More than 3,500 people tuned in to the KHSAA Board of Control’s live stream Tuesday, when it decided most fall sports will be delayed but will be played.
Football proved to be the most discussed item on the agenda but when the dust settled, the motion was approved to start official practice Aug. 24 with 7.5 hours of practice per athlete each week with games beginning Sept. 11.
The first round of the playoffs will start Nov. 13-14 with the state championships being held Dec. 11-12.
For soccer, volleyball and cross country, official practices will start Aug. 24 but will be limited to 7.5 hours per athlete during that week. Full practice will start Aug. 31 with competition beginning Sept. 7.
The KHSAA’s 7.5 hours of practice time doesn’t go unto effect until Aug. 24 with all sports continuing the earlier mandated six-hour practice week. Until Aug. 24, teams will stay in segment three which is practices are limited to groups of 50 and small groups of 10 or fewer.
KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett presented three options to the board near the beginning of the meeting in regards to fall sports.
- Delay the start of fall with the exception of golf and leave fall sports in the fall.
- Switch fall sports of football, soccer, volleyball and cross country to the spring.
- Sandwich fall sports between winter and spring.
The first option was the preferred method and ultimately what the KHSAA Board of Control voted upon.
Despite being moved back, if soccer playoffs start Oct. 12, the rest of the fall sports — other than football — will still retain 80% of their original schedules.
Other items of note for fall sports:
- Board restricted KHSAA teams from playing out-of-state teams from counties that don’t border Kentucky.
- Roster limits will be cross country (10), football (60), soccer (24) and volleyball (25) per contest.
- Board approved a recommendation that all districts that have voted to seed for postseason be reduced to a one-game seed plan until further notice. District teams can play multiple times, but only the first will count toward seeding.
- Board approved a motion to set the starting date for competitive cheer and dance at Aug. 24 with a strong recommendation that all activity be held outdoors where safety equipment and conditions will permit.
Area football coaches said they were pleased with the outcome of Tuesday’s KHSAA decision, as some thought the season may have been in jeopardy.
John Edge (Apollo)
“We here at Apollo are very excited to play this fall. We are going to continue our strength and conditioning until our first day of practice in equipment.”
Matt Brannon (Daviess County)
“I appreciate the board’s transparency and thoughtfulness going into this unprecedented season. It is clear that they are committed to playing sports this fall and doing it in the safest way possible. I have been continually motivating our players to work hard during the last few weeks with the intention of playing games this fall. Although I am aware that things could change between now and the start of the season, I am glad to have a firm plan in place and look forward to getting our team together and start this season.”
Jay Fallin (Owensboro)
“I want to commend Commissioner Tackett and the entire Board of Control on their tireless work and their commitment to playing sports this fall. We are excited to get to have a season, even if it is slightly abbreviated. The opportunity to play eight regular-season games and a full post-season is better than I could have expected or imagined a few weeks ago. I am so happy for our young men who have worked so hard to prepare for the season under less than certain circumstances.”
Jason Morris (Owensboro Catholic)
“I think they’re doing a good job as a board of informing the coaches and setting a date out there that we have something to work toward and not just working blind like we have been. I think they’re doing a good job there and trying to keep safety at the forefront as well so they’re going to evaluate everything before the 24th but at least it gives us a start date and something to shoot for.”