A sense of normalcy has returned to Friday nights in the Dallas ISD.
High school football is back in action, with several other sports like tennis, cross country and volleyball starting up this semester.
But the district has put forth safety protocols at athletic events that they say parents need to follow if they want the season to continue uninterrupted.
“It’s a serious issue, we have to make sure we get a grasp of it,” said Silivia Salinas, DISD Executive Director of Athletics.
She said parents will need to double-check events on game day because even just this week, games have been canceled due to COVID-19 cases.
"It's been very challenging to say the least. It's like trying to make plans with a moving target and we keep trying to make plans but then redo the plans again and again,” she said.
This school year, all ticket sales for athletic events are cashless and no tickets are being sold at the gate.
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Parents and fans are asked to use the GoFan online ticketing platform to buy tickets.
Attendance is limited to 50% capacity at all athletics events. The limit not only includes the fans but also the student players, event staff, marching band, cheerleaders, security and more so ticket sale priority will go to the family of participants.
Spectators are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending. Social distancing and face-coverings will be enforced.
Fans for outside events must wear a mask as they enter, move about and leave the athletic facility. They can only remove their mask if there is a safe distance of at least six feet between families or social groups.
For inside events, fans must always wear a mask while inside the athletic facility, even while sitting.
Salinas said that if fans do not follow the protocols, schools are subject to sanctions, game suspensions or discontinuation of public access to games by the UIL.
“If they’re not following social distancing guidelines, and not wearing masks while in the stadium, our teams could be penalized. We have control over those teams and coaches and making sure they’re doing their part, but the fans in the stands and the parents in spectators need to do their part if they want to continue coming to games.”
If families prefer to watch the games remotely, DISD is offering online streaming through the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) Network.
Middle school, ninth-grade, junior varsity and varsity basketball, football, soccer and volleyball events are being livestreamed through the network. Fans can subscribe at www.NFHSnetwork.com and search for their school district.