MCPS implements new restrictions for all high school sporting events after violence following an upcounty football game.
On the night of Sept. 16 at Gaithersburg High School, a fight broke out between the Gaithersburg High School and Northwest High School varsity football teams while in game. Following that week, Montgomery County Schools chose to carry out new restrictions following the violence to prevent future altercations.
According to Fox 5 News, both high schools’ varsity teams were suspended after the fight and had to forfeit all upcoming games. At least five arrests were made, including an assault charge against Northwest High School’s head coach Travis Hawkins. This charge was filed by Northwest High School’s athletic director, William C. Gant.
Starting Sept. 23, new restrictions will take place and be applied statewide in a three-tier system. These restrictions were announced by the MCPS director of athletics, Jeff Sulivan, during a press conference on Sept. 21. Sullivan announced that tier 1 restrictions will include:
Tier 2 restrictions include additional capacity restrictions and changing the times that sporting events take place, such as times being moved to earlier on Fridays or moving game days to Thursday mornings or Saturdays. Any teams that are involved with fighting and other inappropriate behavior will be subjected to suspension for multiple games and or completely banned from postseason play.
Some tier 3 restrictions may include closing concession stands, limiting attendees to families of those participating in the event, and prohibiting spectators from entering in “extreme situations.”
Sullivan hopes that MCPS sporting events will continue to be enjoyed by everyone, “Hopefully we don’t have to go any farther, and we have that positive culture and community event established. If there is the reason for a specific game, or districtwide, we go to tier two,” he said.
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