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MIL: Home-team parents allowed in stands next week

Fans watch Molokai play Kamehameha Maui at Kanaiaupuni Stadium in 2019. Beginning Monday, parents from home/host teams will be allowed to attend sporting events with proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Maui Interscholastic League. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Beginning Monday, parents from home/host teams will be allowed to attend sporting events as long as they have proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Maui Interscholastic League.

The MIL released its long-awaited details on allowing fans in the stands for athletic events in an email to The Maui News on Thursday morning.

With public and private schools making up the MIL, the challenges of finding a universal rule for all can be difficult.

“The MIL is very unique as our league is composed of both public schools and private institutions with each governed by their own distinctive protocols and guidelines,” the email stated. “It is through cooperation and understanding that we continue to work together to provide opportunities for Maui County’s student-athletes.

“With our COVID numbers getting better and state and county restrictions reacting to that data, the MIL will be moving forward with a cautious and prudent approach to allowing spectators into MIL events. There will be no spectators this week but some events will be streamed on the NFHS site (nfhsnetwork.com). Beginning October 25th, parents of the student-athletes of the home/host team will be allowed to attend in person. Those in attendance must be fully vaccinated. There will be no concession. There will be no food or drinks, but water will be permissible.”

The details outlined in the email came after a three-hour-plus meeting of MIL athletic directors on Tuesday.

“As the situation remains fluid, there will be meetings weekly to assess, discuss any issues and/or concerns, and determine any adjustments,” the email continued. “We are very excited that our student-athletes are back to the courts, courses and fields of play. We will be just as excited when we welcome our families and supporters back in a safe and responsible way to watch our student-athletes enjoy the sports they have been away from for far too long.”

The MIL football season begins today when Maui High visits Lahainaluna. Saturday King Kekaulike will play Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium. All games start at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on KMVI 900 AM radio.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced rules for use of county venues, which includes War Memorial Stadium where seven of the 15 MIL football games are slated to be played, all on Saturdays.

The rules, which went into effect Oct. 16, are outlined on the county website.

For outdoor county venues, no limit on fans was listed for individual venues –î the most that can gather together in a single group within the venue is 25 people.

“Spectators are allowed and groups are limited to 25 persons not sharing the same address. Spectators are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks,” the document reads in part.

For indoor county venues, which includes War Memorial Gym and the new facility in Kihei near Lokelani Intermediate School, a limit of 50 percent of capacity was announced, with groups limited to 10 people.

Spectators are required to wear facial coverings at all times in indoor county facilities –î as are players, coaches and officials –î and no food or beverages will be allowed, except for water.

While MIL officials declined comment on their announcement Thursday, the new rules will affect some teams more than others.

For example, the Molokai girls volleyball team will host St. Anthony for a pair of matches today and Saturday, the third and fourth home matches of the season for the Farmers when fans/parents will not be allowed to attend.

With Haleakala Waldorf not fielding a team in girls volleyball this season, Molokai has just two more scheduled home matches when fans will be allowed unless the policy changes before then –î vs. Lanai on Nov. 26 and 27.

A home Green and White scrimmage for Molokai’s eight-player football team slated outdoors this afternoon will also not have parents or fans in attendance.

Questions on who will be allowed to attend full league events in cross country and air riflery meets hosted by individual schools remain to be answered for the fall sports season.

League-wide meets in swimming, wrestling and canoe paddling are held during the winter season, as are meets in track and field during the spring season.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

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