Yesterday was the Stevens/Central soccer match. I did not plan to attend the game because I was “not on the list” of two people my granddaughter could have watch the game in the stadium.
Watching from outside the fence didn’t seem all that exciting and I just decided not to go. Then, my son (her dad) said he was going and I changed my mind and decided to go and plan to sit outside the fence.
After arriving there I sat on the grass on the northside of the stadium. I noticed when my son and grandson arrived that the stadium was basically empty.
So I asked my son if we should just see if they were taking tickets/checking names on any list for the JV game. We walked up to the gate and there was in fact a representative from Stevens, wearing a mask. Also were signs stating that you must wear a mask and your name had to be “on the list.”
I was willing to wear a mask (and would have returned to my car to get one) but in checking the list my name was not on the list. Also the few people who were in the stands were not wearing masks. My son asked her, “what about all the people who are in the stands not wearing masks?” Her answer was, “I don’t care what you do after you get in there.” But again, I’m not faulting her; she was undoubtedly doing what she was told to do. She’s not the mask police and I wouldn’t expect her to be.
The lady said that we were welcome to, “watch the game outside the fence.” I asked her if she didn’t think that the two ticket rule was not fair indicating that at a previous game in Sturgis they at least were able to have 4 tickets?” She said, “that is Sturgis, not Rapid City.” I also asked if she thought it was fair that in split families it leaves several people unable to attend and again, she indicated it was the school policy.
I did not want to argue with her. She was firm but not antagonistic and I didn’t feel I was either, rather just stating the obvious.
My son sited a law that says that discrimination in using public facilities is not allowed. That was not my issue. My issue was the arbitrary two tickets per athlete rule that isn’t even consistent with adjacent school districts or mandated by the SD Athletic Association.
Someone then alerted the Stevens athletic director who came to see what the problem was. I explained there isn’t a problem, we just want to watch the soccer game and from the looks of the empty stadium there shouldn’t be any reason that we couldn’t attend.
He again explained the policy and I repeated my explanation of why I felt the two tickets maximum was an unfair policy and in fact does put families in a bad situation where multiple parents/grandparents would like to watch their child /grandchild play. He didn’t disagree.
He said he was there to try and help us out. I told him I appreciated that and he asked the list checker if there was possibly a “spot” that we could be put into. Assuming he meant some athlete didn’t use their two-ticket quota and our names could have been inserted. She didn’t know.
He then took it upon himself, and I am grateful, to tell her to list us as Spectator 1 and Spectator 2. We paid the admission price, $5.00 per adult and $3.00 for both children and went in and watched the soccer match.
I have to admit it made me think of Dr. Seuss and Thing One and Thing Two!
It points out the absolute lunacy of this rule and needs to be changed immediately.
I honestly feel I am a rule follower. I abide by the laws and not just the ones I agree with. But when a policy is so arbitrary as this 2-ticket policy is, one must take a stand. Is it a big deal? Yes, I think it is. Parents, grandparents, and siblings are not allowed to support their child, grandchild or brother or sister.
This wasn’t a slap at authority either because I believe that both the lady taking tickets as well as the Stevens Athletic Director understood the situation and were, if not in agreement with me, sympathetic to the issue.
I am requesting an emergency meeting of the school board to address this issue. If this policy is something that Superintendent Simon can change on her own I request she do so immediately.
Everyone is responsible for his or her health. Those who are compromised should certainly take precautions. Those who are sick should stay home. Those who feel the need to wear a mask should do so. Those who want to social distance should also take steps to do that.
Governor Noem said this state does not mandate such draconian rules and I believe she is right. Everyone should have the freedom to attend events if the event is taking place, just like we did two weeks earlier when Stevens played Central and everyone sat in their lawn chairs on the side of the field. No consistency is what makes all of these arbitrary rules ridicules.