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11/20/20- Winter Indoor Sports Delayed, Information for Member Schools

November 20, 2020 2020-2021 News Releases

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With the Governor’s School Closing Order of this past Wednesday (details of which can be seen here) along with the Board of Control decision to delay the start of the indoor winter sports seasons to January 4 (details of which can be seen here), changes are going to need to be made over the next few weeks. The text of the orders is contained at the following links- https://bit.ly/36QG23f and https://bit.ly/3nz1ArU. As our office did not know the details of the final order until it was announced late Wednesday, we spent Thursday reconciling the details of the Board’s necessary action on the start of winter sports competition with the recent orders in order to best provide guidance to our membership. This conversation is ongoing with our office, the Governor and Lt. Governor’s office and the Kentucky Department of Education to ensure consistent messaging as well as our nearly daily consultation with Kentucky Department for Public Health representatives. The following series of questions and interpretations are intended to guide the member schools (and all middle schools) and will be updated as necessary.

What was the impact on remaining fall sports?

Neither the Governor’s order nor the Board of Control action impacted the conclusion of the fall sports seasons at this time. It has been noted throughout the fall the differences in indoor and outdoor sports as well as the super effort by our member schools to adhere to public health guidance and the Healthy at Sports Documentation in all fall sports. It is the hope of everyone that vigilant compliance can continue and allow fall sports to be completed and then begin the task of winter sports, all of which are indoor. And it is widely known that everyone involved, students, staff, faculty, administration, and the community will be as supportive of the parameters of that documentation as the winter sports resume.

How did the Governor’s order specifically impact the indoor winter sports seasons within the KHSAA?

The Governor’s orders specifically assigned that responsibility to the KHSAA, it is therefore unquestionable that the Association must continue to serve as the caretaker of this responsibility and not take it lightly or callously act. The same organization, through its staff and Board of Control that worked tirelessly to allow for the participation opportunities in the fall to start and continue, will also do so for the other seasons. The mental health and psychological effects on our students demand that work. But with that effort must also come continual education and analysis of changes in health trends and data. We must remain respectful of the responsibility entrusted in this process.

What is the official impact of the Board’s approved action regarding the indoor winter sports seasons?

There are several impacts of that action, all of which are intended, in cooperation with public health recommendations and procedures, to see a reduced positive case count (and resultant death count), including:

  • The first date for interscholastic high school competition in indoor winter sports has been moved to Monday, January 4.
  • Official practice, that period covered by the Association’s catastrophic insurance, will be suspended until Monday, December 14 at which time it is scheduled to resume with a three-week window for practice and preparation.
  • Staff was directed to work with the venues (and possible venues) related to its various winter championships and determine alternatives that would give more definite bounds to the end of the season and have those ready for approval at a special meeting of the Board of Control not later than December 10.

Will the Winter Sports Guidance Documents be Updated?

Yes. The segments will be revised and any additional health data could result in further changes which will be completed prior to December 10 when the Board of Control meets again. The summary of any revisions will be made to the membership prior to that point in time. In addition, final revisions will be made to the Bowling documents which will need to include any further indoor restrictions as part of these or other orders by the Governor.

What are the options for activity between now and December 14?

Local school boards and systems have the ultimate control under the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth for the use of their facilities. However, it is an expectation of membership that time, effort, and resources are not spent on finding “ways around” the delay in practice. Clearly, this is a critical time with the rising incidence statewide of the positive virus tests, and school boards, systems, and individual schools should be united in their efforts. This was never more evident than the report issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health in its data for the day following our Board of control meeting, which is detailed here at this link. It is therefore recommended that all indoor athletic activity ceases until that first date of practice.

It was noted earlier that in the Governor’s order, it was clearly deferred to the KHSAA to govern athletics. This is critical not only in this instance but in future instances. For the member schools to continue to “pilot their own ship” with regards to athletics and continue self-governance, prudent judgment should continue to be used.

What about insurance coverage between now and December 14?

  • There is no catastrophic insurance coverage for indoor winter sports until December 14.
  • Additionally, schools and districts should consult with their local insurance carriers (both participant medical and liability) regarding any options that might be considered outside the bounds of the Governor’s orders or the delays in practice.

Does Bylaw 9 still apply to outside basketball play during this time?

  • Yes, as official practice had begun, the provisions of Bylaw 9 apply during this interim period at this time, but could be reviewed again by the Board of Control at its December 10 meeting.

Do these restrictions impact interscholastic basketball or other indoor sports below the high school level?

It is strongly recommended that all provisions of these periods apply to all levels of competition and that interscholastic play be suspended until January 4 at which time seasons resume.

 

 

 

 

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