September 26, 2020 Story and Photos by Joshua Ross
Updated October 6, 2020
Effective October 5, 2020, new spectator guidelines go into effect. Those communities, which are deemed low risk (below red), will be allowed up to 100 spectators at outdoor events. For indoor events, spectators will be allowed if they can maintain a 6-ft distance and the capacity doesn't go over 50%. Determining who those spectators are, will be by the rules and regulations of the home team towns. There are some towns that are not allowing away guests. For these cases, their fans will not be allowed to watch a game in Hingham, allowing for more home team spectators. It will be on a team by team basis and the information will be fed through the head coaches to their players before each game. You will still need a pass to get into the game so don't just show up to a game.
It's also important to note that while Hingham is currently in the (yellow) low risk category, any increase could change that designation pushing us back into red and rolling back the spectator regulations to the ones outlined below.
With High School fall sports starting up next week, it's important for everyone to be aware of the new spectator regulations in place to start the season due to Covid-19.
Per the Governor's order on Aug 7, the maximum number of people for public gatherings was reduced from 100 to 50. To abide by this, all sports leagues and districts have had to decide who is allowed to attend games. The Patriot League, which Hingham High School is a part of, decided that no fans from away teams will be allowed at games. Hingham has arranged for adequate transportation for their student/athletes to travel to away games to support parents.
Each town is responsible for determining how to allocate the 50 spectator spots for home games.
"Each player will have two lanyards they can give out for entrance to games," Hingham Athletic Director Jim Quatromoni tells the Anchor. "We couldn't deny moms and dads the chance to watch (home) games."
The MIAA COVID-19 Task Force, which Quatromoni is a part of, is continuing to work with the appropriate state departments to figure out solutions to achieve a more normal season, including an increase in allowed spectators.
Each fall sport will look and feel different as well, some more apparent than others. Quatromoni confirms, "while these are the changes to start the season, just as with the academic protocols, once students are on the fields and data is collected, the hope is to make adjustments to the modifications as appropriate."
Cross Country Meets
- Dual Meets only (Two Teams)
- No on-site course previews
- Starts will be in waves (8-10 runners)
- 6' spacing on starting line
- 14' spacing between teams
- 3 minutes between waves
- No clustering while running
- Create lanes at finish line
- Runners must wear masks at start
- Runners must put masks on as soon as possible after finish
Field Hockey Games
- 7 vs. 7 (must have a goalie)
- No penalty corners - penalty in circle would be 25yd hits
- Free hits - all players must be 5yds away
- No bully's - it will be alternating possessions
- No pre-game stick inspections
- Substitutions will take place at midfield - no contact
- No sharing equipment
- Masks must be worn before and after competition
- Masks can be removed during competition
- 10 minutes between each group
- Social distancing throughout the course
- Each player receives scorecard and pencil
- Scores are recorded verbally at the end of the match
- No timeouts during the game
- Face masks must be worn during game unless 10ft away from other player for a mask break.
- No intentional heading the ball
- No placing hands on other players
- No intentional body contact
- No slide tackles
- No throw-ins. Will be an in-direct kicks
- Corner kicks will be in-direct kicks
- Goalies can not kick the ball in the air past midfield
- No use of defensive "walls"
- Teams will not switch sides during the match
- Substitutions will take place at the attack line
- No team huddles or physical contact (hugs, high-fives,etc.)
- Balls are to be replaced with clean ones after each rally
- To reduce intermittent contact with opponents, front row plays will be restricted from traditionally attacking the ball while the ball is above or in front of the 3-foot line
The above list represents highlights of the fall sport changes. The full COVID-19 guidelines and modifications can be found on the MIAA's COVID-19 Task Force webpage here.