Lace ’em up.
Kansas high school athletics is set to move forward as scheduled, following a Kansas State High School Activities Association Executive Board meeting Tuesday afternoon. A motion to push back high school football games until after Sept. 8 failed with a 5-4 vote.
The Sept. 8 start date also would have applied to volleyball, boys soccer, and gymnastics. The proposal would have limited the football season to eight games.
Instead, practices and competitions will all go on according to the KSHSAA handbook. Fall practices begin Aug. 17. However, safety guidelines approved by the executive board last week will still be in place. Preseason jamborees in football are strongly discouraged.
KSHSAA executive director Bill Faflick presented the proposal that would have delayed a total nine activities. In addition to football, volleyball, boys soccer, and gymnastics, other delays would’ve included:
- Girls Tennis – no earlier than August 21
- Girls Golf – no earlier than August 21
- Cross Country – no earlier than September 2
- Debate – no earlier than September 18
- Scholars Bowl – no earlier than October 19
Last week, the executive board ultimately decided on a plan to conduct a survey with school district superintendents across the state regarding the anticipated first day of school for respective districts. The survey showed 68% of school districts starting classes on Aug. 17 and 24. Larger districts, including Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita and several others, will begin classes after Labor Day.
Fall championships, fan attendance, and other decisions will be made in the future. Faflick indicated postseason tournaments will be pursued, but no promises.
“It is premature to guarantee we’ll have championships at this point in the year. We cannot guarantee that the weekend after Thanksgiving, it will be appropriate to play football.”
As for fan attendance, Faflick mentioned, “One size fits all is not applicable. That is a local decision. The local health department will provide capacity limits for contests held outside and inside facilities.”