Some southern Arizona school districts not ready to allow parents of visiting teams despite AIA decision

A basketball nears the rim as Iowa practices before the second half of an NCAA college...
A basketball nears the rim as Iowa practices before the second half of an NCAA college basketball game with Minnesota Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 102-95 in overtime.(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 10:20 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As of Monday, Feb. 8, Arizona schools could have up to two parents or legal guardians attend their student-athletes’ home and away games.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced the decision on Feb. 4, stating:

“The Executive Board today announced that due to improving COVID-19 metrics (decreasing COVID cases, increased hospital bed capacity, etc.), up to two parents or legal guardians may attend their student-athletes’ home and away games as allowed by the school and county guidelines. It is at the discretion of the home school whether or not parent/legal guardian spectators are permitted. AIA schools may begin to utilize this change starting Monday, Feb. 8. Masks must be worn and social distancing requirements maintained.”

However, some school districts across southern Arizona aren’t ready to make the change.

Like Tanque Verde High School, which hosted their first home game of the season on Monday.

Things went well, but they are heading into it slowly. While on the other hand, some districts aren’t allowing any spectators period.

“They get to have this experience, whatever the cost for us as parents,” said Kendall Loomis, a mom of two basketball players. “It’s not about me watching, it is about them with their friends playing.”

To view the game, every parent had to buy a ticket in advance online so the school could control the two-parent-per-player limit. They also have to complete a COVID checklist and clear out the gym between JV and varsity games.

“We’re going to monitor that and how we adjust, if we’re going to allow a visiting team spectators as well,” said TV Athletic Director Gary Lewis.

Lewis also said their gym is smaller than other schools which is why they’re proceeding with caution, no matter what parents may think.

“At this point I’m pretty much cut and dry. If you want to play, these are the rules. These are the rules that we are going to abide by and just be thankful your child is able to go out and enjoy a season,” said Lewis.

Other districts are in the same boat. Tucson Unified School District is not allowing any spectators but says they’re considering two people per senior on senior night, both home and away.

It’s a compromise in order to protect those on and off the court.

“If at the end of the day they go to bed at night with a smile on their face, and I get to see half the games, that’s better than not getting to see any games at all,” said Loomis.

Under the AIA’s new guidelines it does state that it is up to the home school whether or not to allow spectators.

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