CCIW updates spectator policy

Andrew Zienty

Signs hanging around Shirk Center and other athletic venues urge Titans to mask up.
Photo: Samira Kassem

The wait is over and sports spectators are back at Illinois Wesleyan University. The College Conference of Wisconsin and Illinois (CCIW) recently updated their spectator policy to allow each member institution to make their own decisions on whether spectators will be allowed at the games or not.

With the new spectator policy, there are still some conference-wide protocols and regulations that will be enforced at every institution. Masks over the nose and mouth will still be required at all times, fans must still maintain social distancing with twelve feet of distance from student-athletes at all times and all tailgating remains strictly prohibited.

While each institution can create its own spectator policies and additional protocols, the regulations from the CCIW must be upheld.

IWU has added some new protocols with the announcement that they will be allowing fans at certain athletic venues on campus during games.

“Our policy sheet was just finalized today, so interested fans should be able to access them via our website” associate athletic director Tony Bankston said.

The new policies are as followed: only home team guests are allowed, student-athletes will be allowed four individuals on their guest list, bench areas for both teams will be expanded to commit to social distancing, no food consumption is permitted at any venue, spectators can not leave and re-enter the venue at any time and the admittance into venues will open 30 minutes prior to the start of the game.

After accounting for the facility and the expected number of guests on the student-athlete pass list, we can also open some spectator space for IWU students, faculty and staff,” Bankston said. 

Here are the current policies:

     – Shirk Arena (Men’s and Women’s Volleyball) – since it is indoors, only guests from the student-athlete pass list will be permitted.

     – Beadles-Morse Tennis Courts (Men’s and Women’s Tennis) – spectator space is very limited, so  only guests from the SA pass list will be guaranteed a space, but some viewing will be available by standing outside of the facility fencing.

     – Carol Willis Park (Softball) – beyond the SA pass list, up to 60 students, faculty or staff in the right-field bleachers will be permitted.

     – Horenberger Field (Baseball) – beyond the SA pass list, up to 50 students, faculty or staff in the picnic area along the first-base line will be permitted.

     – Neis Field (Men’s and Women’s Soccer) – beyond the SA pass list, up to 25 students, faculty or staff in the East end of the North bleachers will be permitted.

     – Tucci Stadium (Football, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse) – beyond the SA pass list, up to 150 students, faculty and staff in the Horseshoe for football and in the west end of the north bleachers for lacrosse will be permitted.

IWU’s Shirk Center has hosted many athletic events already this semester.
Photo: Samira Kassem

“I am beyond excited to have some fans back at our games. Seeing my parents, friends and even faculty in the stands at Horenberger Field always adds a little more motivation to succeed and really helps us feel like we do have home-field advantage,” senior baseball player Colin Pfotenhauer said.

While spectators will not be allowed at the home indoor track meet this weekend, the baseball games as well as the women’s lacrosse games this Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14, will allow spectators and will follow the new policies.

Each institution will be in charge of their own policies and some may not allow spectators to be present, check each individual institution’s policy regarding spectators for more information on away games and events.