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 justagamelive.com.

“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.

Justagamelive.com 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)

kentlakefalcons.com

kentwoodconquerors.com

kentridgechargers.com

kentmeridianroyals.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. 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

Dion Earl/File Photo
Former Kent pro soccer team owner sentenced for tax fraud

Dion Earl receives another year in prison in addition to sexual assault sentences

Kentwood football. FILE PHOTO
Limited number of fans can attend Kent high school games

Change in policy that banned fans due to COVID-19 restrictions

Seattle Thunderbirds captains/assistant captains Henrik Rybinski, Keltie Jeri-Leon, Matthew Rempe and Tyrel Bauer. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse/Thunderbirds
T-Birds name captains for Western Hockey League season

Henrik Rybinski, Keltie Jeri-Leon, Matthew Rempe and Tyrel Bauer

Conner Roulette (34) returns for the shortened Seattle Thunderbirds season that begins Friday, March 19 against Spokane at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Lieese, Thunderbirds
T-Birds players pumped to return to play at ShoWare Center in Kent

Western Hockey League opener set for March 19

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

Courtesy Photo, Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds
Four T-Birds games to be shown on television in March

Three against Portland, one against Spokane on JOEtv

t
High school football players prepare for showtime in Kent

After seven-month delay, teams hit the practice field

Lucas Ciona is expected to be one of the Seattle Thunderbirds players who will return to play in March at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds, city of Kent modify agreement so hockey can return to ShoWare Center

Portland Winterhawks also expected to play home games in Kent

Cade McNelly of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2019-2020 season. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
Seattle Thunderbirds to open hockey season against Spokane March 19 in Kent

No fans to be allowed at games; WHL offers streaming service

courtesy photo
Don McConnaughey
Longtime Highline College coach, athletic director dies at 90

Don McConnaughey was the ‘architect of the Highline College athletic department.’