KHSAA eliminates summer 2020 dead period, provides updated guidelines for fall sports
The KHSAA updated its guidelines during its live Board of Control conference meeting. The biggest note on the meeting was the organization eliminating the dead period from June 25-July 9.
In addition, the KHSAA also granted a preparation period from June 1-15 for coaches and athletic directors to prepare facilities and reach out to their players. No more than 10 people may meet at a time and social distancing guidelines are still in effect.
Questions did arise on the issues that come with the lifted dead period, including who will police it and how kids will get to and from events while still social distancing. One of the bigger topics was voluntary workouts and making sure they stay voluntary in a time of uncertainty.
"Again as an ex-high school coach and I know we tell the kids it's voluntary, but I'd sure hate to have a guy that's one and two on our depth chart - one of them shows up and one of them doesn't," Board Member Darrell Billings said. "I know we put a lot of pressure on our kids during that particular time. Again, that's not the purpose of the dead period, but it is definitely something that we'll struggle with if we eliminate the dead period."
"Voluntary's not voluntary, guys, in a lot of these programs," Estill County superintendent Jeff Saylor added.
Of note, the organization said, "Contrary to belief of a lot of people out there, we don't have the authority to do our own thing."
The organization also said that its timeline will stay in line with the ones Governor Andy Beshear has for youth sports in Kentucky. That all but guarantees that high school sports will not be able to return until June 15.
There also will not be any extra eligibility provided for seniors. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett stated, "We will not entertain extra eligibility."
The KHSAA will also continue to require a physical for its athletes every year. This was brought into discussion earlier in the year when it was thought that medical staff would be in short supply.
In addition to eliminating the dead period and preparation period, the board also said that workouts in high-contact sports and practice in low-contact sports can begin on June 15. That period will last until June 28. From June 29 on, competition in low-contact sports can begin.