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Spectator capacity limits for high school sports events lifted

Syosset teammates celebrate with cheering fans after a

Syosset teammates celebrate with cheering fans after a 13-7 win over Farmingdale in the Nassau Class A boys lacrosse final at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Tuesday. Credit: James Escher

The New York State Department of Health has updated the guidance for spectator capacity limits for high school sports. The spectator limit, which was 500, has been lifted for all sports.

According to Tom Combs, the executive director for Section XI, which governs all Suffolk school sports, the state’s decision to lift spectator limits was corroborated by the Suffolk County Department of Health late Wednesday.

"Every event is open to the capacity of the facility," Combs said on Thursday. "We are extremely happy with this decision and the timing of it. We’re very happy that the parents and spectators can see the athletes participate on the biggest stage."

The previous limit for spectators of 500 by state rule upset track and field fans, who wanted to watch the county boys and girls track and field championships.

"The issue we had was that there are over 300 athletes competing from all different schools at these track and field events," Combs said. "And when they’re done, they go up in the stands and watch everyone else compete and the crowd totals go well beyond 500."

Commack High School will host the girls and Comsewogue High School will host the boys county championships. In Nassau, Bellmore JFK will host the boys and girls track championships.

"All of our member schools have worked diligently to get to this point where it’s safe to allow all spectators to the capacity of the venue," Combs said.

The Town of Brookhaven will host the three Long Island championship softball games on Saturday at its Moriches Athletic Complex. St. Joseph’s College of Patchogue will host three Long Island championship games in Conferences I, III and V for baseball.

The LIC for baseball in Conferences II, IV and VI will be hosted by the Nassau Department of Parks at the Mitchel Athletic Complex on Sunday. There will be a gate list for fans of all participating schools who wish to watch the game from behind home plate. Each school will be allotted 100 spectators in the limited seating area behind the plate.

"All other spectators will be allowed to watch from any other vantage point around the field," Combs said. "People can finally go out and enjoy the games. It should be a fantastic weekend."

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