LEXINGTON Most of the principles of the ongoing KHSAA coronavirus dead period will remain in effect for May, the state high school sports governing body announced in a Thursday release, but there are exceptions and there is an eye toward a coming relaxation of restriction, as government bodies allow.
Teams and athletes cannot use school-owned facilities, uniforms or equipment through at least May 31, the release said, nor can coaches except for "necessary maintenance that can be done using acceptable social distance regulations" — unless Gov. Andy Beshear's phase-in plan permits. Coaches can continue to communicate with players electronically, though they cannot mandate any activity.
The release reiterated the impetus for a return to on-campus activity lies with the federal, state and local governments. The Center for Disease Control currently limits the number of people at gatherings to 10 people.
"We hope in this summer — and we don't know if it would be June or perhaps early July — we will be able to do some youth sports," Beshear said Wednesday in revealing Phase One of a plan for relaxing social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions, as reported by The Courier Journal. "Again, it depends on how the virus reacts to changing temperatures and the rest. It can't be in Phase One, but we do have hope."
Last week, the KHSAA canceled all spring sports and the state basketball tournaments, effectively bringing the 2019-20 high school sports year to a close in the commonwealth.
"Postseason wrap-up activities, celebrations and recognition events" may be held in compliance with the Kentucky Department of Education, the CDC and federal, state and local government and health department guidelines, the release said. So may signing ceremonies, "as long as those announcements are done solely electronically, or if held in person, held in compliance with formal guidance" from the aforementioned entities.
The KHSAA also backed off a prohibition of athletes from competing in non-school-related sports out of state and from private instruction during the dead period announced last week — again deferring to CDC, federal, state and local guidelines.
Thursday's release said parents "should insist on adherence to" compliance with safety guidelines, no matter the site.
"Students at KHSAA member schools as well as parents and others (including coaches) should be mindful that you do not avoid the perils of this virus by simply changing shirts and no longer wearing a school uniform," the release said.