KHSAA sticking with the plan; Fall sports begin Sept. 7
LEXINGTON, KY (KHSAA)- The Board of Control held a virtual Zoom meeting Thursday morning, affirming its July position by a 16-2 vote to begin practice for fall sports on August 24th with competition starting the week of September 7th. The Board considered two other motions during the meeting, both of which would have delayed the start of the fall seasons to varying degrees, but neither motion received enough support for adoption.
The fall sports of Field Hockey, Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, and Football can begin official practice August 24, with a restriction of 7.5 hours of practice during the first week (as previously approved by the Board) and full practice starting Monday, August 31.
“We hope to submit practice revisions early Friday following the Board’s approval, which will hopefully be relatively minimal. If approved to expand numbers and activity, it will hopefully bring a more normal look to some practices while still emphasizing social distancing, hand washing, and masking/face coverings everywhere possible and practical,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “It will be imperative that teams continue with small cohorts in every feasible situation as that is vital to contact tracing in the event of a confirmed case.
“It is critical that we expand as slowly as possible and our programs not press the accelerator too quickly. Certainly, no one should expect teams to be in postseason form in their first game and if administrators and coaches don’t feel like this slower progression is in their best interests, they need to wait to start contests. The KHSAA doesn’t direct teams to play, we only define the allowable times for play. We will plan on the submission of contest documents very early next week and will remain available to discuss any of those provisions with the Governor’s office and the Kentucky Department of Health.”
The Board of Control also addressed the postseason region schedules for Competitive Cheer and Dance, both of which are classified in the highest risk categories as defined by various sports medicine authorities, approving a recommendation to reschedule the regional dates for later in the winter. Following the Board’s action, the division declarations for both sport-activities shall be submitted on or before Monday, Nov. 9. The Competitive Cheer Regionals are to be rescheduled for the weekends of Jan. 16th and 23rd, with the Dance Regionals set for the weekend of Feb. 13th, allowing both sport-activities flexibility in the case of weather or other types of postponement. State dates for Competitive Cheer and Dance will be set during the Board’s September meeting.
In other action Thursday, the Board:
- Approved a recommendation for a waiver for Bylaw 9 for the 2020-21 season only in response to COVID-19 participation concerns, allowing basketball student-athletes to compete in outside events and leagues up until the start of official practice;
- Authorized staff to submit competition plans for fall sports to KDE and KPHD, including competition limitations for individual sports;
- Reviewed a report from the KMA Sports Medicine Committee on Return to Play guidelines;
- Granted the Commissioner authority to coordinate the calling of a special Board meeting in the event of a statewide shutdown of interscholastic competition by the Legislative or Executive Branch (including the Department of Public Health) or the fall sport plan is not approved;
- Approved an expenditure by the Association to seek additional insurance coverage related to COVID-19.