By Donevan Aceves, Sept. 7, 2021

As the pandemic continues to challenge sports events on campus, the CPP Athletics Department has announced a new spectator restriction policy effective this fall season.

The policy states that spectators will be limited to outdoor sports for the 2021-2022 season. However, the policy will allow spectators to attend both men and women’s soccer games throughout the season.

With the CPP volleyball and soccer teams playing games on campus for the first time since the beginning of 2020, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brian Swanson expressed that the reasoning behind the new spectator restrictions was meant to protect the well-being of the entire CPP community.

“We tried to work with the data that we had at the time. We made the decision to be proactive, but also giving us an opportunity to review the conditions at the time as things change in the county,” said Swanson. “We wanted to be respectful of those that might be planning to attend Cal Poly Pomona and mitigate as much risk as possible to allow our student athletes to compete that haven’t competed since March of 2020.”

Since Kellogg Arena is an indoor venue and cannot operate abiding by the university’s COVID-19 preventative guidelines, the Athletics Department must enforce the policy at volleyball games. It will apply to all spectators including athletes’ families, team supporters and other CPP students.

Senior middle blocker Jane Woodward expressed her mixed emotions toward the new policy for Kellogg Arena.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s so exciting to be back and I’m so grateful to that we get to be playing games again, but at the same time it’s hard knowing that we won’t have any of our friend and families that have supported us during COVID-19 in the stands at our games,” said Woodward. “I’m hopeful that later on in the season that we might be able to have a limited number of friends and family allowed at the games.”

The attendance restrictions will affect Kellogg Arena sports the most, as spectators will not be allowed to attend indoor contests. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

The atmosphere at Kellogg Stadium, however, will be affected by different guidelines. As an outdoor venue, social distancing guidelines can be properly established to accommodate soccer games.

Prior to attending any game on campus, spectators will have to complete a Guest Health Screener. The screener includes a series of questions that asks each spectator the reason for their visit to campus, their vaccination status and if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Additionally, every visiting team must complete a COVID-19 attestation verifying vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test before competing at Cal Poly Pomona.

The season openers for both volleyball and soccer took place on Sept. 2. Regardless of vaccination status, spectators in attendance at Kellogg Stadium are required to wear a face covering and socially distance during the games.

The Athletics Department also asks that students not attend any events on campus if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Based on the conditions of Los Angeles County and the university, the restrictions will be re-evaluated late September or early October, according to Swanson.

“Personally, I don’t understand [the policy] especially because it’s the same setting as a classroom, but it is good for all the athletes because I’m sure they all love and miss playing,” said business administration student Brianna Aguilar.

For students unable to attend games in person, the CCAA Network or the new CPP Athletics app can be accessed to stream the games.

The new attendance restrictions and policies are subject to change at any point throughout the semester based on the overall conditions of the campus as well as Los Angeles County.

The CPP Athletics Department will provide updates about any changes to the policies as they occur via their website.

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