KHSAA approves Sept. 11 start date for football games, Sept. 7 for cross county, soccer and volleyball matches
In a nearly three-hour online board of control meeting Tuesday, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has outlined how school sports should proceed as we enter into the fall season.
KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett spoke early on during Tuesday’s meeting saying that he and other association officials have been closely monitoring all data concerning COVID-19 in the state. He said that it is important to be careful while moving forward with any attempts to resume school sports, also acknowledging that the association needs to be continue to be ready to make adjustments to any and all plans “at a moment’s notice” if necessary.
Before beginning discussion on how the fall season should be structured and regulated, Commissioner Tackett urged everyone to wear face coverings and continue to practice social distancing whenever possible. “We have to slow down the spread of this virus,” he said. “Or there will be no sports, and no school openings.”
Tackett then outlined some proposals for how to proceed with the fall sports of cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball. After the board discussed all options, they voted to support the following motion:
“Board approves motion to set the planned starting date for interscholastic competition in the fall sports of cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball at Sept. 7; starting official practice date where insurance is in place for Aug. 24 (limited to six hours the first week); and move the starting date for Soccer postseason to Oct. 12 (condensing the first three rounds into two weeks) and leaving the postseason dates for XC, FH and VB as previously set on the calendar. (Will be finalized at next meeting).”
Note: The six-hour per week practice restriction was later amended to 7.5 hours for all sports, including football, beginning on Aug. 24. As it pertains to golf, all activities are scheduled to proceed as normal.
Speaking specifically about football, another recommendation from Tackett was followed by another lengthy conversion amongst board members. Ultimately, the following motion was supported:
“Board approves a recommended motion to set the first official Football interscholastic contest as Sept. 11 with the first date of official practice as Aug. 24; set the 1st round of the Football playoffs for Nov. 13 and 14 (instead of Nov. 6 and 7); and set the FB finals for Dec. 11 and 12; with staff producing a specific calendar for acclimation to ensure three weeks of practice followed by the first competition week.”
The board decided to leave current regulations in place until Aug. 24, setting a date of Aug. 20 to reconvene and decide if any further action is necessary. All restrictions set forth by the KHSAA are intended to be observed by middle school athletic programs, same as high school programs.
Other items of interest from Tuesday’s meeting include:
- Board approves the recommended motion that until further notice, KHSAA member schools may only play schools located in Kentucky or located in a county that directly borders Kentucky.
- Board approves a recommendation that all districts that have voted to seed will be reduced to a one-game seed plan until further notice; that if teams play multiple times, the first game played shall be the seeded game, and that seed games not played directly related to Covid-19 be handled per the Board’s July action; and staff is directed to intercede and resolve contest disputes.
- Board approves a recommendation to help ensure appropriate social distancing and until further notice, that interscholastic competition have limits on players in uniform with most of them matching current region and state event limits to include: Cross Country (10), Field Hockey (24), Football (60), Soccer (24), Volleyball (15) per contest.
- Approved motion by the Board in accordance with Bylaw 22, that events in the team sports of baseball, basketball, field hockey, soccer, softball and volleyball be restricted to no more than 8 teams until further notice.
- Board approves a motion to set the starting date for Competitive Cheer and Dance at Aug. 24 with a strong recommendation that all activity be held outdoors where safety equipment and conditions will permit.
- Board approves an adjustment to Bylaw 23 (limitation of seasons) for this year – that the allowance for interscholastic scrimmages be removed for all KHSAA teams until further notice, and that the limit on contests be reduced to correspond with the approved starting date.
- Board approves a reduction of Sanctioned Events to minimize exposure and ensure social distancing, with the motion stating that until further revised, the KHSAA will not sanction any event where NFHS sanctioning is required.
- Board approves a motion that schools shall be placed in the appropriate alignment by the Commissioner in all sports and that schools shall notify the Commissioner on or before Sept. 30 if they desire to not be included in postseason play; and the Commissioner shall redirect changes in postseason play as necessary.