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02/20/21- Interim Guidance Regarding Spring Sports Travel

February 22, 2021 Archery Blog Updates

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While spring sports guidance is in final production, the office has received several inquiries regarding travel for spring sports. There will effectively be no changes from the winter sports guidance and each guidance document will include enhancements and sources available at the present time. The following represents the recommended guidance for the member schools and will be published in the guidance documents for all spring sports and sport-activities.

Restrictions/Recommendations On In-State Contests

  • While local decision-making is a hallmark relative to the management of Kentucky schools, there remain several recommendations relative to team travel in- and out-of-state. (CONSIDER)
  • This guidance is not intended to make local district decisions less or more difficult or provide an arbitrary decision path for such consideration, but rather to ensure that all issues are considered as travel is contemplated. (CONSIDER)
  • This guidance and similar guidance from the KHSAA, KDE and KDPH is aimed at mitigating the risk of COVID-19 exposure in gatherings where stakeholders may not have equally prioritized efforts to control the spread of the virus. (CONSIDER)
  • It is duly noted that when many sports resumed outside the scholastic level in the late summer of 2020, compliance with recommended public health measures was less than stellar or ideal at many venues and these types of trips, if accompanied by a resurgence of infections, could impact the continuation and completion of the in-person academic year in many districts. (CONSIDER)
  • A reminder that travel cancellations remain a very real possibility in the coming months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and there may be financial penalties associated with cancellations and therefore all contracts should be carefully negotiated. (RECOMMENDED)
  • It is recommended that contests not be played during the seven-day period (Monday to Sunday) in counties where the incidence of COVID-19 is considered to be “Red (critical spread)” as defined by the Kentucky Department for Public Health as verified on the Monday of a contest week.
    • Such spread may be monitored as detailed on the KDPH COVID-19 Dashboard map (listed in “Red”) at https://bit.ly/2D0K526.
    • This recommendation is about participating IN a “Red” county and not simply AGAINST a school from a “Red” county.
    • Administrators concerned about participation against a school from a “Red” county should note that requirements regarding isolation and quarantine should help control the virus among the actual contest competitors.
    • Administrators should consult with both the opposing team administrators, and potentially with local health departments, about other mitigation strategies for those traveling from “Red” counties such as mutually reducing or further limiting crowds, etc.
    • All involved should be aware that the “Red” metric is but a single statistical metric and that metric should be cause for additional information gathering prior to making decisions.
    • Where feasible, practical and manageable, member schools should make all reasonable efforts to accommodate competing schools by rescheduling a contest.
    • All decisions should be made just as you would want them to be made about your team if it was the Monday before the state basketball or football championships, as all of the participants and coaches have sacrificed immensely, and it is all of our roles to ensure that we have explored every alternative.
    • All schools must also guard against making decisions that could create an unfair competitive difference over situations in which adaptation is not only possible but the best course of action for students.
  • For seeded district contests in the sports of baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, soccer, softball, volleyball, failure to participate in a game for non-COVID-19 reasons (red-county recommendation, isolation or quarantine) could result in a contest being considered a forfeit solely for the purpose of seeding, with or without a game contract in place.
  • For postseason play and where feasible, practical and manageable, the expectation is that all member schools will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate all competing schools with rescheduling the contest or adjusting the parameters around the contest, provided that rescheduled dates or adaptations do not adversely affect the next round of play.
  • It is noted, however, that with the currently defined periods of quarantine and isolation per the CDC, it may not be possible or practical for accommodations to be made for teams facing those situations.
  • There will be no administrative penalty for a school voluntarily deciding not to participate in postseason play in any sport or at any time during that sport season tournament.
  • Should additional scheduling guidance be issued from both KDPH and the KHSAA concerning in-state scheduling, such will be released to the membership and updated routinely.

Restrictions/Recommendations On Out Of State Contests

  • Until further notice, out of state contests are restricted:
    • While local decision-making is a hallmark relative to the management of Kentucky schools, there remain several recommendations relative to team travel in and out of state. (CONSIDER)
    • This guidance is not intended to make local district decisions less or more difficult or provide an arbitrary decision path for such consideration, but rather to ensure that all issues are considered as travel is contemplated. (CONSIDER)
    • This guidance and similar guidance from the KHSAA, KDE and KDPH is aimed at mitigating the risk of COVID-19 exposure in gatherings where stakeholders may not have equally prioritized efforts to control the spread of the virus. (CONSIDER)
    • It is duly noted that when many sports resumed outside the scholastic level in the late summer of 2020, compliance with recommended public health measures was less than stellar or ideal at many venues and these types of trips, if accompanied by a resurgence of infections, could impact the continuation and completion of the in-person academic year in many districts. (CONSIDER)
    • A reminder that travel cancellations remain a very real possibility in the coming months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and there may be financial penalties associated with cancellations and therefore all contracts should be carefully negotiated. (RECOMMENDED)
    • It is recommended that out-of-state contests not be played in a county where the incidence rate of that county would place them in “Red” status in the Commonwealth during the seven-day period (Monday to Sunday) as verified on the Monday of a contest week. (RECOMMENDED)
    • It is recommended to adhere to the KDPH and the Governor’s travel recommendations for any team or individuals traveling to participate in states on the current advisory listing including consideration of a 14-day quarantine upon return for any contest requiring an overnight stay for as long as that recommendation is published (https://bit.ly/3ugtn4q). (RECOMMENDED)
    • Careful review should be made using state-specific information for those out-of-state destinations, and there is a comprehensive CDC resource available at http://bit.ly/3ulNqi3. (RECOMMENDED)
    • It is recommended to use extra precaution traveling to states reporting positive testing rate equal to or greater than 10 percent of COVID-19 testing. (RECOMMENDED)
    • For any contemplated travel out of the country, careful attention should be paid for both state and federal guidelines as those face continual revision. For additional information, see current KDPH guidance at https://bit.ly/3aIvGpm. (RECOMMENDED)
    • Additional guidance remains available to be considered relating to this type of travel on the KDE website at https://bit.ly/2Mcg3Ng. (CONSIDER)
    • These provisions will be continually reviewed by the Commissioner’s office in consultation with the Kentucky Department for Public Health using current health data and any further revisions will be supplied to the membership.
    • This policy and its recommendations shall apply equally to sports and sport-activities.

Restrictions On NFHS Sanctioned Events

  • Until further notice, there will be no NFHS sanctioned events approved which involve:
    • Events in non-bordering states if five (5) or more states are involved or
    • Events in non-bordering states if more than eight (8) schools are involved. (REQUIRED)
    • If the only reason for sanction being required is the co-sponsor or titling of the event but the contest meets the restrictions listed above, NFHS sanction will be considered. (REQUIRED)
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