MURRAY — COVID-19 continued to impact the sports world with both the OVC and the KHSAA suspending spring sports seasons.
It was just the latest domino to fall as the pandemic takes control of the country.
Per the document sent via the KHSAA:
“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. Prior to April 11, and in consultation with the Governor, Public Health Officials and the Kentucky Department of Education, an evaluation will be made for the period going forward.
Students shall not participate in any organized team activity, or organized or semi-organized team competition in any sport or sport-activity in any format at any location in any state where school personnel (paid or unpaid) are involved, in attendance, or receiving reports of performance.
Prior approval for sanctioned events through the NFHS sanctioning system, both in and out of state, is hereby rescinded for this period. Member schools should note that without appropriate NFHS sanctioning, provisions of the KHSAA Catastrophic Insurance policy are not in place.
Students may not participate in activities such as weight training, skill development, individual camps (with per team limits on participation), team camps, or open gym or field activities even if no inter-school competition is involved.
Students may not receive coaching or training from school personnel (either salaried or non-salaried) in any KHSAA sanctioned sport or sport-activity;
School facilities, uniforms, nicknames, transportation or equipment, may not be used in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport or sport-activity;
School funds may not be expended in support of interscholastic athletics in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport or sport-activity;
This restricted period does not preclude communication between school, athletic department and coaching representatives to team members and/or families of players on the current roster;
Postseason wrap-up activities, celebrations and recognition events relating to a sport or sport-activity team at a school may not be held.
At this point, there are no plans to cancel state championship play in the spring sports and sport-activities of baseball, softball, tennis, track & field, archery, bass fishing or esports season two, but that obviously merits consideration, even with potentially abbreviated seasons. There is also no current consideration to seeking alternate locations or dates for sports state championship play beyond the currently scheduled dates.
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.”
This mandatory dead period is for safety purposes and will hinder the growth of some programs, but will also make the playing field equal. Prior to the announcement, both Murray High and Calloway County had already begun to institute a suspension of spring programs, while some schools were still holding out within the region.
As for the OVC, their statement reads:
“The Ohio Valley Conference Board of Presidents have announced that effective immediately OVC member institutions will suspend athletic-related activities including all competition, and formal practices until further notice due to the COVID-19 public health threat.
All recruiting-related travel is also suspended until April 3, 2020, at which time the impact of that ban will be evaluated.
The main priority of the OVC is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators. The league will continue to monitor all relevant information on COVID-19 on a daily basis.”
As inconvenient as this is for the programs in the OVC, necessity dictated that the season be put on pause.
The situation remains fluid, but it looks as though the next month will be without sports.