No volleyball fans for Pinellas County public schools the first two weeks of the season

Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett said fans will not be allowed to attend volleyball matches at public schools the first two weeks of the regular season.

The decision was based on the advice of the county’s medical advisory team, which had epidemiologists review the seating capacity at gymnasiums to see what safety measures needed to be taken.

“We just felt more comfortable taking a conservative approach by keeping fans away the first few weeks, especially with a sport that’s indoors and dealing with air circulation,” Bennett said.

Fans likely will be allowed to attend volleyball matches in Pinellas starting on Sept. 19, though seating capacity will likely be reduced to 20 percent with parents taking preference over students.

“We want to see what the COVID cases look like with students returning to campus and games and practices taking place those first few weeks before making a determination on fans,” Bennett said.

There also will be 25 seating percent seating capacity for football games in the county this season.

Those unable to attend can watch volleyball matches or football games via live stream through the NFHS Network for $10 a month, Bennett said.

Other safety measures include masks required for fans and tickets available online only.