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December 02, 2021

Where Every Family Matters

New Executive Order Restricts Spectators at Sporting Events

The Governor has issued Executive Order No. 70, effective immediately and remaining in effect through January 19, 2021. Because of the significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 infections in Tennessee, additional restrictions on who may attend interscholastic athletic practices and contests will be in place.

Unfortunately, large scale attendance by spectators and students must be curtailed. Doing so means that bands, pep bands, cheerleaders, and dance teams may not attend athletic contests while these restrictions remain in place. In accordance with the new Executive Order, the only attendees permitted at practices or games, in addition to the student-athletes on the team, are:

  • Players’ parents or guardians and immediate household members;
  • First Responders;
  • Coaching and team personnel;
  • School, game, and facility administrators;
  • Athletics officials; and
  • Media and athletic scouting personnel attending the event in their professional capacity.

Social distancing between persons from different households is required. While the Executive Order does not mandate the use of masks, the Governor has encouraged masks, and the TSSAA COVID-19 Sports Regulations provision regarding the use of masks remains. Refer to the Tennessee Returns to Play page at TSSAA.org for full information.

These are minimum restrictions. Depending on particular school, facility, or community circumstances, school officials may require additional limitations on attendance.

The Governor’s office conferred with TSSAA about these restrictions. TSSAA concurs with Governor’s office that these restrictions represent the best means for to continue providing interscholastic athletic participation opportunities to student-athletes while also doing its part to curb the spread of the virus.

“We remain hopeful that we will soon begin to see a decline in the instances of infection and that our schools will soon be able to return to more normal operation of their athletic competition,” TSSAA writes in a press release.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 18-month-old Ezra.