) Safety first: Expected to see enhanced safety measures for all public sporting events. Stands may be blocked off and points of entry may be reduced at the home field.
8) Sanitized players: Athletes at some high schools, including Seminole High School, will see sanitizer stations on the sidelines.
9) Pre-packed meals: Some schools, such as those in Volusia County, have said they will be providing prepackaged food to visitors to ensure safety standards.
Share some of your favorite high school sports memories with us here.
With all the changes and challenges, the fall 2020 season is shaping up to be an experience that nobody will forget.
Check with your local districts for more information about COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines for visitors and high schools.
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