All spring high school sports activities suspended in response to coronavirus

Alex Mitchell, a member of the Dawson Springs High School track and field team, practices his jump March 11 at the school.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has declared there will be no school sports activities allowed until at least April 12 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Effective immediately, all sports and sport-activities, regardless of season, are declared to be in a dead period, congruent with the provisions of Bylaw 24. This prohibition extends through Sunday, April 12,” according to statement released by the KHSAA on Friday morning.

The declaration comes a day after KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said in a press conference that spring sports seasons would be left to individual districts and schools, but, obviously, circumstances in regard to the coronavirus have changed.

Almost every major sports league has announced some sort of suspension in the past few days, including Major League Baseball, all NCAA spring sports and even The Masters golf tournament and NASCAR as a response to try to help limit the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus that has been sweeping across the globe.

Dawson Springs track and field began last week. Baseball and softball were set for their first games this week.

On Thursday the girls’ state basketball tournament was suspended indefinitely after five games had been played and the boys’ basketball tournament was also put on hold.

Friday’s declaration means those tournaments could not resume until mid-April.

While the sports are all on hiatus, tournaments for each are still planned.

“At this point, there are no plans to cancel state championship play in the spring sports and sport-activities of baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, archery, bass fishing or esports season 2, but that obviously merits consideration, even with potentially abbreviated seasons,” the KHSAA statement said. “There is also no current consideration to seeking alternate locations or dates for sports state championship play beyond the currently scheduled dates.”

The KHSAA’s declaration also applies to all offseason training or other types of “organized or semi-organized” gatherings, such as camps or postseason celebrations. Henry Clay on Friday canceled a scheduled ring ceremony for its state championship boys’ soccer team.

The Mr. and Miss Basketball ceremony planned for April 5 by the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation and the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches has been postponed, with hopes of announcing a new date next week.

“Prior approval for sanctioned events through the NFHS sanctioning system, both in and out of state, is hereby rescinded for this period,” the KHSAA said. “Member schools should note that without appropriate NFHS sanctioning, provisions of the KHSAA Catastrophic Insurance policy are not in place.”

Unlike the KHSAA’s summer dead period, coaches may still communicate with their players.

The KHSAA said it will continue to consult “with the Governor, Public Health Officials and the Kentucky Department of Education” to evaluate whether doing anything prior to April 12 is appropriate.

“The information related to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) is ever-evolving, and changes happen quickly. We will inform all stakeholders if there are any changes in circumstances. We are hopeful that with all of the collaborative efforts of the citizens of our Commonwealth, we see this situation subside very quickly, and we have to be leaders in that journey. We also encourage all Kentucky citizens to pay close attention to the CDC and Kentucky health information at kycovid19.ky.gov and strictly adhere to those CDC guidelines, which are always subject to revision as we learn more about the virus,” the KHSAA said.