Sports Workers: The Few Students who Attended Sporting Events In-Person Prior to Uplifted Restrictions

The Albion College women's lacrosse team won their second game on Feb. 27 against Alma College. As schools across the MIAA adjust their athletic spectator policies to allow for more people in the stands, Albion College is doing the same (Photo courtesy of Kate Winter).

For many first-years at Albion College, Friday night lights on the Briton purple and gold field only exist in their imagination. Since spring 2020, sporting events around the world have looked emptier and quieter than in the past.

Though updates to the policy have since been made, for many months, sporting events had only been accessible to a small percentage of Albion College students: the student workers.

According to Marissa Smego, Albion College’s sport information director, there are about 26 student workers on staff, with a variety of different roles.

“Some sit next to me in the press box and are stat callers, meaning they say what’s happening in the game and I input it into the computer. Some do the live stream, so they run the camera and the scoreboard that appears on the live stream. I also have some who update the Albion Athletics social media during games and are photographers,” said Smego.

Madi Partak, a senior from Traverse City, has been a sports worker at Albion College since her sophomore year.

Partak has held a variety of jobs throughout that time, including updating player bios on; adding photo albums and player headshots to the website; adjusting rosters; and office work. Partak’s primary job, however, is to call stats at games. As a result, Partak has been able to be present at volleyball, basketball, and soccer games when many other students, leading up to this point in time, have not. 

“It was very different being at a game without live spectators,” said Partak. “I had never realized the impact that being in a gym full of your peers had on the game.”

Partak also said was thankful to be there to cheer on the Albion teams during a more restricted period of time. According to Partak, having fellow students at the games makes all the difference.

“Having just parents at the games isn’t the same as having other students,” said Partak. “They don’t bring the same energy that the students do. Student spectators bring so much to the game and are missed for sure.”

As of March 16, restrictions have eased to include up to four spectators per athlete, though the rule varies depending on the sport. In addition, 25 members of the Albion College community (faculty, staff, and students) may sign up at a link on

About Shannon Barba 22 Articles
Shannon Barba is a sophomore from Marshall, Michigan, currently double majoring in physics and computer science. After Albion, he hopes to attend graduate school at MIT. In addition to being Co-Marketing Coordinator for the Pleiad, Barba is the Engagements Chair of Student Senate, participant in the Prentiss M. Brown Honors program, member of the Student Volunteer Bureau, mentor for first-year students, pianist for Albion's Jazz Band, representative for the Committee of Student Learning, mentor for Harrington Elementary School, and a member of the Biochemistry Club.

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