(WIVB)- For the past few weeks, Phillip Abbott has had to watch his two sons play hockey through a computer screen. But he’ll finally be cheering from the stands this Saturday.
Section VI officials announced starting Wednesday, up to two spectators will be allowed per each home team player, ultimately leaving the final say up to each school.
“Some of the schools are allowed two parents per child, where our kids play it’s actually one per child,” Abbott said. “We’ll get to watch four of their games, they have four games which is phenomenal, it’s a lot better than what it could have been.”
Local catholic schools likeSt. Joe’s are part of the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association but have been following the same spectator rules as Section VI.
“Being able to make that call and send that email out to our families to let them know they can start watching live sports again in our facilities, it’s a great day,” said Brian Anken, director of athletics for St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute,
Anken says the schools can use this to learn how to bring people back to events safely so they can expand this to additional spectators.
“If we take this controlled approach, and we put guys in a controlled atmosphere, that we feel we have some ability to really track, incrementally we can get this to a point where we can expand.”
Especially since parents are concerned they still won’t be in attendance at their child’s away games.
“Not being able to be there for your kids as a safety measure or to be there if something were to happen is absolutely a major concern, not getting to watch your kid’s final high school game it’s not fair to some of the parents,” Abbott said.
The new rule goes into effect February 24.
Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.