KSHSAA postpones plans to release fall sports guidelines

Free State players swarm to the ball during the Baker football camp Thursday, June 14, 2018, at LHS. FSHS participated in a two-day camp with Lawrence High, Bishop Miege and Shawnee Mission South.

Originally planning to release guidelines for the upcoming fall sports seasons on Friday, the Kansas State High School Activities Association hit pause on that move in response to Gov. Laura Kelly’s Wednesday announcement that Kansas schools will not start until after Labor Day.

Instead, the state’s governing body for high school sports said in a news release that it would “go back and look at models and plans that are in place with a delayed start and release information when appropriate.”

During her Wednesday news conference, Kelly specifically addressed high school sports in the state, saying that the executive order she plans to sign Monday will apply to all K-12 activities or academics and that “sports will be included in that.”

Several athletic programs at Lawrence’s high schools have conducted voluntary conditioning programs throughout the past few weeks.

But on Wednesday both Free State and Lawrence High immediately postponed their summer weights and conditioning programs in response to Kelly’s announcement. Things changed again on Thursday afternoon, when both schools posted messages to their websites saying that the Lawrence school district had cleared the continuation of summer workouts and conditioning until KSHSAA says otherwise.

According to their websites, both schools also postponed spirit squad tryouts which had been scheduled for this week.

Late last week, district spokesperson Julie Boyle told the Journal-World that all LHS and Free State athletes were being screened before workouts and divided into smaller groups for workouts that take place in different areas. Boyle said coaches are enforcing social distancing and that no equipment was being shared.

Free State and LHS are scheduled to open the 2020 football seasons on Sept. 4, with LHS playing at Olathe East and Free State at home versus Shawnee Mission Northwest.

As of Thursday afternoon, those games had not been canceled or rescheduled and officials from both schools said they were awaiting further guidance from KSHSAA.

Most other fall sports competitions at both schools are currently scheduled to begin that same week. As of Wednesday, KSHSAA officials still seemed hopeful that games could be played this fall.

“The KSHSAA believes participation in school activities is critical for the students of Kansas and we strive to provide those opportunities for students this fall,” KSHSAA officials added in Wednesday’s news release.


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