Governor’s Executive Order limits attendance at high school sporting events

Governor Bill Lee has issued Executive Order No. 70, which goes into effect immediately and will remain in effect through January 19, 2021.

In addition to limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer (with exemptions for houses of worship, funerals and weddings) and asking employers to let employees work from home for the next 30 days, the Executive Order also addresses attendance at high school sporting events.

The TSSAA says that the Governor’s office conferred with them about these restrictions, and in a press release, stated, “TSSAA concurs with Governor’s office that these restrictions represent the best means for us to continue providing interscholastic athletic participation opportunities to our student-athletes while also doing our part to curb the spread of the virus. We remain hopeful that we will soon begin to see a decline in the instances of infection and that our schools will soon be able to return to more normal operation of their athletic competition.”

Because of the significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 infections in Tennessee, large scale attendance by spectators and students must be curtailed, according to the TSSAA. Doing so means that bands, pep bands, cheerleaders, and dance teams may not attend athletic contests while these restrictions remain in place.

Here is a list of the the only attendees permitted at practices or games, in addition to the student-athletes on the team:

  1. Players’ parents or guardians and immediate household members;
  2. First Responders;
  3. Coaching and team personnel;
  4. School, game, and facility administrators;
  5. Athletics officials; and
  6. Media and athletic scouting personnel attending the event in their professional capacity.

Social distancing between persons from different households is required. While the Executive Order does not mandate the use of masks, the Governor has encouraged masks, and the TSSAA COVID-19 Sports Regulations provision regarding the use of masks remains. Refer to the Tennessee Returns to Play page at for full information.

These are minimum restrictions. Depending on particular school, facility, or community circumstances, school officials may require additional limitations on attendance, according to TSSAA.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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