COVID-19 forces small crowd sizes for sporting events

Lily Tarticchio, Of The Talon staff

Spectator guidelines have been put in place to limit the size of crowds at sporting events due to COVID-19, and in some instances, makes it so that there is no crowd at all.

Athletic Director Mitch Lefkowitz said that rules have been set by the county, limiting the amount of spectators and fans at each event. He said that they narrowed it down to about two visitors per athlete so that they wouldn’t ever have too big of a crowd. 

“Rockwood is following the St. Louis County recommended guidelines on limiting spectators on campus to fifty max per each event. So if we have three events in three different locations we can have a max of fifty. I have worked with the coaches to devise a plan to typically allow each player/coach to have two spectators at each event so we do not exceed the maximum,” Lefkowitz said.

Sophomore Brendan Moehele, who plays on the JV Boys Soccer team, said that these limitations don’t really have any effect on him and his team because they try to focus more on the sport than the crowd itself.

“It doesn’t really affect our team. We all communicate a lot on the field and we drown out the background noises and just focus on the game in front of us,” Moehle said.

Although outdoor sports crowds may be smaller, indoor sport limitations are even more severe; as of right now, they have no spectators at all. Lefkowitz said that having more people inside could put everyone at a higher risk of getting sick. 

“In addition the schools in the St. Louis Suburban Conference have put stricter limitations on spectators indoors. We currently do not allow spectators for indoor events such as swimming and volleyball as we felt we cannot keep within the guidelines safely as well as keep the players and coaches safe,” Lefkowitz said.

Junior Jonah Watkins, who is on the hockey team, said that these stricter indoor rules have been hard on him and his team because having a crowd is a big motivation for them to play well in their games. 

“It does upset me and my teammates. It has made it more difficult to practice and get ready because we know there won’t be a crowd,” Watkins said.

Sophomore Kylie Stehlin, who is on the varsity Girls Volleyball team, said that although these new rules have been tough on some, she understands why they are in place at the moment. 

“I don’t think it really makes any of us upset. We’re kind of sad to not have our friends and parents cheering us on, but we understand that everyone is just trying to keep each other safe,” Stehlin said.