KSHSAA proposes changes for winter sports seasons

Newton Kansan
Newton High School boys swimming coach Kim Powell meets with the team Monday before its first practice of the season. The team is scheduled to open the season Dec. 3 at a home invitational. Under a KSHSAA proposal, the start of the winter sports season will be moved to Jan. 15.

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TOPEKA — While the majority of the fall sports season took place, the Kansas State High School Activities Association is proposing some drastic changes to the winter sports season because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Winter sports teams were able to begin practice Monday. Most teams start competition the first week of December.

According to the KSHSAA press release, “In recognition of the recent rapid deterioration of Kansas health evidenced by elevated positivity rates, the impact of other illnesses on top of COVID-19 in an overburdened health care system, and moving interscholastic activities indoors, the Executive Board unanimously supported proposing these alterations for consideration by the full Board of Directors. Those actions would adjust the beginning of the competition date to the winter activity season and extend the winter moratorium.”

The proposals include:

— Delay competitions for all winter activities until Friday, Jan. 15.

— Allow virtual competition only in Debate and Scholars Bowl.

— Winter activity practice may continue where appropriate to do so through Dec. 22. All KSHSAA risk mitigation protocols strictly enforced.

— Extend Winter Moratorium. Dec. 23 to Jan. 3; practices to resume Jan. 4; restrictions eliminate contact between coach/athlete/school and no school facility use.

— Tentative resumption of competition on Jan. 15.

— No fans for competition, January 15 to 28.

— Limited fans Jan. 29 through remainder of winter competitions.

— Mandatory universal masking with exception to athletes in competition and officials during live action.

— No invitational tournaments.

High School Competition Limits:

— Basketball maximum 13 games per team. (Normally 20)

— Bowling maximum 8 days per team/individual. (Normally 10)

— Swimming and Diving maximum 6 competitions per athlete. (Normally 8)

— Wrestling maximum 12 events, 20 competition point max. (Normally 18 events/30 points)

Middle School Restrictions:

— No competition in December, practice only.

— No competition Jan. 1 to Jan. 14

— No events with more than three schools participating.

— Strongly encourage skill development.

— Strongly encourage intramural play only.

— Limit two fans per player starting Jan. 15.

The KSHSAA Board of Directors will discuss the proposals during a special meeting at 1 p.m. Nov. 24. The meeting will be held virtually.

The fall season is mostly completed with the football state championships scheduled for Nov. 28.

Last year’s state championships in basketball were canceled after the quarterfinal round. The entire spring sports season in the last school year was canceled as well.