TPS Decides No Spectators at Winter Sports Right Now Because of Rapid COVID Spread

Nov 18, 2020

Credit Tulsa Public Schools

Tulsa Public Schools will not allow spectators at winter sports until at least December because of COVID-19’s current high rate of spread locally.

Oklahoma City Public Schools suspended winter sports indefinitely last week for the same reason.

Athletics Director Gil Cloud said he has confidence in TPS coaches after they had to call off just two football games thsi fall because of COVID within a district team.

"When you figure you’ve got nine football teams with 90 games scheduled and you really only have to call off two on your own, our guys’ have done a great job, and we’re hoping that would continue into the winter and we’ll take care of our kids and our kids will take care of themselves," Cloud said.

TPS Board President Stacey Woolley weighed in on the no-fans decision at their Monday meeting.

"I appreciate that, that was a choice that was made because I do think if there’s any chance for those sports to continue, that not having folks in the stands is the best way to help mitigate a little spread, anyway," Woolley said.

TPS will evaluate at the end of the month whether spectators can return in any capacity. Middle schools are playing now, but varsity games don’t start until December. Giving parents of seniors first crack at attendance is on the table.

Before the current surge in local infections, TPS had planned capping attendance at 25% of gym capacity.