The Kentucky High School Athletic Association Board of Control met Wednesday, November 18, to discuss a variety of topics, including delaying the start of winter sports.
Practices, which were already underway, have been instructed to hault on November 20. The current expectation is that they will be permitted to resume on December 14. This stoppage will apply to all indoor interscholastic sports at all school levels, including but not limited to basketball, bowling, competitive cheer, dance, track and field, swimming, and wrestling.
Determining when to begin the basketball season and when to hold the state tournaments also provided lengthy discussion. While some discussion to push the state tournament back to late April/early May occurred, there were concerns that even with a delay in the spring sports season, there would be several weeks overlapping. Ultimately, it was voted unanimously to begin the season (games) on January 04, and hold the Sweet 16 in mid-to-late March. The current post-season basketball schedule looks to occur as follows:
Approximately March 01 - District Tournaments start
Approximately March 08 - Regional Tournaments start
March 17-22/March 24-28 - Tentative Sweet 16 dates
One of the primary focuses of the Board was to give spring sports a full season, which is the only group of athletes thus far to lose a full season to the pandemic. Fall sports played a shortened season, and winter sports will look to do the same.
“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,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “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 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 December 10th.