Volleyball, with live crowds limited to 25,
available on one device for $10 per match
By CHRIS HOBBS
The South Fork 2A’s website providing an opportunity to watch some varsity sports live from the eight-team high school conference went live on Friday.
The league is starting with livestreaming of girls’ varsity volleyball that begin on Nov. 17.
Due to COVID-19, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) – following guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) – is limiting teams to 14 matches.
As an eight-team conference, the South Fork 2A will be able to play only a home-and-away series against each team in the league and no non-conference matches this season.
The network also plans to live stream varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball games, varsity football and varsity baseball and softball.
To purchase a specific event to view, visit the page and click the logo of the school, which will provide you a dropdown list by sport. The viewing ($10 per device) can be purchased there and the money goes to the host school of the event.
The network is coordinated for the conference by Chris Ritchie of Lincolnton, president of The Stream Team.
Ritchie said the goal of the network to provide a broadcast/video that is of a high quality than most websites produce.
“We want to showcase the kids… to get close-ups and just a better quality,” Ritchie said.
South Fork 2A Administrator Butch Parker also addressed several other steps by the conference during a Friday morning press conference via Google meeting:
Protocol for entry
It will include a temperature check and other COVID-related questions. Masks are required at all times and social distancing (six feet) will be enforced.
Parker said the varsity team can be in the gym while the junior varsity team is playing and vice versa and on-site administrators will make sure all COVID-related guidelines are followed.
In-person crowds limited to 25
Following guidelines set by the NCDHHS, the conference will limit attendance at volleyball matches to 25 people/fans, and they will all be from home team.
The focus is on making tickets available to parents of the home team players at each school.
To meet the guidelines, the league went with two tickets per players on each the varsity and junior varsity rosters.
Parker said league officials initially planned to provide four tickets per player(s) on a junior varsity and varsity roster but that would not meet the guidelines.
Media and other “essential personnel” will not count against the limited total of 25.
No tickets at door, no single match tickets
There will be no sell of tickets at the door or of individual matches.
A purchasing example: If a Maiden fan wants to go to all seven home volleyball matches, he or she would pay $49 for a season ticket (can’t buy single match tickets).
Whether or not concessions are available at a match will be up the host school and anything sold must be prepacked (i.e., not popcorn cooked on site)… The head coach of the home team will be made available to the media within 15 minutes after the match is completed.
Media on the Google meeting requested Parker discuss with conference athletic directors how the winning head coach and at least one player from the winning team might also be made available.
All of the league’s matches will be run at North Lincoln High and the number of people can’t exceed 100.
There will be no livestreaming of cross country on the conference’s website.
By NCHSAA guidelines, no team can play more than 14 games so the South Fork 2A teams will play only home-and-away series with no non-conference or holiday tournaments.
If the 25-person rule is still in effect – Parker said they’ll follow NCDHHS/NCHSAA instruction on that total – the following will happen:
Schools will play a junior varsity girls game and clear and sanitize the gym; play junior varsity boys and do the same; follow the same guidelines for the varsity games.
Credentialed media will be limited to one writer and one photographer and there will be assigned seating and photographers will be limited in where they can be relative to the court or field.
Masks will be required and other COVID regulations to be determined will be enforced.
Parker said the one writer/one photographer rule will also be used in football.
The conference will play head-to-head series in consecutive games. For example, on opening day in baseball, Maiden will play at Bandys and the teams will then play three days later at Maiden.
In softball, Maiden will play at Bandys and the teams will meet again that Friday at Maiden.
The first softball games are March 16 while the first baseball games are April 27