By Meliyah Venable/Delta Staff Writer

Missouri Valley College is back up and running, which means fall sports are beginning, but student athletes are having a very different season this year.

With COVID-19 continuing its spread, sports teams are having to take precautions for both athletes and spectators. Here at Valley that means no spectators other than MVC students and staff. Valley decided to put this rule in place as an effort to keep the cases and spread of COVID-19 to a minimum. 

“Social distancing is a crucial part of helping stop the spread of COVID-19,” Assistant Athletic Director Colin Smith said. “Stopping the spread and keeping Valley Nation safe were the driving factors in making these decisions. Our governing body, the Heart of America Athletic Conference, has implemented plans and procedures for all competing institutions and these are rules we must abide by.” 

When attending any sporting event, spectators are required to follow the social distancing rules along with wearing a mask. Seating guidelines are to be set by the athletic director, depending on the size and location of the event. The tailgating zone for football games is closed as well. Because tailgating is a big social event, Valley wants to prevent breakouts of COVID-19. They believe limiting the interaction can help this. 

Smith said the policies are reviewed often and changed as needed depending on the circumstances and case size at Valley and in Saline County. He said the athletic department realizes that this decision is not very popular with student athletes and fans, and this is not what they want either. They hope to be done with these policies soon to return sports back to normal. 

Until everything is back to normal, Smith says to “Mask Up. Back Up. Wash Up. Clean Up. Stay Safe.”

You can find any policies and coronavirus coverage on moval.edu.