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Area winter sports begin with varying spectator policies due to COVID

Fans can stream Havre High, more high school sporting events on the NFHS Network


Last updated 12/31/2020 at 8:46am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre's Conner McKay swims in the 2019 Havre Invitational last December. The Blue Ponies will be swimming in the Havre Community Pool this Saturday against Billings Central and Hardin, but things will be quite different with many COVID-19 safety protocols in place including no spectators for the meet.

The time has come for winter sports to finally begin. Teams began practicing Dec. 7, which was almost three weeks later than normal, and Saturday, competitions will be allowed for the first time.

Originally, the Montana High School Association set a start date of Jan. 8 for the belated winter sports season, but, that date was amend so teams could add more games and events.

For Havre High, Saturday means the start of multiple home events. The Blue Pony boys and girls basketball teams will host Lewistown in season-openers with varsity played at the HHS gymnasium, and sub-varsity games held at the Havre Middle School.

Havre's spectator policy currently for home basketball games is limited to each rostered player having two tickets, as well as each coach and each manager being granted two tickets. Visiting teams will be granted the same allotment. Visting fans and home fans will also be seated on opposite sides of the gym.

Havre is also hosting the Class A Swim Meet Saturday at the Havre Community Pool. Billings Central and Hardin will be in attendance, where all MHSA swimming protocols will be in place.

According to HHS Activities Director Brian Kessler, no fans will be in attendance for this Saturday's meet. But limited fans will be permitted in the Havre Community Pool when the Blue Ponies participate in scheduled virtual meets, where they are the only team in the building.

The Blue Pony basketball games and swim meet are the first events to be held at Havre High since the end of the high school volleyball season back in November.

Area basketball, including the 9C and more, as well as high school wrestling, can also begin this Saturday, with individual schools having their own spectator policies.

Meanwhile, at Montana State University-Northern, the Lights and Skylights are set to finally being Frontier Conference play Monday night when Carroll College comes to town. The schools meet again Tuesday per this year's schedule of back-to-back Frontier Conference games.

As was the case when basketball began in December, the Frontier currently has a no-spectator policy in place league-wide. The conference did say the policy would be revisited at the start of the new year, though no timetable for that has been given.

All Northern athletics can be viewed online for free, by going to http://www.golightsgo.com .

For streaming of Havre High, and many other area high school basketball games, fans can go to https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/mhsa . A monthly subscription is $10.99.


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