The Kansas State High School Activities Association Executive Board met via Zoom Tuesday afternoon and voted to keep Aug. 17 as the first day of practice for all fall sports in the state of Kansas.

During the meeting, KSHSAA executive director Bill Faflick presented a proposal based upon recommendation from the KSHSAA staff that would have kept the beginning of practice at Aug. 17 for all sports but would have altered the earliest competition dates by a group of sports. The KSHSAA proposal would have adjusted the beginning competition date for volleyball, soccer and football would have been moved to Sept. 8. Girls tennis would have been able to compete after Aug. 21 while cross-country would have to wait until Sept. 2 to run.

The executive board had a lengthy discussion on the matter and following a motion to accept the KSHSAA recommendation voted 5-4 to not adjust competition dates as recommended but to remain as printed currently in the KSHSAA handbooks. Thus Kansas’ high schools will be able to begin football competitions on Sept. 4 as most high schools have planned.

“We strongly discourage the participation in football jamborees for the 2020-2021 school year,” Faflick said. “We encourage schools that feel they must participate in the jamborees to limit the number of teams in attendance just for this year.”

KSHSAA’s proposal would have meant that the football schedule would have been reduced in number of games and Abilene’s season opener at Clay Center on Sept. 4 would have been canceled. After the vote, this allows schools to maintain the Sept. 4 first football game and thus Abilene will travel to Clay Center to open the season and NCKL league action.

Girls tennis is slated to open the season at the Hesston Tourney on Aug. 27 with volleyball taking the court in Abilene on Sept. 3 when the varsity hosts a quad meet at AHS.

Cross county runners are scheduled to begin the season at home on Sept. 3.

Schools will be required to follow the sport specific guidelines that KSHSAA presented to them last week as far COVID-19 practices and procedures. Each school district will be required to comply with the state and local health organizations when it comes administering competitions locally. Those organizations may control the size of crowds allowed to attend games and whether or not concessions will be allowed to be sold.

AHS athletics director Will Burton is scheduled to meet with his coaching staffs soon to begin planning practice and game day procedures in regards to the pandemic.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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