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08/25/20- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Resumption of Sport and Sport-Activities (Updated 10/13)

August 25, 2020 Athletic Department Blog Updates

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UPDATED 10/13/20

Are there Limitations on Competitors in Various Sports?

Yes. In an effort to help ensure appropriate social distancing, the following restrictions and adaptations were approved for the fall sports, in most cases matching existing postseason restrictions. This will be an aid as game guidance is developed to help ensure that the bench areas contain fewer players, and more social distancing is implemented. There will likely be limitations on non-uniformed competitors in the final game guidance once approved.

    • The limitation for field hockey, soccer, and volleyball is established at the region and state limitations.  Field hockey and soccer may have 24 players in uniform and participating in warm-ups and competition while volleyball will be permitted 15 players in uniform and participating in warm-ups and competition.
    • Cross Country will be permitted a team entry not to exceed 10 runners, the current postseason roster limitation. Additional runners, as have always been permitted as individuals, may possibly be allowed depending upon the decisions of meet management and within overall meet limits as may be approved in the Healthy at Sports final documents for competition.
    • The limitation for football at any game is established at sixty (60) players in uniform and participating in warm-ups and competitions

When will fall postseason adjustments/revisions/plans be made?

Currently, those decisions will be finalized at the September Board of Control Meeting. If action takes place prior to that time, the membership will be notified. As of now, the guidelines to return to play will need to be continually monitored and under review. Our efforts are focused on the finalization of the Healthy at Sport Guidance. We will give postseason guidance at a later date.

Specifically for Cheer/Dance, can we practice mounts and stunting?

No, not until further notice. In addition, we advise that any group work takes place outdoors when possible.

In Volleyball and Field Hockey, how do the 4 matches/contests weekly maximum apply to participation in tournaments?

Volleyball – The limit of matches for the season (not including postseason) is 24 with no more than 4 matches in a given week. (Sunday to Saturday)
Field Hockey – The limit of matches for the season (not including postseason) is 16 with no more than 4 matches in a given week. (Sunday to Saturday)

If a school, due to participation in a regular-season multiple-game event (i.e. tournament) exceeds the limit of matches in a given week, such shall not be considered a violation of Bylaw 23 provided the preceding or succeeding week(s) are adjusted to create an appropriate average number of contests of 4 per week

Can we schedule freshmen, JV, Varsity contests on the same night if we space out and clean? (including XC races with different levels)

  • At this point, consideration should be taken with regard to scheduling to minimize exposure and allow for sanitation between contests.
  • It’s advisable to initially limit to one contest per night and only extend to multiple contests when the same set of schools is involved in all games. Even then, there should be time between games for the sanitization of equipment and restrooms.
  • In any case, where additional schools are involved, there must be time between contests for egress of fans and participants, sanitization of equipment and restrooms, ingress of the teams for the next game.
  • Consideration should also be given in large roster sports to holding Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman contests on separate nights.

Are officials permitted to work intrasquad scrimmages so they can get some work in on the field/court?

  • While that is an individual official’s decision, certainly working scrimmages of some type is preferred to help prepare for the season.
  • Compensation for scrimmages is by mutual agreement between the host school and the official(s).

Concerning the 8 team limit, is this per facility or time block? If a school has two gyms or fields could they host a 16 team event with the 8 teams separated accordingly?

  • Be mindful that the restriction is to limit individuals for the purpose of ensuring social distancing.
  • Although the final Healthy at Sports document will contain more details, there should be considerations in scheduling for regular cleaning of the equipment and the playing facility.
  • It could be possible, depending on the final approved guidance and if the venue contained multiple separate playing facilities, that play could be conducted in those separate venues provided that teams weren’t using both during the same segment. But that detail will come at a later date.

What about Christmas Tournaments, Spring Breaks Trips and other out of state travel in future winter and sports seasons?

  • While the desire for long-range planning is understandable and can result in cost savings, keep in mind the virus is making things remain fluid. At this point, such travel is not permitted.
  • Schools are advised that any long-range planning including travel arrangements should include opt-outs in the event travel restrictions or other stipulations are put in place to allow for cancellation if state or local rules preclude travel.

What are the ramifications for a member school or official school representative if a school athletic program fails to follow directives of the Commissioner, Board of Control, or other Department of Education or Department of Health in the case where an event just “does what it wants”?

  • Each member school annually signs a membership agreement that certifies as to compliance with directives and orders. As such, violations are subject to penalty in compliance with Bylaw 27 including cancellation or suspension of a single event or an entire season.
  • In addition, representatives take on a high level of legal liability and likely loss of insurance coverage for violations. Particularly important is adherence to health and safety guidelines including all guidance surrounding the resumption of sports during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In addition, there are obvious public health hazards related to the potential spreading of the virus, which could ultimately lead to a shutdown period in participation.
  • It is also worthy to note that with the exception of golf, no sport or sport-activity has KHSAA catastrophic insurance coverage until the official start of the practice for the season, currently set for August 24th.

Are there issues related to face coverings/masks for bench personnel, coaches, participants, officials as well as officiating guidance and future seasons?

  • All of these questions will be answered as final consideration and approval to the Healthy at Sports document is given.
  • The stated goal is to have those in member schools representative’s hands on or before August 24.

Are there additional post situations that have arisen?

Currently, the staff at the Association continues to do outstanding work as we begin to navigate the postseason during this pandemic. In particular, site selection has been impacted and in some ways, there are already very obvious signs of “gaming” by folks trying to gain a competitive advantage due to particular spikes in certain areas.

Most of the concerns and situations revolve around KDPH’s designation of “red counties”, which as you all are aware, is not binding on athletic competition but merely a recommendation to the member schools. In the vast majority of cases, the schools have worked cooperatively but in more than one situation, it is somewhat obvious that competitive advantages have been in the back of people’s minds in discussions. It is certainly no longer solely about “we are just glad we get to play.” With trophies at stake, some opinions have changed.

  • The Commissioner desires to share with you the interpretations that have been issued. In all of these examples, an impacted school can always withdraw themselves from postseason play regardless of reason without any future penalty.
  • Event being held in a red county – If all agree to continue, just like in regular season, Play on. That is local discretion.
  • Event being held in a red county, one or more won’t come TO the red county. Options are:
    • 1) Event relocates with the same host or
    • 2) Event relocates with a new host.
    • All are reminded that the red county status can change on a daily basis when the data is released around 5 p.m. If an event is relocated, staff will work with schools in the region as to future rotations and if this year changes those plans.
  • Event is not hosted in a red county but involves schools FROM a red county. Just like in red-season, if schools concur, play on.
  • Event is not hosted in a red county but involves schools FROM a red county and the host won’t allow them to come into the non-red county.
    • We will not permit the host to make this unilateral decision without some form of mutual agreement and we will decide it for the groups if necessary, making a decision they can agree to implement, or they can decline to participate.
    • Frankly, this type of decision appears to indict everyone on the team when Quarantines and Isolation procedures, when properly implemented, prevent the players themselves from being an issue.
    • This is where some of the “competitive” issues appear to be arising, as the simple change in status is being used by some individuals to restrict better teams from postseason play.
    • Be mindful of the fact that on Monday afternoon, 25 of our counties were in that red county status (or nearly 1/4 of the state).
    • Our stance continues to be to help facilitate negotiation with a variety of options in this case-
      • Negotiate remains the operative recommendation. Simply put, a non-red county cannot summarily preclude the red county and eliminate them.
      • Capacity for both/either teams could be reduced or possibly eliminated to help mitigate public attendance and allow student participation.
      • Games could be played at multiple sites or neutral sites where a host can be found. I go back to last year when a postseason round for a 14th region school was actually played in Lexington and can still recall a baseball semistate from E Ky being finished in Lexington. Solutions are available.
      • The host can withdraw on the basis of public health from the tournament
  • The key thing we have emphasized to people is to make the same decisions you would make on the Monday night before the state football finals or the Sweet Sixteen. When put in that perspective, they will find an answer.
  • Host desires to withdraw (red county or not)
    • No penalty
    • Must re-seed district tournament if the district is seeded and higher seed withdraws

 

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