Changes to the fall sports season at Carrollton High School were announced Thursday at a Carrollton City Schools’ Board of Education work session.

The new safety protocols, which include reduced seating and other procedures, were mandated for fall sports and other extracurricular activities to combat the spread of COVID-19 at CHS.

“We know the upcoming fall athletic season has created many questions for our athletes and fans,” said CHS Principal David Brooks. “Although GHSA has not made any further modifications to schedules, it is our responsibility to put a plan in place that is consistent with our district’s efforts to keep our community safe.”

In a letter to athletes, parents, and fans, details on ticket sales, seating capacity, and additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts were released Thursday.

The message declared only half of the reserved black seat-backs will be available for season ticket holders on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the reserved seats have been occupied, remaining season ticket holders will fill general admission seats in the stadium. Also, only half of general admission seating will be available for patrons. Limited general admission tickets will be available for purchase at CHS Monday-Friday during game week. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the gate. CHS will notify the public each Friday via social media of gate ticket availability.

“We can get 5,000 people in the stands on our home side … what we’re proposing to do is border off every other row throughout bleachers and season ticket-holding seats,” Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent of Carrollton City Schools, said during the work session. “I know people like ‘their’ seats, but people have to understand that everyone has got to be flexible.”

However, for those fans who are not able to purchase a ticket, or do not feel comfortable attending a stadium at half capacity, Trojan games will be streamed live via the NFHS Network. A link will be communicated each week to the public via social media.

In addition, more space will be offered to the Trojan Marching Band; a modified concession stand will be available; a limited number of visitor tickets will be allowed to visiting schools, and masks will not be required but instead strongly encouraged for attendees.

Other fall sports, such as volleyball and softball will mandate a 50% capacity limit as well. Season passes and general admission tickets will be available for purchase, and the aforementioned requirements for football games will be instructed too.

“The above protocols are contingent upon the Georgia High School Association’s (GHSA) guidelines for high school sports,” said Brooks. “Should GHSA make any additional changes to the fall athletic seasons, we will communicate those to our families as soon as possible.”

Extracurricular activities, such as the marching band or choir, will be allowed with certain requirements as well.

The marching band will continue to perform during games and offer half-time shows for fans, but they will not travel with the football squad to opposing high schools. The choir will also continue performances and events throughout the year. Practices will be held outside to lessen the spread of potential air particles that may contain COVID-19.

“We feel strongly that we can go forward with band and chorus at every level, [as long as] we make sure we are using caution,” Albertus said. He also noted that the school is in the process of ordering webbing strap covers for band instruments and face shields for the choir, which will help constrain the possible transmission of the coronavirus through tiny particles suspended in the air during their performances.

“Our chorus and band directors are very contentious in order to continue to teach, so they’re going to do everything they can to be safe,” Albertus said. “You will hear about other school districts disallowing bands and chorus, but that’s not our recommendation.”