NCAA to allow full capacity at stadiums for upcoming postseason events

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FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, The national office of the NCAA in Indianapolis is viewed. The NCAA will permit spring sport athletes _ such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players _ who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus outbreak to have an additional year of eligibility. The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday, March 30, 2020, to give spring sport athletes regardless of their year in school a way to get back the season they lost, but did not guarantee financial aid to the current crop of seniors if they return to play next year. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The NCAA announced on Wednesday that, starting on Thursday, it will allow for local and state health authorities to determine capacities at postseason events.

Neither masks nor distancing will be required by the NCAA at events, but those rules will also fall under guidance of local and state rules.

“The effectiveness and prevalence of vaccinations in our country have allowed the Medical Advisory Group to provide this guidance that has tremendous impact on student-athletes, coaches and fans attending NCAA championships,” Dr. Brian Hainline, the NCAA chief medical officer, said. “It’s still important for anyone attending championships to remember common sense measures like hand washing, hand sanitization and proper etiquette when coughing or sneezing.”

With Texas softball set to host a regional starting on Friday and the baseball team in line for a top-eight national seed, the Longhorns now have to decide if they will take advantage of the new guidelines at both McCombs Field and UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Along with baseball and softball, track and field still has the preliminary round, which get started on May 26 in College Station for Texas, and then the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore. in June.

As far as the actual participants, from the athletes, coaches, trainers, physical therapists, medical and equipment staff and officials, they will stay in a controlled environment, according to the NCAA. Nonvaccinated people will still be tested and have to follow more stringent COVID protocols. Vaccinated participants are exempt from testing, so long as they don’t show any symptoms. They also don’t have to worry about quarantining or isolating.

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