Again, I’d like to start this week’s musings with the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Challenge — King Lear, Act III, Scene IV:
"Prithee, go in thyself. Seek thine own ease.
This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in. —
In, boy; go first. — You houseless poverty —
Nay, get thee in. I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.
"Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have taken
Too little care of this. Take physic, pomp.
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou may’st shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just."
Last week’s change to the state’s reopening plan has meant a slight setback for area summer sports teams. Instead of going directly to Phase 2 of the reopening plans, the state went to a Phase 1.5. That means teams likely won’t be able to start practice until early June, with competition starting about mid-June, barring any more setbacks.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association is planning to allow summer school-based activities (summer weights and conditioning) to resume as planned June 1. The KSHSAA has guidelines to gradually ease students into conditioning programs (a limit of three hours a day the first week to five hours in the second week), as well as climate acclimation guidelines, since many students had their spring workouts limited.
Some indicators regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in the state were showing progress, while others were not.
The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS for short), an advisory body for state high school activities associations such at the KSHSAA, has come out with a 16-page guide for reopening high school sports.
The KSHSAA got through all of its winter sports, except for the semifinals and finals of the state basketball tournaments (again without an official edict, we at the Kansan are declaring the Halstead girls’ basketball team Class 3A state co-champions), but the spring season was shut down about three weeks shy of the start of competition.
The NFHS guidelines are more or less a set of questions for state associations to ask themselves such as how to conduct competitions when one area has schools open, while others are shut down; whether or not to allow fans into games; the use of face coverings or other protective gear; and others.
The consensus in Kansas high schools is athletic practice and competition will only resume if school buildings are re-opened. If we have another round of online classes, like we did this spring, the fall season will be shortened or canceled.
We also may have a patchwork. It may be safer to resume in-building classes in Harvey County, Sedgwick County and Reno County, while it may not be safe to reopen in, say, Ford County, Wyandotte County or Finney County.
The question then becomes, can you resume competition in places where you can open schools? That might cause a situation that requires a short-notice schedule change or even a cancellation.
Would the KSHSAA allow competition to resume under that scenario?
The final page of the guide is a checklist for coaches and athletes of any symptoms they may be experiencing before a practice or competition. A yes to any of these (fever of 100.3 degrees or higher, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or close contact, or cared for someone with COVID-19) may keep a coach or athlete at home for about two weeks.
If you want to read the whole thing for yourself, it’s available at https://tinyurl.com/yd9a28g6/.
Mark Schnabel is the sports editor of the Kansan and helping out on the news side while there isn’t a lot of sports to cover. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.