- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Some Kansas schools might be able to play a truncated version of their fall season season in the spring under a plan that the Kansas High School Activities Association is considering.

With some of the state’s largest districts canceling or suspending fall sports and other extracurricular activities, the association’s Executive Board voted 9-0 Monday in favor of the “alternative fall season opportunity.”

Any schools that play in the alternative season won’t have a playoff. If enough similarly sized schools move their fall seasons, the spring sports season also could be pushed back by about a month.

The association’s board of directors, which is made up of more than 70 representatives, will take final action Friday.

Because a virtual format already has been approved for debate and is pending approval for a quiz-based competition called scholars bowl, those two activities wouldn’t be affected.



KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick said in a news release that the model would give an opportunity for students to take part in activities “when it is appropriate in their school communities later this year.”

Among the districts to cancel fall sports is Wichita, which is the state’s largest with 50,000 students. Several other districts in the Kansas City area have suspended or called off at least some of their fall sports.

The state Department of Health and Environment on Monday reported 1,545 new cases since Friday, an increase of 4.2%, to put pandemic total at 38,401. The state reported an additional seven COVID-19-related deaths, for 426 in all.

The numbers include nine sports clusters, with 67 cases, according to state officials.

During a Zoom call Tuesday with teachers and medical experts, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly reiterated concerns about playing contact sports this fall.

“I have huge concerns,” she said. “I don’t see how you play football the way football is meant to be played safely at this point. I think it would be better to put it off and hope that a vaccine is developed.”

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