KSHSAA Board of Directors approves alternative season

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 6:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) Board of Directors approved an alternative fall season for Kansas high schools on Friday. The vote, 45-29, means schools unable to compete in a traditional fall season due to COVID-19 restrictions can play those sports starting in March.

The vote places schools into two “bands” - 1A-4A and 5A-6A. If only one school needed the alternative fall, they would have it. If more than half of a band votes to adopt the alternative season, then spring sports would be pushed back. That would then force those schools to start spring sports at the end of March, creating an overlap of those that play sports in both seasons. Their spring season would then end in June to allow for a full schedule. Those playing in the alternative season would not play a traditional postseason either.

“The model would provide an opportunity for students in our member schools unable to play in the months ahead with an opportunity to benefit from interscholastic activity participation when it is appropriate in their school communities later this school year,” said KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick.

Some coaches say its too much pressure on student-athletes who already play multiple sports. Plus, training for each sport can be very different.

“Going from one season into the next. I mean, yes, these kids are young, they’re resilient. But at the same time there’s a certain amount of preparation that goes into getting ready for a season,” said Wichita South High School head football coach, Russ Wells.

Other coaches point out that the mental health of student-athletes is also a major concern right now.

”It’s not just a physical activity, it’s that they need to be around others for their mental health as well,” said Wichita South High School volleyball coach, Abby Franklin.

Overall, they said more risks could come from playing fall sports in the spring. Friday’s decision is only effective for the 2020-2021 school year.

The proposal can be reviewed here: Alternative Fall Season.

Monday, August 24, 2020

The executive board of the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) at a meeting Monday approved a measure toward putting an alternative plan in place for any Kansas high school that has to cancel fall sports because of COVID-19. The 78-member board of directors specifically approved a motion that leaves the question of an alternative high school sports schedule up to its 78-member board of directors. The board of directors is expected to make a final decision regarding an alternative plan at a meeting set for 3 p.m. Friday.

For schools that may have a sport canceled from the traditional fall sports season, an alternative plan could allow impacted teams to compete in spring. The executive board touched on issues regarding the potential impact on other seasons but expects to have clarity with an expected vote Friday.

The KSHSAA executive board on Monday did indicate that any decision would not impact the winter sports season.

If a sport is canceled for the fall, club sports would be permitted until the alternative fall season begins. This would primarily apply to volleyball players and boys’ soccer players. The proposed plan could allow them to play in tournaments not affiliated with school competition during the canceled season and still be eligible to compete for their school when the alternative season happens.

For now, questions remain as to exactly what a potential final vote from KSHSAA means for schools in the Wichita school district where the school board last week voted to start school remote for middle-and-high school students for the first nine weeks and to cancel fall sports.

You can see the proposed alternative sports plan for the 2020-2021 school year hear: Plan for alternative fall sports schedule.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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