New MCPS regulations for HS sporting events

Sept. 24, 2022, 11:30 p.m. | By Katie Phung | 1 year, 9 months ago

MCPS implements new restrictions for all high school sporting events after violence following an upcounty football game.

On the night of Sept. 16 at Gaithersburg High School, a fight broke out between the Gaithersburg High School and Northwest High School varsity football teams while in game. Following that week, Montgomery County Schools chose to carry out new restrictions following the violence to prevent future altercations. 

According to Fox 5 News, both high schools’ varsity teams were suspended after the fight and had to forfeit all upcoming games. At least five arrests were made, including an assault charge against Northwest High School’s head coach Travis Hawkins. This charge was filed by Northwest High School’s athletic director, William C. Gant.

Starting Sept. 23, new restrictions will take place and be applied statewide in a three-tier system. These restrictions were announced by the MCPS director of athletics, Jeff Sulivan, during a press conference on Sept. 21. Sullivan announced that tier 1 restrictions will include:

  • Students from either participating schools may enter with an online or physical ticket, a student ID, or a printed class schedule 
  • Students who do not attend participating schools may enter but must be accompanied by an adult chaperone 
  • Spectators must sit at all times while in the stands during the game. No large gatherings are allowed, and gatherings during halftime and after the game will be minimized
  • Inappropriate behavior could be questioned and further led to suspension from future games
  • Spectators who enter the game may not reenter after halftime 
  • Backpacks will continued to not be allowed at all games
  • Inappropriate behavior is bound to be lead by suspicion for participation in further sporting events
  • Athletes, coaches, athletic department staff, media, and other personnel are the only people permitted to be on the sidelines during games

Tier 2 restrictions include additional capacity restrictions and changing the times that sporting events take place, such as times being moved to earlier on Fridays or moving game days to Thursday mornings or Saturdays. Any teams that are involved with fighting and other inappropriate behavior will be subjected to suspension for multiple games and or completely banned from postseason play.

Some tier 3 restrictions may include closing concession stands, limiting attendees to families of those participating in the event, and prohibiting spectators from entering in “extreme situations.” 

Sullivan hopes that MCPS sporting events will continue to be enjoyed by everyone, “Hopefully we don’t have to go any farther, and we have that positive culture and community event established. If there is the reason for a specific game, or districtwide, we go to tier two,” he said.

Last updated: Sept. 24, 2022, 11:39 p.m.

Katie Phung. Hi, I'm Katie! (she/her) I'm on business staff and a fact-checker. My unhealthy addictions are playing Sims 4 and watching Say Yes to the Dress. More »

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