The Board of Control conducted a special meeting on Thursday morning, upholding its earlier decision by a 12-5 vote to begin practice for winter sports on Dec. 14th and regular-season competition on Jan. 4th. Prior to confirming the start of the winter sports season, the Board voted 12-5 to push back the dates for the boys’ and girls’ Sweet 16® to March 29-April 8 after narrowly defeating other alternative dates, with the event schedule and format to be finalized at a later date in consultation with Rupp Arena.
“These are extremely complex issues. Our Board has spent an extraordinary amount of time examining every aspect surrounding the resumption of sports, particularly those that are indoors and have extreme concerns from public health officials,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “At the same time, there is significant data being shared about the need for students to be engaged with one another in traditional settings, be they the classroom or the athletic court or field.
“Trying to balance competing public health concerns has been a tremendous challenge all year. Just last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article on the need to get kids back involved, while at the same time, the number of positive cases of coronavirus continues to be very high both in Kentucky and in other states. Finalizing the plan for going forward allows the member schools to use some local decision making in areas that are concerning and adopts a blueprint for the rest of the school year.”
On Nov. 18th, the Board postponed all activity in the winter sports from November 20 through December 13 in congruence with the Governor’s order issued that same day. The cessation applied to all indoor interscholastic sports at all school levels, including but not limited to basketball, bowling, competitive cheer, dance, indoor track and field, swimming, and wrestling. By confirming its decision from Nov. 18th, each of these sports and sport-activities will be permitted to resume activity on Monday.
Regular season competition may begin on Jan. 4th, though the Governor’s current order limits competition in the sport-activity of bowling due to the restrictions placed on bowling centers. The Association staff will communicate more details to the membership on Friday regarding the guidelines for winter sports and scheduling revisions. In the coming days and weeks, more details will be released as plans for postseason events continue to take shape.
“Our staff continues to be extremely agile in planning and adjusting to the problems of conducting competition during the pandemic,” added Tackett. “And our Board of Control continues to prioritize a full season for the spring sports and sport-activities during 2021. These schedule adjustments balance these priorities while also allowing for additional flexibility should the situation worsen again.”