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IHSAA Explains State Tournament Attendance Limits
In a memo to schools, the IHSAA provided clarity into why attendance limits will be in place for this year's state tournaments
Published: 2/5/2021 10:56:53 AM


In a memo sent to member schools Friday morning, the Idaho High School Activities Association explained why attendance limits will be in place for the 2021 winter state tournaments. 

In the memo, which can be read in full below, the IHSAA said 40% capacity at its hosting sites would not be possible while also maintaining social distancing. For this year's girls state basketball tournament, 1,800 fans will be allowed into the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, while 200-300 will be allowed at various high schools around the Treasure Valley.

"We must be respectful of our host sites/schools and hold our events under collaborative guidelines," the IHSAA wrote in Friday's memo. "If the IHSAA agrees to move to 40% capacity, we will lose our basketball and wrestling sites. If we move venues to other areas of the state, we have schools who would not attend due to the lack of COVID restrictions in place."

Last week's announcement of attendance limits was met with widespread backlash online, with many calling for 40% capacity at all events. Gov. Brad Little recently said schools across the state can allow 40% gym capacity for athletic events as long as either social distancing can be maintained or spectators wear masks. 

The decision capacity limits at this year's tournaments is not entirely up to the IHSAA. The Idaho Center, owned by the City of Nampa, has a say in how many people can attend any event, not just this year's state tournaments. 

The IHSAA also said a full state wrestling bracket will be possible if only two fans per wrestler are allowed into the Idaho Center. While that number may seem lower than basketball, the IHSAA said total number of people in the Idaho Center will likely be the same after factoring in the large number of wrestlers and essential personnel who will be in attendance. 

"The responsibility of hosting schools and communities for a state event, from the vastly diverse corners of Idaho, is a challenge," the IHSAA wrote. "This has been a difficult school year for all Idaho students. We will continue to focus on the priority the steering committees set forth – do whatever it takes give Idaho students an opportunity to play in a state tournament."

The full memo from the IHSAA can be found below. 


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