Games to have different feel this year

Fans won’t see crowds like this one this year, as Pasco County Schools has limited crowds to 50% capacity at sporting events.

LAND O’ LAKES — If you plan on attending a high school sporting event in Pasco County this season, you shouldn’t have to battle a crowd.

Pasco County Schools announced recently that they will allow up to 50% capacity at any athletic sporting event. That includes football and volleyball this fall, as public schools are on schedule to kick off the 2020 season on Sept. 11. The county’s first football game was played on Sept. 4 at Zephyrhills Christian Academy, but it’s a private school and does not fall under the Pasco County School District’s jurisdiction.

Pasco County Schools athletics released some of the guidelines for hosting sporting events and it included that spectators will be required to wear masks at indoor and outdoor events. Every school is required to sell e-tickets and only a limited amount will be provided at the gate for the contests. Also, spectators are to adhere to the current social distancing measures that are in place throughout the state.

Media attending games will be regulated to cover the games at the end zones at football games, per county athletic director Matt Wicks. The new normal for high school sports ranges from not just its personnel off the field, but to those on it as well. Coaches and staff members will be mandated to wear masks at the games to prevent any spread of the novel coronavirus.

Counties around Pasco have chosen to limit their events to less than 50% capacity, as Hernando, Hillsborough and Pinellas will be hosting sporting events at 25%.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.