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High school basketball: With COVID-19 guidelines limiting indoor activity, games in Washington's Pierce County being played in livestock arena

Desperate to salvage season, athletic directors and businesses come up with creative solution.

2021-May-24
With local guidelines restricting indoor activity amid the pandemic, athletic directors, coaches and local businesses got creative to save the high school basketball season in Washington's Pierce County.

Games finally got underway Wednesday on the grounds of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup in a venue typically reserved for equestrian activities, livestock shows, auctions and swap meets.

The arena has a roof but opens on both ends, allowing the basketball games to be played and skirting the limit on indoor gatherings. Puyallup-based Looker Asphalt paved the arena floor in recent days in order to make it possible to lay down courts.
Curtis (University Place) athletic director Suzanne Vick told KJR 950 on Wednesday that nearly 400 games are scheduled to be played on three courts featuring boys and girls teams from the South Puget Sound League and Pierce County League.

Spectators aren't permitted this week but Vick said she hopes two guests per uniformed player will be allowed in the near future.

Thankfully, the area's unpredictable spring weather is doing its part to cooperate. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 70s through the weekend.
Two junior varsity girls games were the first to be played on the newly installed courts Wednesday afternoon.
Photo by Vince Miller
Two junior varsity girls games were the first to be played on the newly installed courts Wednesday afternoon.
Photo by Vince Miller
A Rogers player takes a shot during one of the two junior varsity girls games.
Photo by Vince MIller
A Rogers player takes a shot during one of the two junior varsity girls games.
Photo by Vince Miller
Dane Looker (right) of Looker Asphalt and Greg Barrett work to finish installing the courts in time for the first games that were held Wednesday afternoon.
Photo by Vince Miller
Dane Looker (right) of Looker Asphalt and Greg Barrett work to finish installing the courts in time for the first games that were held Wednesday afternoon.
Photo by Vince MIller