After it was announced that the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament would be taking place in the state of Indiana, attention then turned to what health and safety protocols the NCAA may put in place and whether or not fans would be able to attend March Madness this year.
On Thursday, the NCAA answered some of those questions surrounding this year’s Big Dance.
Tier 1 travel party participants, which include players, coaches, physical therapists, trainers, equipment and medical staff, and game officials, will have to provide proof of seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests prior to arriving. All Tier 1 individuals will then receive daily tests while at the tournament and will also wear KINEXON movement devices for contact tracing purposes.
Any asymptomatic Tier 1 members who have tested positive in the last 90 days but are more than two weeks post-positive, plus those who have been vaccinated more than two weeks before arrival, won’t be subject to daily tests or contact tracing.
While the NCAA announced that the final attendance policy will be announced after February 1, six family members per Tier 1 individual will be allowed to attend, capping the number at 420 family members per game.
“Our emphasis is on the safety and well-being of everyone participating in the event,” said NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline. “By working with local health officials to develop protocols and administer COVID-19 testing, we are confident we will provide a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and officials.”
Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Purdue’s Mackey Arena, and Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis was already scheduled to host the Final Four this year.