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Some parents of high school athletes hope exception can be made to allow them at sporting events

Some parents believe they should be allowed to be present at their child's sporting games, say it can be done safely with masks and social distancing.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Some parents of high school athletes are hoping exceptions will be made as current guidance prohibits them from attending their children's sporting events this fall. 

"I'm upset," said Marja Stroman, her son is a senior football player at Central York High School. I think parents should be allowed to see the players on the field." 

Some parents of high school athletes are trying to grasp the reality that they won't be allowed to watch their kids play sports this year. The PIAA guidance follows the Pennsylvania Health Department's lead, by not allowing spectators at fall sports. 

"I know it's going to be hard for my son," said Cristi Hinderer, her son is also a senior football player at Central York High School. "And all of us if we can't even see them play." 

Hinderer and Stroman both worry no spectators means less revenue for the school and team, and their son's chances of being recruited to play college football. 

"We can't open to the general public, we're not asking for that," said Stroman. "We just want parents or a loved one or guardians of these players to be at the games." 

Hinderer and Stroman are hoping the PIAA or DOH reconsiders the guidance to at least allow parents and guardians into the game. They say, allowing just parents in, would allow for easy social distancing in a stadium with the capacity to hold thousands. 

"We and I'm sure a lot of people are saying, 'Hey, is there a way we can work this out safely,'" asked Stroman. "We'll wear mask, social distancing, I think we can fit a certain amount of people in this stadium and be safe."

The PIAA says, "Any sports-related activities in Yellow or Green phased counties must adhere to the gathering limitations set forth by the Governor’s Plan for Phased Reopening (25 in yellow, 250 outdoors and 25 indoors in green) and the facility as a whole may not exceed 50% of total occupancy otherwise permitted by law. During the Yellow and Green phases of reopening, sports-related activities at the PK-12 level are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only. The addition of visitors and spectators will be contingent upon future health conditions within the state and local communities."

A petition has been created to change the guidelines restricting spectators at high school sporting events.