KHSAA Board of Control met Tuesday, July 28 in special meeting and voted to delay but start the fall high school sports season in August
Kentucky high school student-athletes and coaches have a start date.
Commissioner Julian Tackett started his portion of the meeting quoting a Dr. Eli Capuloto that there is two choices Either go into a lockdown or shutdown or learn to live in a Covid world.
Golf has been allowed to start on this Friday, July 31 as it is a sport that is easily socially distanced and safety protocols can be followed.
The recommendation from Tackett was for soccer, field hockey, volleyball and cross country to start practices with insurance on Monday, August 24 and competition on Monday, August 31. The first week of practice would be limited
Many board members expressed that "our kids" are better in our hands than the ones that are doing it for fun in these state and national tournaments as kids and their parents are traveling throughout the country.
The discussion centered on the need for two weeks of practice with six hours of practice time during the week of August 24, full practice week of Monday, August 31 and first competitive games would start Monday, September 7.
Based on schedules on Riherds, Pendleton County Volleyball is scheduled to have their first game on Tuesday, September 8 versus Calvary Christian at home. Ladycat Soccer has a limited schedule on line but their first game would be on September 14 at Harrison County. Wildcat Soccer Wildcat Soccer would kick off their season at home versus Calvary Christian on September 10.
Option 1 was approved 17 ayes with one member abstaining.
Football was a separate discussion with a more complicated motion.
"We know that one of the real problems in moving it to the spring is you would have to shorten the 2021 season too because of the time needed for recovery for the athletes," said Tackett.
The motion from KHSAA was made for the first football contest would be set for September 11 with playoffs to start on November 13-14 with finals on December 13-14. The first practice would be on Monday, August 24 with KHSAA staff producing a calendar on what coaches will be allowed to do each week leading up to the first game. The motion carried with one abstaining.
As the meeting was coming to a close, the issue of football practice time was brought back up. While conceding that football is different as players have to get use to wearing the equipment and heat, there was concerned that football would be allowed to have more practice time the first week then the other sports. Football is limited to first five days of helmet only and then three more days in shoulder pads and then three more days before they are allowed to practice in full gear.
Tackett shared with the board, "Football is already so limiting in what they can do that you might be trying to fix a problem that does not exist."
The amendment was passed to allow all sports to have 7 1/2 hours of practice during the first week of August 24.
Pendleton County Football is scheduled to play Dayton on Friday, September 11 at home which would become their opening game of the 2020 season.
Tackett pointed out that there is no provision for scrimmages in any of the sports.
The season would start with the game scheduled for the week the season starts and playoffs will be left alone.
Competitive Cheer and Dance opportunities to start on August 24 with a strong recommendation that any activity they can would be done outside.
Kentucky athletics was in a holding pattern for most of the spring after the Girls Sweet Sixteen was set to complete first round action on Thursday, March 12. Throughout the spring, start date for spring sports was pushed back as the basketball and archery seasons were canceled. Eventually, spring sports season were called off with seniors never getting to participate in the last season.
The KHSAA has been on a three-month dead period with limited practices beginning on June 15. Presently, schools are allowed to have non-contact practices in groups of 50 athletes or less with significant safety protocols in place.
Several members of the Board of Control to have another special meeting before practices to start to evaluate the numbers and the decisions being made today.
A complete shutdown was not a serious option because athletes shutting down for two weeks run the risk of injury and less acclimation to heat when they return.
The Board also limited play to schools located in Kentucky or located in a county that directly borders Kentucky.
Because of social distancing guidelines, football will be limited to 60 players in uniform during game night. The other sports would be limited to the state tournament limit for players on sidelines.
Middle Schools are to follow the guidelines set for the high school.