Should we limit spectators during this pandemic?


Belle Wilson and Madison Elliott

PRO: by Belle Wilson

One of the best parts of playing a high school sport is inviting your friends and family to come to watch you play.

Playing a game just isn’t the same without having a support system on the sidelines cheering you on. This is why JC has made the right call to not limiting spectators and, therefore, bringing back the livelihood of high school sports.
Last year, students were barely allowed to play their sports, let alone have all their friends and families come to watch. Student-athletes were lucky to have two guest passes to give to family members. However, this year is different.
School is fully open with students from every grade level coming in and out of JC in addition to faculty and staff. That’s over 800 people in the JC building during school hours. If there’s no limit on who can be inside JC, there shouldn’t be a limit on who can be outside of JC.
If sports game spectators would be limited, students would not be able to attend events like football games that make up a high school experience.. High school football games are famous for being nights where members can come together and be a community. For me personally, it was the way I met my first friends freshman year. It also gave me school spirit and pride to be a Patriot.
To limit spectators would be to rip out this opportunity of building our JC community from students’ hands. This has already happened last year, leaving JC’s current sophomores with no sense of what being at a high school game is like. However, this year, that doesn’t have to be the case.
This doesn’t mean all students or parents should be forced to attend sports games when they don’t want to or they don’t feel comfortable. People who feel their safety is at risk by attending sports games can wear a mask and social distance at games. People are capable of making the best decisions for their health. However, people can’t make this decision if they aren’t even given the option to openly attend games.
A rule to limit the number of spectators wouldn’t just affect students, but it would also affect family members. This is extremely important because, given this past year, it’s critical now more than ever to spend time with our loved ones. This goes with the idea that life is unpredictable, and nothing that we have is guaranteed.
In the moments that we do have with loved ones, we should make them count. Every moment goes by in a blink of an eye — especially high school. When we all reflect on our four years at JC, we should remember the times we had sitting next to each other in the stands wearing the black and gold colors.
After all, there’s no better feeling than cheering for your home team and high-fiving friends.
To limit spectators would be to limit the high school experience.

CON: by Madison Elliott

With the return of fall sports at JC, students and families are excited to be out watching the athletes, cheer in the stands, and be around so many people. However, the concern of spectators becomes a major topic of debate.

Currently, there are no limits or many precautions while at sporting events, but this leads to safety risks due to the pandemic. While I am in total support of fans coming to watch and support athletes, I want everyone to be healthy, too.
JC has been strict with precautions during our school day. Social distancing and wearing masks are safety precautions taken to keep our students safe during the day. After school hours, events such as games should be held to this same standard.
As of now, students are allowed to take off their masks outside, which can be done at games as well, but there is still social distancing when it comes to different seating arrangements while in the building. The precautions done in school have the same purpose as what they could do for spectators after leaving the building.
With so many people in one area, it is easy to forget about safety. Being around friends, the excitement of games, and more could cause people to get too close to one another without much thought.
Another major risk is if one person in a large group of spectators is to have COVID-19, being so close to one another would be a way to super spread the virus.
It would be very difficult to keep track of the spectators who have been exposed to or infected by the virus. Also, since anyone is welcome to attend JC games, there’s no way of knowing or controlling what a person does in their personal life, like traveling or attending large events. This lack of information is putting our students’ lives at risk daily.
Another possible idea would be to rotate between different spectators for each player so that more people would eventually be able to watch games.
If there was to be a limit to who can watch for each player, the families and friends of those players would be able to determine among themselves what works best for each person.
Maybe games that are far for one potential spectator could be switched between someone who may be closer to the location of the games. This was similar to what was done last year with each family receiving a certain number of game passes to attend events.
Safety is a top priority for JC and many others. To not only keep players but the spectators at sports events safe, limiting the number of spectators should be considered.