Kentlake High players practice in preparation for playing Kentwood on Friday night, March 12. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

Kentlake High players practice in preparation for playing Kentwood on Friday night, March 12. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

No fans to be allowed at NPSL, Kent high school games

COVID-19 protocol to keep spectators away; games to be livestreamed

Fans won’t be allowed as high school sports return this week and next week in the Kent School District and North Puget Sound League (NPSL), but games will be livestreamed.

Staff from Kent, Auburn and Federal Way schools as well as Tahoma, Kennedy Catholic and Mount Rainier, all NPSL members, decided to ban fans from the games due to COVID-19.

“We plan to begin with no spectators to help acclimate our schools to the new required protocols for teams, cheerleaders, officials, medical personnel and event staff,” according to a Kent School District statement. “This will also help reduce the chances of impacting our schedules by inadvertent exposure to the COVID virus.

“We know how enthusiastic our fans are and understand that our decision will be disappointing to many. This decision will provide time to evaluate the effectiveness of physical distancing and safety protocols that have been developed to allow the return of education-based athletics.”

The NPSL opens play with seven football games on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13. Kentlake plays Kentwood in a 7 p.m. Friday showdown at French Field. Kentridge plays Decatur at noon Saturday and Kent-Meridian plays Thomas Jefferson at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Livestreaming will be offered for fans to watch games online on school websites. All NPSL schools will attempt to cover as many events as possible.

Each school is paying $2,000 for the livestreaming so fans can watch the games for free, said Kent School District athletic director Brian Smith in an email. The games will be offered through Wisconsin-based

“This service was chosen by the school athletic directors of the NPSL as the best option to allow families and fans to view league competitions since spectators will not be allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Smith said. is a partner of Michigan-based VNN which provides all NPSL websites for the high schools, Smith said. This service can also be used for other activities such as drama or music productions. VNN partners with more than 2,000 schools across the nation.

The other fall sports, playing in what’s known under Washington Interscholastic Activities Association guidelines as Season 1, include volleyball, golf, girls swim, cross county and girls soccer. Season 1 goes through April 17.

Season 2, scheduled to run April 12 through May 22, includes baseball, fastpitch softball, boys soccer, girls tennis, track and field and boys swimming. Season 3, to run May 17 through June 26, includes boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling, gymnastics (May 10 start), dance, cheerleading, bowling, boys tennis and boys and girls water polo.

Kent high school sports websites

(for watching livestreams)

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Kraken select former Thunderbirds player Alexander True

Taken in expansion draft; played in Kent 2014 to 2017

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

The ShoWare Shootout 3 on 3 basketball tournament returns Aug. 22 to the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. Registration has started for the 11th annual event. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter
ShoWare Shootout 3 on 3 basketball tournament returns to Kent

Registration has started for Aug. 22 event

Brycen Dawley. COURTESY PHOTO,
12-year-old Kent club wrestler battles staph infection

Brycen Dawley receiving treatment at Seattle Children’s

Kent’s Roberts makes USA track and field team for Paralympic Games

Will compete in long jump, sprints Aug. 24-Sept. 5 in Tokyo

A synthetic turf softball field at Bellevue High School similar to what will be installed at Kent-Meridian High. COURTESY PHOTO, Premier Field Development
Kent-Meridian High to get synthetic turf softball field

Former pool to be infilled, building to be used for storage, locker rooms

Kentwood High football at French Field in Kent. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter
French Field in Kent to get new synthetic turf; scoreboard

Turf is 13 years old, scoreboard 20 years old

The Seattle Thunderbirds open the Western Hockey League season Oct. 2 at Portland. Seattle’s first home game is Oct. 9 at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, Thunderbirds
Seattle Thunderbirds release WHL regular season schedule

Home opener Oct. 9 at ShoWare Center in Kent; season opener Oct. 2 at Portland

COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, Seattle Thunderbirds
Seattle Thunderbirds to play six preseason WHL games

Home game at ShoWare Center in Kent set for Sept. 21 against Everett

Conner Roulette handles the puck for the Seattle Thunderbirds during the 2020-2021 season. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds home opener in Kent set for Oct. 9 against Portland

Western Hockey League play to return to ShoWare Center

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.