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Changes to Winter Sports Season Approved by KSHSAA Board of Directors

By Flax, Tom

November 30, 2020

Changes coming to the Winter Sports Season to Deal with COVID-19

On Tuesday, November 24th, the 78 members of the KSHSAA Board of Directors met to discuss and vote on changes to the winter sports season to address the rising number of covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in our state. There have been lots of articles and social media posts centered on what all transpired in this meeting. The following is a summary of what it will look like for the Ness City Jr and Sr High Basketball seasons. 

The initial proposals centered on delaying and reducing the seasons along with several other measures. If you followed the meeting, it was quite clear that a great majority of the board did not want to take any part of the seasons away from students. The theme of #LetThemPlay was quite clear. The data that was shared has shown no clear signs of transmission of the virus during the fall competition season between the participants. But, the data of transmission of the virus among adults centering around large mass gatherings wasn’t as positive. Plus, the moving of activities from outside to inside concerned many when talking about mass gatherings. One thing that was clear, there was a need for modifications of some kind to be made to the winter seasons. These factors along with others that I haven’t mentioned led them to adopt the following measures:

  • The competition season will be played with these changes. 
    • The initial competition season dates are between December 1-22nd.
    • Extending the winter moratorium for practice between December 23rd through January 3rd (was originally Dec 23-27th).
    • Resume practice on January 4th with competition beginning again on January 8th through the rest of the season.
  • The BOD took action to require all to wear a face covering in the manner it is intended to at the event venue and during the duration of the event. The only exception is provided for athletes during the time they are competing and for officials during active play. Those participants on the sideline not actively participating, would be required to wear the face covering.
  • No Spectators will be permitted for high school and middle school contests between December 1 through January 28th, 2021. 

I know that the 3rd bullet listed above is especially tough to take for parents who want to attend these games. I understand that and sympathize with you. Hopefully, we see great improvement, not only locally, but also in state conditions, when it comes to COVID numbers during this time, which will then allow for spectators for the end of the season.

Last Monday, November 23rd, our county took action to limit gatherings to 100 people max. So, even without this action taken by KSHSAA, with our current situation here in Ness County, we would not be able to allow spectators to attend home events (JH or HS). By the time you count all of the participants from both schools, plus the coaches, officials, and staff to work the contests, we would be nearing that 100 person limit. This statewide no spectator mandate will at least provide consistency from school to school on what the expectations are no matter who and where we are playing.     

Changes to Winter Sports Season Approved by KSHSAA Board of Directors

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