EPISD Cancels Indoor Road Games Because of Fans in Attendance
A bombshell of news broke late Tuesday in the local high school volleyball scene, pinning two district's decisions against each other.
El Paso Independent Schoool District canceled a handful of games on Tuesday against programs from Ysleta Independent School District as a result of a dispute against fan attendance at indoor gyms. EPISD will cancel road games that are indoor until further notice in regards to opposing teams allowing fans in attendance.
YISD is allowing parents of student-athletes to attend volleyball games. Last week, the high school volleyball slate kicked off with no fans allowed at most games, with the exception of YISD. The school district is allowing two parents of each student-athlete to attend the home games.
The games that are canceled Tuesday night include Franklin-Ysleta, Bowie-Riverside and El Paso-Eastwood. Bel Air vs. Chapin is still scheduled to take place since it is at an EPISD school without fans.
EPISD released the following statement:
"EPISD Administration has made the difficult decision to cancel indoor games until further notice with any districts currently opening its doors to spectators. All El Paso district athletics directors had collectively agreed to hold off on allowing fans at games in order to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19. This time without outside spectators gives players and staff the opportunity to adjust to new protocols. As COVID-19 cases have slowly begun to rise again, we will do everything possible to minimize risk to our students and staff. We continuously review our procedures and will work with the other school districts on a timeline for allowing fans into games."
YISD followed up with a statement of their own:
"EPISD's decision to cancel this week's indoor games at our schools is unfortunate for our hardworking student-athletes and their parents, who are eager to watch their children compete. However, we stand by our decision to allow two parents of each YISD athlete to attend home games. For a volleyball team of 15 athletes, this means there may be about 30 parents in the stands who must also practice social distancing, be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and use face masks. Even with the two-parent guest policy at home games, we will remain far below 50 percent of our gyms’ capacities."
No other school district has canceled upcoming road volleyball games as of Tuesday evening. The split decisions by the two school districts will generate a ton of controversy by El Paso fans. As callers pointed out on SportsTalk, club volleyball has been ongoing during the summer. Some schools are also including a steaming setup for their volleyball games to allow fans to watch on social media.
Meanwhile, high school football kicks off next week. No school district has announced whether or not fans can attend games.