The 2021 winter state tournaments are officially underway today but the packed houses that many of Idaho’s student-athletes are used to will have to wait until next year.
The Idaho High School Activities Association has put protocols in place that will limit attendance to all events, helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
For most of the boys and girls state basketball games, there is a cap at 150 in attendance per school per game.
The venues for the state tournament are as follows:
5A, both boys and girls: Ford Idaho Center
4A girls: Mountain View
4A boys: Rocky Mountain
3A girls: Middleton
3A boys: Columbia
2A girls: Bishop Kelly
2A boys: Eagle
1A DI girls: Columbia
1A DI boys: Vallivue
1A DII girls: Nampa
1A DII boys: Caldwell
For championship games at the Idaho Center, which hosts the largest schools, the attendance cap is 900 per school per game. Attendance to state tournament games is set up through the participating school. For Idaho Center games, some tickets will be available at the gate.
All fans in attendance will be required to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing from those who are not family members. These protocols will be policed by both school administration and tournament management staff. Repeated offenses to the protocols could result in penalties to the school.
The wrestling state tournament has a new look this year, moving to one-day sessions to minimize overlapping schools. The 5A and 4A state tournaments will be on Feb. 26 while the 3A and 2A tournaments will be Feb. 27.
The cheer state tournament will be at the Idaho Center on March 19. The dance state tournament will be at the Idaho Center on March 20.
The wrestling, cheer and dance state tournaments will all have attendance caps of two tickets per qualifying athlete.
For those unable to attend games in person, all video for basketball, wrestling, cheer and dance will be streamed on the NFHS Network. Basketball games will also be audio streamed for free on IdahoSports.com.
Attendance limits in Idaho have been a hot topic of conversation in the Legislature this year, with lawmakers upset that the IHSAA is letting fewer attendees than the state would allow for other events.