Pittsfield, Taconic Fans Reminded of 'No Spectator' Policy

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- With the Taconic and Pittsfield high school basketball seasons getting underway on Monday, the Pittsfield Public Schools issued a reminder this weekend that, as a general rule, no fans will be permitted at the schools’ sporting events.
Following additional discussions on the topic, despite potential revisions to MassGovDPH guidelines, regardless of policies associated with non-school youth athletic programming, and in considerations of multiple dynamics associated with spectator protocols in the COVID-19 era, this policy will remain in effect for the remainder of the season, the Pittsfield schools said in a news release.
This policy applies to all athletic events involving PHS or Taconic, home or away, in the sports of basketball and swimming. Entry into athletic events will be limited to players, coaches, and essential game day event management staff.
All scheduled PHS and Taconic winter athletic competitions in the sports of basketball and swimming are anticipated to be available for live viewing by fans. Through broadcast partners such as Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV) and Boys & Girls Club’s Facebook Live feed, fans will have an opportunity to tune in to all home games.
All away games are also expected to be available via broadcasting platforms made available by neighboring school districts.
“While we realize that prohibiting spectators isn’t ideal or desirable, the circumstances created by the COVID pandemic, as well as the parameters we have to work within for the sake of providing athletic opportunities to students at this time, make enforcing the Berkshire County policy crucial,” Pittsfield Public Schools Athletic Director Jim Abel said.
Parents, families, and fans will not be permitted to physically attend winter basketball games or swim meets. All basketball games will be staffed by traditional gameday event management personnel. Parent and family volunteers will not be selected or assigned to work event management duties at home basketball games.  
The only exceptions to the established spectator policy will include the March 14 and March 19  PHS vs. Taconic “Showcase Events” scheduled to be held at the Boys & Girls Club. Participating student-athletes that are graduating Seniors (Class of ‘21) will have the opportunity to each distribute a limited number of pre-printed tickets to immediate family members for those events.
A formal ticket distribution plan will be announced upon swim and basketball team rosters being finalized this weekend.  
The Pittsfield Public Schools Athletic Department will work directly with each member of the Class of ‘21 to ensure that hisher needs for immediate family members are met for the PHS vs. Taconic “Showcase Events”.  
“PHS and Taconic Senior Day, as well as the last home games of high school careers, were scheduled with the ‘No Spectator’ policy in mind,” Abel said. “We’d like to assure our seniors, and their families, that they will not miss out.”
The Pittsfield Boys & Girls Club is serving as a hub for a significant amount of local high school swimming and basketball activities.
“The notion of many of Pittsfield’s senior winter athletes finishing up their careers under the roof of the Melville Street Boys & Girls Club, playing in front of their families, and adding yet another chapter to the PHS vs. Taconic rivalry, seems only fitting,” Boys & Girls Club CEO Joe McGovern said.“The Club has a great livestream of the court through Facebook, and a broadcast crew from PCTV will be here, so fans won’t miss any of the action coming up.”
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