What will high school sports look like this fall?

Great Bend Panther #12 Koy Brack throws a pass in the first quarter.  The Hays Indians faced...
Great Bend Panther #12 Koy Brack throws a pass in the first quarter. The Hays Indians faced off with the Great Bend Panthers at Memorial Stadium in Great Bend, Kansas on September 7, 2018. (Photo: Joey Bahr, (KWCH)
Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 5:08 AM CDT
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With an impending second wave of COVID-19 cases in the fall, Kansas high schools sports could look different, according to an official with the Kansas State High School Activities Association.

If given the go ahead by local health officials, the start of fall practice will be Aug. 17, but summer practices have also already started.

"There may be some places where they don't have an activity or they have a later start date or a different setup ad accommodations that need to be made,” Bill Faflick, executive director of KSHSAA said.

Under the plan, schools will be responsible for monitoring athletes for symptoms.

Baseline standards are still in the works for things like travel and fan attendance. Faflick says schools can add to those if they see fit. Should it need to, KSHSAA has plans in place if cases were to spike and play had to stop.

“We have certainly talked about those plans, whether it is a delayed start whether it is a shift in season whatever those would happen to be are all contingent upon the evidence that's out there if there were a cause to pause,” Faflick said.

Currently, Faflick says KSHSAA is in communication with other activities associations in the Midwest, learning from other places who may be back to competition on how to proceed. He said while seeing activities this school year is important, he wanted to make sure it's done the right way.

"That's why it's so important to be perfect now, so that we have a chance to have high school sports this fall," Faflick said.

KSHSAA had to cancel the entire spring season due to COVID-19, and even ended the basketball state tournament early due to the virus on March 12.

"We've never cancelled a season, and now both of those are in the history books, we are ready for the next opportunity," Faflick said.

Summer practice has already started for some high schools, and while schools have guidelines set to follow, there have been reports of potential COVID-19 exposures already.

On Sunday, Colby Public Schools announced an investigation related to a tennis event.

Faflick said KSHSAA will have more guidelines sent out to schools regarding fall sports in mid-July.