Fall sports will begin as scheduled

High School sports in Kansas will start on schedule after the Kansas State High School Activities Association rejected a proposal that included pushing some competition dates back.

KSHSAA’s Executive Board voted 5-4 to reject the proposal, which would have had football, boys soccer, volleyball and gymnastics start their seasons no sooner than September 8.

The proposal also included one-time alterations to the KSHSAA handbook about the number of competitions required in a season. Football would have gone from nine to eight, boys soccer from 17 to 14 and volleyball from 36 to 30.

Last week, KSHSAA sent a survey to every district in the state about when each would be starting the school year. Of the 263 districts that responded, 191 of them are starting school on either August 10, August 17 or August 24.

The majority of the districts starting on September 8 represent larger metro areas in the state.

Last week, KSHSAA released considerations for all fall sports, including social distancing and the use of masks when possible.

Monty Marlin, the principal at Sublette High School, pointed out that due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas, interruptions are likely to occur, but much like Major League Baseball, the state must try to get things started and adjust as the season goes along.

One of the final topics discussed during the session was Football Jamborees, which typically feature three schools scrimmaging each other. Decisions about the jamborees will be left up to the individual districts, as KSHSAA cannot cancel them, but they are highly discouraged.

At this point, the plan is for fall sports to play normal schedules with the hope of the culmination of a state champion later in the fall. However, Executive Director Bill Faflick made it a point to discuss the likelihood of those happening.

“The focus this year is on participation,” Faflick said. “Do we want to have championships? Absolutely. But we cannot guarantee they will occur.”