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01/15/21- Early Season Basketball Reminders- Masks, Seeding, Attendance, Media

January 15, 2021 Basketball Blog Updates


This is being sent to all KHSAA member school Principals and Athletic Directors, as well as the Head Coaches of record and the licensed officials.

​After our first couple of weeks, it appears a couple of reminders are in order related to the basketball season during the pandemic. We have been blessed by an opportunity to play when so many other states do NOT have that opportunity. But that privilege comes with responsibilities to help ensure public safety and the continued opportunity.
It is REQUIRED not recommended that all bench personnel wear masks/face coverings. Local policy cannot override this requirement. We all sincerely hope for relief from some of the extra requirements, but such will likely not come this season.

  • For non-uniformed personnel (coaches, managers, trainers, non-dressed players), it is unsportsmanlike conduct to not wear the face-covering during the contest. Period. It is a technical foul (direct if it is the head coach if the offender is the head coach, indirect to the head coach if it is anyone else). The penalty would also include the loss of standing (coaching box) privileges for the coach.
  • And for those individuals, yes, it is in the game officials’ responsibility and jurisdiction as we have defined that (as we did in the fall sports) as unsporting. If and when that changes, schools will be notified.
  • For uniformed players not in the game, due to the likelihood of substitution, it is a game management function to apply this restriction, but repeated violations can, and likely will, result in sanctions against the member school.
  • For table personnel, it is a game management function to ensure that masks are worn by ALL, including the public address and all media, and those individuals are to be removed and replaced if they refuse or repeatedly fail to wear the mask/face-covering.

Again, we have the privilege of participation through collaborative mitigation strategies, unlike several other states, so let’s manage that properly.

  • A reminder from the guidance document, if a district has voted to play multiple times for seeding, the first game played shall be the tiebreaking game in the seed pattern, regardless of previous decisions.
  • Much like decisions to have senior night activities very early, as many are doing, there is no guarantee of the second game, and this will ensure that as much as possible, ties are broken on the court.
  • It should also be noted that the host of that game should remain the host of the first game if there is a cancellation. We have had several reports of people canceling games in situations that may result in competitive advantage (i.e., A was scheduled to play B at B, that game is canceled, and the next time they play, B is scheduled to play A at A). This changes the dynamics of the tiebreaker and isn’t to be permitted.
  • Hopefully, we get a bit further into the season with fewer cancellations, and these issues self resolve.


  • Several concerns have been expressed in the first two weeks about late or delayed notice in ticketing parameters for games to the opponents. 
  • The notice should be given to opponents not less than 48 hours prior to game time as to attendance allowances (x per player, y max, etc.). Of course, that could change with changing data. This initial notice is not just common courtesy but an expectation to allow for planning and communication by both schools to parents and others. 
  • In addition, we have heard of situations where “rivalries” and “past relationships” have led to gamesmanship in this regard. Let’s work together and not let that happen.


  • Schools are advised to be very careful about restrictions on visiting media that don’t apply to home media. For example, concerns have been expressed about not allowing any visiting radio while allowing home radio.
  • While courtside space might be an issue as COVID-related planning is done, there is also the option of relocation to ensure equal access and opportunity to the event.
  • There is already an association policy in place within state regulation prohibiting radio exclusivity for a home school that precludes any visiting radio, and such has been agreed by the membership.
  • Just be aware that none of our member schools or districts need either legislation or litigation to address any issue that can be addressed from within the school and school system.

Keep working hard and stay safe.


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