Frederick County to allow fans at outdoor events

Frederick County Public Schools will allow fans to attend its outdoor events beginning next Monday, but people will not be able to watch live video streams of outdoor events online.

The James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando cross country teams, which run outdoors, are competing in the Virginia High School League fall season, which is already underway. The FCPS fall sports season, which includes golf and football, starts next Monday and runs through April 24.

In a news release, FCPS stated the number of spectators allowed at outdoor events will be based upon state guidance. Currently, the number of spectators allowed at outdoor athletic events cannot exceed the lesser of 30 percent of the occupancy load of the venue or 250 spectators. In the event state guidance is revised, FCPS may adjust its capacity limits.

The FCPS fall season also includes volleyball, an indoor sport. FCPS currently does not allow spectators to attend indoor sports, but people can watch free live streams of volleyball on YouTube. This process is in place for the FCPS winter sports season, which wraps up this week and includes the indoor sports of basketball and wrestling.

In a phone interview, Sherando coordinator of student activities Jason Barbe said the reason why free online streaming is provided for indoor events is that fans are not allowed to attend. Because fans will be able to attend outdoor events, online streaming is not being provided.

Barbe said FCPS has not discussed using something that required an online subscription fee for people to view outdoor events. Handley and Clarke County are each using NFHS, which has a subscription fee, to stream their home football games during the ongoing VHSL season.

James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando will each utilize an online ticketing system with the parents or guardians of those students participating in a particular event being given priority to secure tickets through a single-use access code that will be provided by their child’s school prior to each event.

Should any tickets remain available after parents or guardians have had the opportunity to secure them, they will be made available to the general public through the host school’s electronic ticketing system. Tickets will only be made available through the electronic ticketing system and will not be available at the gate.

The first Frederick County football game will take place on April 1, when Millbrook travels to Sherando for a 6 p.m. game. Volleyball starts that same night with Millbrook hosting James Wood and Sherando in a tri competition that starts at 6 p.m.

All Frederick County teams will participate in the VHSL spring season, which features all outdoor events. That will commence on April 26.

Ticketing information is available at the following websites:

Indoor streaming is available at the following websites:

All spectators attending events at James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth throughout the event and comply with all other aspects of the FCPS Health and Safety plan, including physical distancing requirements. Those who fail to comply will have to leave the event and will be prohibited from attending other events during the 2020-21 school year.

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