Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

03/13/20- (revised 04/02/20 and 4/17/20)- Athletic Dead Period Instituted for Athletic Programs in All Sports and Sport-Activities Due to Covid-19

April 2, 2020 2019-2020 News Releases


This information is in effect, as stated below, through April 30, 2020. Prior to that time, revised guidance and policy will be issued to be effective May 1 as we all collectively work to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus on our campuses and among our athletes and coaches. Updated 4/2/20 and 4/17/20 based on inquiries from member schools and revised orders from the Governor and CDC Guidance.

This impacts all KHSAA constituents and includes guidance from the Governor, Public Health Officials, the Kentucky Department of Education, and additional guidance from federal authorities. This original directive will continue to be updated regularly. This will be the sole site for information regarding interscholastic athletics in Kentucky involving rostered athletes or those that have participated in practices this year and coaches from KHSAA member schools, as well as the use of interscholastic facilities.

Effective Friday, March 13, all sports and sport-activities, regardless of season, are declared to be in a coronavirus dead period, congruent but not identical, with the provisions of Bylaw 24. These restrictions apply to all rostered KHSAA coaches (middle or high school, all levels, paid or unpaid), all rostered athletes at all levels (middle and high school), or those that have participated in at least one practice session with a KHSAA member school and yet may not currently appear on a roster.

This original prohibition extended through Sunday, April 12, and was to be evaluated before April 11 in consultation with the Governor, Public Health Officials, and the Kentucky Department of Education. Based on the actions of the Governor on March 20 and April 2, this period is extended at this point until at least May 1, 2020. In the interim, an evaluation will be made for the period going forward. In addition, if the requested shutdown period for in-person instruction in schools in the Commonwealth is extended, this restricted period will be automatically extended and revised.

This directive applies unilaterally, and a few explanatory questions/answers will appear after key points to reflect additional submitted questions by member school representatives. All who read this material should assume that the restrictions continue to apply during this public health emergency. The least desirable stance to take during this time is to presume or request to be the exception.

The following are the restrictions in place for this period for all sports and sport-activities in middle and high school in the Commonwealth. This contains any revisions and policies that are continually being revised in compliance with Gubernatorial directives, particularly the critical March 22 Gubernatorial directive stating that all in-person retail businesses that are not life-sustaining be closed:

  • Students shall not participate in any organized team activity or organized or semi-organized team competition in any sport or sport-activity in any format at any location in any state.
    • These restrictions include outside teams and leagues. Students at KHSAA member schools and others (including coaches) do not avoid the perils of this virus by simply changing shirts. Also, the recent move by the Governor to close public recreational and other facilities and non-essential business makes this an obvious answer. Additionally, local county judges and mayors have implemented similar steps throughout the Commonwealth.
    • These restrictions do not apply to members of the sanctioned Esports teams who are listed on the varsity roster participating as an individual in online competitions against other individuals. However, there can be no coaching involved or collaboration between non-familial team members who are not living in the same permanent residence. In addition, there is no permissible means of allowing multiple individuals from the same school who do not share the same residence and familial relationship to compete together even if the activity is labeled as a scrimmage.
  • Students shall not participate where school personnel, including coaches (paid or unpaid), are involved, in attendance, or receiving reports of performance.
  • Prior approval for sanctioned events through the NFHS sanctioning system, both in and out of state, is now rescinded for the entirety of this period. Member schools should note that without appropriate NFHS sanctioning, provisions of the KHSAA Catastrophic Insurance policy are not in place.
  • Students may not participate outside of their residence in activities such as weight training, skill development, individual camps (even with per team limits on participation), team or individual camps, or open gym or field activities, even if no inter-school competition is involved.
  • Students may not receive in-person coaching or training from school or non-school personnel, including coaches (either salaried or non-salaried) in any KHSAA sanctioned sport or sport-activity, and such instruction may not be provided at the residence of the student or instructor by outside individuals;
    • This restriction includes in-person individual instruction given by previously outside of school instructors. This type of instruction cannot be done within the latest restrictions in place by both state and federal authorities.
    • This restricted period does not preclude communication between school, athletic department and coaching representatives to team members and/or communication within the families of players on the current roster. Such instruction and communication may include video and other methods of staying in touch with team members as well as guidance for maintaining physical fitness and readiness, provided such is not mandatory;
    • Postseason wrap-up activities, celebrations, and recognition events relating to a sport or sport-activity team at a school may not be held. This would not preclude announcements regarding school grants-in-aid and/or scholarships for athletes to move to institutions of higher learning as long as those announcements are done solely electronically and do not have simultaneous attendance at any central facility by the student, family, high school or college representatives. School representatives should also be mindful that currently, NCAA recruiting activities have been suspended by the NCAA.
  • School facilities, uniforms, nicknames, transportation or equipment, may not be used for participation in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport or sport-activity.
    • This does not preclude normal and expected maintenance exclusively by adults on school playing facilities, provided that this is not restricted by the Governor and does not exceed state or Federal health guidelines on the number of individuals present and does not include students;
    • This does not preclude allowing the student to use the uniform issued by the school to that student in the promotion of “senior” or other recognition opportunities during this period, up to and including the school allowing the student-athlete to keep the uniform as personal property.
  • School funds may not be expended in support of interscholastic athletics in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport or sport-activity.
    • This does not preclude normal administrative roles by adult representatives that can be done remotely such as scheduling, uniform and equipment procurement, and business operations for current and future seasons;
  • At this point (updated 3/30/20), there are no definite plans to cancel remaining championship play in boys and girls basketball;
  • At this point (updated 3/30/20), there are no definite plans to cancel championship play in the spring sports and sport-activities of baseball, softball, tennis, track & field, archery or bass fishing, but that obviously merits consideration, even with potentially abbreviated seasons.
  • There is no current consideration to seeking alternate locations or dates for spring sport or sport-activity championship play beyond the currently scheduled dates.
  • There is absolutely no consideration currently being given at this point to additional eligibility (repeating or red-shirting) for students who are unable to compete in any sport or sport-activity since the start of this period.

The information related to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) is ever-evolving, and changes happen quickly. We will inform all stakeholders if there are any changes in circumstances. We are hopeful that with all of the collaborative efforts of the citizens of our Commonwealth, we see this situation subside very quickly, and we have to be leaders in that journey. We also encourage all Kentucky citizens to pay close attention to the CDC and Kentucky health information at and strictly adhere to those CDC guidelines, which are always subject to revision as we learn more about the virus.


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