• Alicia Bullaro

Limited Fans Allowed at OC Sporting Events

Olivet College (OC) spring sports will be played with fans in attendance. The Comets are finally getting to play in the presence of fans for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and the OC community as a whole is glad to see sports starting to go back to normal.


Because Covid-19 is still a threat, there are limits to the number of fans, and who those fans can be, at certain events. No visiting fans are allowed at any games via the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) fan policy. In addition to this ruling, the OC athletic department has allotted a certain number of fans depending on the sport. Each player is allowed two family members to attend their home games at the Cutler Event Center. Aside from family, each individual sport is allowed a specific number of staff and students to attend their games.


For football, 20 staff members and 150 students are permitted. Baseball and softball games are allowed to have ten staff and 50 students in attendance. Track and field events are permitting 20 staff members and 50 students, while soccer will allow ten staff members and 50 students.


Finally, volleyball, the only indoor Spring sport, will permit ten staff members and 30 students to attend home games according to OC’s assistant athletic director Haley Hunnewell.


Anyone who wishes to attend any of these sporting events will be required to sign up for the respective event no later than the Wednesday before the game is scheduled to take place. OC students and staff can find the link to sign up in the Olivet College email that was sent out by Hunnewell. The fans wishing to attend games are also asked to monitor themselves for any symptoms prior to arriving on campus as well as wearing a mask at all times and social distancing whenever possible.


The OC community is thrilled to have the opportunity to see sporting events live again, as this is the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that fans are permitted to spectate games in person. This may be most prevalent with those who are participating in the Spring sports.


“One of the things all of us love about game day is the energy, excitement, and passion of the fans,” said Dan Musielewicz, OC’s football coach, “It is contagious, and we feed and build off that energy with our own on the sideline.”


While they are grateful to have the opportunity to play in front of fans, the OC athletes and coaches feel fortunate to be playing at all. After all, in the 2019-20 season, the spring sport seasons were cut short due to the pandemic.


“It is always nice to be able to play in front of fans, but at the end of the day, you have to show up, play hard, and compete crazy whether there are no fans, ten fans, or 1,000 fans in the stands,” said Shelby Dixon, OC’s baseball coach, “So many of us have struggled with the season being cut short last year, so there shouldn’t be anyone taking for granted that we get to be on the field together right now.”


Because of the way the Covid-19 pandemic shut down what seemed like the whole world, athletes and all those involved in sports know now more than ever that things can change drastically very quickly.


“We tell our guys all the time to soak every day up because we’ve seen how quickly it can get shut back down,” said Dixon, “If you embrace that mentality, it’s a lot of fun to be at the ballpark every day.”


This change in policy makes the OC community hopeful that sports in the 2021-22 school year will look even more like they did before the pandemic.


“We are hopeful for things to begin to look more normal going into the 2021-22 school year,” said Hunnewell, “however, our main priority will always be the safety of our campus community and those who visit campus.”


For students and staff who would like to attend an athletics event, go to https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/8dd8355089ce443c88cd3f818627546d.


For more information about the OC fan policy, go to olivetcomets.com