The KHSAA Board of Control upheld its earlier decision on Thursday by a 12-5 vote to begin practice for winter sports last Monday and regular-season competition on Jan. 4.
Prior to confirming the start of the winter sports season, the board voted 12-5 to push back the dates for the boys’ and girls’ Sweet 16 state tournament to March 29-April 8 after narrowly defeating other alternative dates, with the event schedule and format to be finalized at a later date in consultation with Rupp Arena.
“These are extremely complex issues,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “Our board has spent an extraordinary amount of time examining every aspect surrounding the resumption of sports, particularly those that are indoors and have extreme concerns from public health officials.
“Trying to balance competing public health concerns has been a tremendous challenge all year. Just last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article on the need to get kids back involved, while at the same time, the number of positive cases of coronavirus continues to be very high both in Kentucky and in other states. Finalizing the plan for going forward allows the member schools to use some local decision making in areas that are concerning and adopts a blueprint for the rest of the school year.”
On Nov. 18, the board postponed all activity in the winter sports from Nov. 20 through Dec. 13 in congruence with the order issued by Gov. Andy Beshear that same day.
The cessation applied 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. By confirming its decision from Nov. 18, each of these sports and sport-activities will be permitted to resume activity on Monday.
The winter sports of boys’ and girls’ basketball and wrestling may begin competition on Jan. 4. Basketball may have 30 contests, with the postseason beginning on March 15. Wrestling may have 15 contests, with its postseason also starting on March 15.
For spring sports, baseball and softball will be able to have their first practices on Feb. 22 with their first competition on March 29. Their postseason will begin May 31.
Track and field also was able to begin practice last Monday, with the first competition on Jan. 18 and the postseason starting May 24, Tennis may begin practice on Feb. 15 and have its first competition on March 8, with the postseason beginning on May 17. Bass fishing can have its first competition on Feb. 22, with postseason beginning on May 31.