Protect WCHA spirit groups

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Searching for a better solution for the COVID-19 related spirit group ban at WCHA hockey games:

Recently, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association passed down a decision to ban any and all spirit groups at all hockey games in the conference.  This includes cheerleaders, mascots, and bands.

Here at University of Alabama in Huntsville, we believe that this decision is an over-generalization.  At UAH, the pep-band has been rehearsing and preparing for the upcoming hockey season.  After our hockey program was saved, the entire band along with our fans have been eagerly awaiting the start of the season.  The band has been following strict COVID-19 guidelines including social distancing, masks, bell covers, temperature checks, and health checks.  We have had zero transmissions in the band and are fully confident that we will be capable of performing at games safely.  Part of this is due to the fact that there is plenty of room in the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville to allow proper social distancing.

We do understand that some teams in the WCHA may not possess the capability to allow for this.  This is why we are not asking for a full reversal of the decision.  We simply ask that the WCHA allows each team to make their own decision regarding attendance of spirit groups.  Here at UAH, allowing spirit groups presents very little risk and the pep band has proven that spirit groups can stay safe, so long as they follow the proper guidelines.

We truly believe that spirit groups are a very large part of hockey, and we believe that excluding them from the season after all their preparation and careful adherence to COVID-19 guidelines would be a big loss to the season if they are able to perform safely.  And of course, who wants to go to a UAH hockey game without Charger Blue cheering on the team?

In Short: Allow individual teams to make individual decisions regarding spirit groups to comply with local guidelines and specific situations, not a blanket statement that unfairly effects groups with the facilities and abilities to stay safe.

Allow Spirit Groups that can safely perform to attend hockey games!