NCAA updates protocols for championship attendance and masking



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NCAA updates protocols for championship attendance and masking

Capacity limits and masking guidance to come from local health authorities

May 19, 2021 3:00pm

Based on recommendations from the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, the NCAA today announced new health and safety guidance for upcoming championships. Beginning May 20, local public health authorities will determine fan capacities at championship events. The NCAA will not set a predetermined limit.

Masks and physical distancing will also not be required unless mandated by public health authorities. Each person attending an NCAA championship should make an informed decision about wearing a mask and physical distancing in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Dr. Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer.

The guidance is subject to change based on emerging trends and science around COVID-19.

“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,” Hainline 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.”

Tier 1 participants at NCAA championships will remain in a controlled environment. Nonvaccinated participants will continue to be tested in keeping with the protocols outlined in the Championships Safety Overview. Fully vaccinated athletics personnel and health care providers will be allowed access to Tier 1.

The COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group defines Tier 1 participants as those with the highest exposure, including student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials.

For more on the NCAA’s response to COVID-19, visit

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