Winter high school sports in Kansas to begin as scheduled without fans

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 1:05 PM CST
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(KWCH) - Winter high school sports in Kansas will begin as scheduled. The Kansas High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved the calendar on Tuesday, 53-22.

The vote allows competition to begin on Dec. 1 and resume after the winter break on Jan. 8. The winter moratorium was amended to Dec. 23 to Jan. 7. Practices can begin Jan. 4. Middle school activities will follow the same plan outlined for high schools.

No spectators will be allowed from Dec. 1 to Jan. 28. The board voted down an amendment to allow two spectators per student participant. Limited spectators will be allowed beginning Jan. 29 through the remainder of the season in accordance with local admission and attendance policies.

While there’s a disappointment that spectators aren’t allowed to start the winter sports season, coaches and players who spoke with Eyewitness News Tuesday (Nov. 24) said they’re relieved to start on time.

“I was glad they made the decision they did. The players want to play and the parents want the players to play,” said Bishop Carroll Head Girls Basketball Coach Taylor Dugan.

Bishop Carroll senior Khloe Schuckman expressed relief that she’ll get to play her final high school season. That relief was also evident hours earlier in the gym at Campus High School.

“It’s vital for their mental health and well-being. It’s a plus we get a chance to play in December,” Campus High School Boys Head Basketball Coach Chris Davis said.

After COVID-19 ended Campus’ undefeated season and shot at the state championship last year, the team says it has unfinished business to take care of and the Colts are thankful they don’t have to wait until January to start.

“I’m very grateful. Last year, it was ripped away. They’re giving us a chance this year and I’m very excited. I feel blessed. We are all feeling that way,” Campus senior Sterling Chapman said.

The relief extends further to other winter sports, including in the water where the swimming and diving season will soon be underway.

The Kansas High School Activities Association will vote Tuesday on a proposal to delay the start of winter sports until Jan. 15.

The proposal would exclude fans from Jan. 15-28. Limited fans would then be allowed in Jan. 29 through the remainder of the winter season (in locations where fans are allowed). Masks will be mandatory except for athletes during competition and officials during live action.

The proposal would reduce the basketball season to 13 games, bowling to 8 matches, swimming and diving to 6 per athlete and wrestling to 12 events. Teams would be able to practice until Dec. 22, but a moratorium on practicing would be enforced from Dec. 23-Jan. 3. In locations where it is appropriate to resume, practices would resume Monday, January 4, 2021.

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