This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) just announced that all spring sports have been canceled and the 2020 state basketball tournaments will not resume. The Girls Sweet 16 was suspended due to the pandemic and the Boys Sweet 16 was scheduled to begin the following week. The announcement follows yesterday’s news that Kentucky public schools will be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
“We have until this point purposely taken a measured approach to the resumption of our basketball events and consideration of the ending of the spring seasons for sports and sport-activities,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said in a statement on the KHSAA website. “We have accepted continual guidance from a variety of sources, and have steadfastly held on to hope that the great student-athletes who represent their schools through a variety of teams would have an opportunity to compete this season.
“This is without question the most challenging period I have seen or faced in thirty-six years in this office. This impacts so many people, but in the end, is in the best interest of public health. We have been especially concerned with the graduating class of 2020, those seniors who put so much into their athletic participation opportunities hoping for one last time to shine before the home crowds or at postseason events. We know for the vast majority of them, their future plans are already laid out, with college and career final preparation as their next chapter. We are also keenly aware that per almost all metrics, 94% of the students who participate in high school sports and sport-activities are involved in their last organized competition while in high school, as the lion’s share of participants will not play beyond this level. In the end, however, the health and safety of all individuals, participants, coaches, and spectators, is much more important than the various interscholastic activities.”
Tackett didn’t rule out the possibility of preseason boys and girls’ basketball tournaments for teams that qualified for the Sweet 16.
“We will also continue to communicate with our teams that qualified for the basketball tournament and were unable to complete this event about possible activities within the bylaws of the KHSAA at the start of the 2020-21 season if they desire that opportunity.”
For additional remarks from Commissioner Tackett, visit KHSAA.org.