A mother in Glynn County says she’s disappointed by a school system rule that bars her from attending her daughter’s basketball games at another county school.
School officials sympathize with her concerns but stress limiting the number of people inside gyms is a necessary precaution to safeguard the health of players and their families during this COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s also been a change in the rule, said Steve Waters, the school system’s athletic director. Each of the four middle schools will sell 125 season tickets which can be purchased for $20 by the parents and family members of players and cheerleaders for all basketball games.
Glynn Middle, Jane Macon Middle, Risley Middle and Needwood Middle schools each field two basketball teams, one for boys and one for girls. Initially, parents were allowed to attend only those games played on the home court of the school of their child. The same rule applied to students.
Rachael Davis, whose daughter plays for Jane Macon Middle School, urged school Superintendent Scott Spence and Athletic Director Steve Waters in a letter to reconsider the home court rule.
In addition to enjoying watching her daughter play, Davis feels a need to be present at all her games.
“Those kids play their heart out at games,” Davis wrote. “My daughter has been injured twice during a basketball game that required medical attention. I can not imagine not being there if an ankle is rolled, or worse. There is always a chance of that happening at practice or school in general, but in games they play harder and it has happened in the past.”
She cited another reason why the rule should be dropped.
“Parents going to their child’s sporting events is a way for parents to connect with their child,” she wrote. “One of the biggest things the school system advocates for is more parent involvement. This is extremely disappointing to parents and children.”
Waters said the season tickets will be for admission to home and away middle school basketball games in Glynn County.
Middle school gyms are not designed for large crowds, he said.
“Originally, we were only going to allow the parents to attend home games, but after some thought, we feel that we can accommodate safely the parents of both teams while maintaining safe social distance,” Waters said. “I have called numerous school systems and I think Glynn County is right in line with other districts.”
The home court rule never applied to Brunswick High School or Glynn Academy, the school system’s two high schools. The gyms of both feature a much larger capacity than middle school gyms, Waters said. Spectator capacity inside the two gyms is capped at 50% capacity.
Waters noted that fan capacity limits also are imposed at college and professional team events.
“My main priority as county athletic director is to create a safe environment for all of our fans, students, players, coaches, and staff,” Waters said.