Central Clarion sports react to ‘confusing’ legal decisions

Area school officials have found themselves in a state of confusion when it comes to how many people are permitted to attend sporting events.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday temporarily restored Pennsylvania’s pandemic restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, putting a hold on a judge’s ruling that threw out statewide limits on crowd size.

In effect, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration can once again enforce limits on gatherings while it appeals the lower court order.

However, several school districts had altered their policy after the judge’s ruling that struck down the limitations.

On Sept. 24, the Clarion-Limestone School District set new guidelines for spectators.

For inside sporting events, a limit of two tickets per athlete for home team and two tickets per athlete for visiting team was set, which would put the venue beyond the 25-person limit.

However, for outside sporting events, C-L opted to adhere to the state’s 250-spectator limit. Unlike the first home football game of the year, both teams’ spectators were welcome.

“It is very confusing,” Clarion-Limestone Superintendent Amy Glasl said. “We are now operating on Gov. Wolf’s earlier mandate. Our first two football games were at home and we limited attendance to 250 (as the state mandated). We do not have any more home games.”

For inside events -after the state’s mandate was struck down – Glasl said the district was “giving two tickets to every player so we would be over the 25-person limit set by the governor. Now, with this happening, I don’t know what we will do. We may go back to the 25 again.”

C-L is in a co-op with Clarion and North Clarion to form the Central Clarion football team. The remaining Central Clarion home games will be played at Clarion University’s stadium.

“We called our solicitor right away,” said Clarion Area School District Superintendent Joe Carrico, whose district has an agreement with Clarion University to use the stadium for home games.

“They had given us permission to have 25% attendance. According to the university that was 1,000 spectators. We were very appreciative of that. We are being very careful about that.”