District reverses limits on spectators at indoor sporting events


(Emily Stull)

By Lily Lunn

The previous suspension of spectators that included parents and guardians at all indoor athletic events in Marin County has been reversed by Marin Public Health on Jan. 25. The new guidelines will allow large gatherings indoors. “Large gatherings (i.e., school assemblies) are allowed indoors and outdoors. Participants and attendees must follow the current CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings. For indoor mega-events with 500 or more people, schools and event operators using school facilities must follow CDPH requirements for mega-events.” the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) administration said in a district-wide email on Jan 25. 

Marin County Public Health previously updated its guidance on Jan. 6 about indoor school-related events, including sports and performances, to allow up to 50 parents and guardians (25 parents and guardians per team for sports) per indoor event. “The 50 total does not include participating students or required personnel such as school officials and scorekeepers,” the Tam High Administration said in a school-wide email on Jan. 6. 

 “Most of our family comes to watch Quinn play so only having one parent allowed makes a big impact on us. Deanna Schaefer, mom of Tamalpais highschool JV basketball player Quinn Schaefer said. “It doesn’t make sense how we are living in the same household and not allowed to both be in the gym. Students from all different families are at school socializing through masks so what difference does it make if we are in a basketball gym or a small classroom.”

Everyone attending the games must show proof of vaccination to enter and must wear an appropriate mask at all times while in attendance at the event. The school administration strongly recommends audience members wear N95 or KN95 masks to ensure the safety of athletes and approved spectators.  

Spectators can also support teams by watching live streams of games on Tam TV. Tam TV is a volunteer-run organization of students and parents. Live streams and updates are available on their Instagram @tamtvsports and its YouTube channel @THSAthletics Athletics. 

According to Tam sports players, the lack of spectators’ support during games did affect team spirit. “Basketball games [are] super dead inside, and with cheerleaders only going to half of our games, the bench of girls on the team has to be super loud if we want to stay up in energy,” Tam senior and varsity basketball player Sophie Raymond said. 

“The season should be postponed until we are allowed to have students come to the game. The energy is significantly reduced when only one spectator is allowed,” senior and basketball player Thomas Harrison said about the previous ban on spectators. “It’s hard to have [the] home-court advantage when you make a bucket and hear nothing but your teammates.”