WYMT Food City Mountain Basketball Classic undergoes changes due to COVID-19

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 5:58 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - After the high school basketball season was pushed back due to the coronavirus, the 34th annual WYMT Food City Mountain Basketball Classic presented by Kentucky Farm Bureau and sponsored by ARH was moved to February 1st through Saturday, February 6th at Perry County Central High School.

Many changes have been made to the Mountain Classic, based on the recommendations of local, state and federal health officials.

“We certainly apologize that everyone can’t attend the games. We know that a lot of people look forward to this every year,” said Archie Everage, the Chairman of the Mountain Classic Committee.

Only 200 fans will be admitted per game. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Instead, participating teams will receive 100 tickets for each game. Each player and coach will receive the option to purchase four tickets for their immediate families.

“That kind of takes up the 100 tickets, but if it does not any of those extra tickets can be sold by the school,” said Everage.

Tickets will only be sold at participating schools. No passes to the games will be available.

Health screenings will also take place at the gate for those with tickets.

“If you ride in the same car with someone you can sit together at the games but please try to stay 6 feet away from any other groups or individuals,” said Perry County Schools Superintendent, Jonathan Jett.

After every game, the gym will be cleared so crews can sanitize bleachers, locker rooms, benches, score tables and basketballs.

“We have confidence in the plan we don’t have confidence in the virus so we’ve got our fingers crossed that everything will go well, we won’t have any positive cases and we can through the end of the tournament,” said Jett.

Masks will also be required at all times and will be strictly reinforced. Media will be restricted to their team only, and there will be no hospitability room.

Safety will be the number one priority. WYMT’s VP General Manager, Neil Middleton says the tournament will be flexible as some teams are already in quarantine due to COVID-19.

“We may have to change the bracket multiple times but our goal is to hold this tournament, to do it safely and to crown a new boys and girls champion by the end of the tournament,” said Middleton.

Any changes to the brackets can be found here on WYMT’s website. WYMT staff will send out push alerts when changes have been made or games have been postponed. Click here for an updated bracket.

All games will air on WYMT’s Heroes & Icons channel as well as on here on our website and other WYMT streaming platforms. These include: YouTube TV, Hulu TV, Roku, Fire TV, Vuit, Apple TV and Fubo TV.

Some of these will only be available based on your location due to Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulations.

The scholarship presentation which is usually is held on the first day of the tournament, will be delayed until the spring and will be held virtually.

More than 2,000 scholarships have been awarded in the last 33 years. The tournament has generated more than $4 million for schools and students.

WYMT is still looking for donors for the scholarships. If you are interested in donating, you can call WYMT at 606-436-5757 and ask for Neil Middleton.

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