The Kansas State High School Activities Association on Wednesday put forth a long list of guidelines once the fall sports season gets under way.

“With the results of the Kansas State School Board of Education vote (Wednesday), the KSHSAA Executive Board met this afternoon. During the meeting, the Executive Board approved a Remote Learning Policy which districts may choose to implement for the fall semester,’” the KSHSAA wrote in a statement. 

“Additionally, the Executive Board provided a final review of considerations for the resumption of fall activities. These considerations are … intended to support your efforts in planning for the resumption of school activities with the upcoming fall season.

Guidelines set forth for the fall season mandate that athletes have their own equipment, and clean and sanitize that equipment after every practice and event. Water bottles are not to be shared. Athletes are not to congregate inside buildings or locker rooms in large groups before, during or after practices and events, and are required to return to their vehicle in the event of inclement weather during outdoor events.

Furthermore, maximum distance and limited groups are to be observed where the activity allows. Coaches, players and officials are to observe six-feet social distancing whenever possible.

The KSHSAA also encouraged schools to limit the number of teams competing at invitationals, tournaments and jamborees, recommending groupings be held to quads or smaller, and against opponents in close geographical distance. Football jamborees are discouraged, but must be limited to two teams if schools choose to compete.

Masks are recommended for anyone not on the competition field, including coaches and officials. However, no athlete should be denied the use of a mask. Handshakes pre- and post-game are discouraged, and suspension of award ceremonies is recommended.

Game and practice balls are to be cleaned between uses. That poses a problem for some types of balls because materials used to make certain balls do not adhere to alcohol and other types of solvent cleaners and sanitizers. “Alcohol wipes have resulted in damage to the product and are not recommended at this time,” the release states for volleyballs.

Individual sports have recommendations, as well.

The KSHSAA recommends keeping all non-essential personnel, including media members and photographers, off the sidelines in football, with the players’ team box extended to between the 10-yard lines to provide for more social distancing.

It is recommended that mouth guards be handled as little as possible and kept in the players’ mouths.

All timeouts are set at two minutes to give officials time to sanitize footballs and other equipment.

Volleyball nets and the official’s stand are to be sanitized between games, and teams are discouraged from switching benches between sets unless a coach protests due to an unfair advantage.

Soccer benches are recommended to be on different sides of the pitch, and players are encouraged to wear masks while on the bench and standing in wait to enter the match.

Cross country meets are encouraged to split locations for varsity and non-varsity meets.

The start of the fall sports season still is in discussion, and is expected to be determined by school superintendents.

“Finally, in regards to the fall season start date scheduled for August 17, the Executive Board asked staff to conduct a survey of superintendents regarding the anticipated first day of school for respective districts,” the release states. “Pending results of the survey, the Executive Board would decide if it was necessary to convene the Board of Directors for a consideration of a possible modification to the start of the fall activity season. It is anticipated this survey, review, and determination by the Executive Board would be completed early next week.”

Complete guidelines can be found on the KSHSAA website

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(1) comment

I’m glad the the guidelines are one the side of precautions and mask wearing to maximize the risk to everybody involved in fall sports! Better be safe than sorry!

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