Pinellas County restricts teams from traveling to out-of-county tournaments

Pinellas County has decided to restrict public school teams from participating in any out-of-county tournaments starting on Monday. 

The restriction will last through Jan. 3, meaning teams will have to stay within the county limits to play in any holiday tournaments, a longtime tradition in winter sports, particularly basketball and wrestling. 

“We just need to find a way to get the spread of COVID under control,” Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett said. 

There are currently a combined seven county boys and girls basketball teams quarantining because of a positive case on the team or at the school. 

Other revamped guidelines include reducing seating capacity to 20 percent at games held in the county and limiting practices to 90 minutes. There also will be no concessions sold during this two-week period. 

As for in-county tournaments, Bennett said he will review each one involving Pinellas public schools to make sure they are following proper safety protocols. He already approved teams scheduled to participate in boys and girls tournaments at Keswick Christian and Northside Christian (both private schools).