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KHSAA Postpones Start of Winter Sports Until Jan. 4

Paul Steinbach

In a virtual Board of Control meeting last week, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association unanimously decided to postpone the start of the high school winter sports calendar until Jan. 4. All indoor sports are affected by this decision, including boys’ and girls’ basketball and others.

As reported by the Murray Ledger & Times, the board released the following official announcement: 

“The Board of Control conducted its third regularly-scheduled meeting of the 2020-21 academic year on Wednesday and elected to postpone the start of the winter sports season to Jan. 4 by unanimous vote. In congruence with the Governor’s order issued later the same day, official practice for all indoor interscholastic winter sports shall cease on Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. and is planned to resume on Monday, Dec. 14. This cessation will apply to all indoor interscholastic sports at all school levels, including but not limited to, basketball, bowling, competitive cheer, dance, indoor track and field, swimming and wrestling.

“Details regarding any allowances for indoor interscholastic sports, which will be restricted prior to Dec. 14, will be distributed to the membership prior to the Governor’s ordered shutdown of school-related in-person activity on Friday, Nov. 20. The season calendar for each winter sport, as well as current virus data and any potential adjustments to the start and end dates for spring sports, will be reviewed in a follow-up meeting of the Board of Control currently scheduled for Dec. 10. The Board’s approved motion for basketball also included authorizing the association to attempt to negotiate the dates for the Girls’ and Boys’ Sweet 16 during NFHS calendar weeks 37 and 38, and is pending final confirmation of specific available dates with the Lexington Center and Rupp Arena.”

Basketball practices had just gotten under way at the time of the board's decision.

“Our board has remained steadfast in their support for the spring sports and sport-activities in 2021 and continues to attempt, during these challenging times, to ensure these athletes, coaches and schools have a full and complete season with an appropriate culminating event,” KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said in the release. “We should never forget the sacrifices made by all involved during the spring of 2020 and that has remained at the forefront of board discussions. The currently approved action would shorten the winter seasons, but the board and staff continue to recognize that during these pandemic times, there will be nearly constant changes in the operations around education and school-based sport.”

The Kentucky high school football playoffs, as of now, are unaffected, the Ledger & Times reported.

“The ongoing football playoffs were also addressed on Wednesday, with the board authorizing the commissioner to adjust the schedule for the state finals as necessary depending on the ever-developing situation with COVID-19 and facility availability,” the release stated. “It was noted following the meeting that the Governor’s executive order and references to the KHSAA in that order apply to indoor sports, and there has been no adjustment to the completion of any KHSAA fall sports championship.”

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