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High school sports group sets stage for basketball, winter sports



FRANKFORT, Ky. (KHSAA Press Release) – The KHSAA Board of Control held its second regularly-scheduled meeting of the 2020-21 academic year Wednesday, approving practice and competition dates for the winter sports and sport-activities of basketball, bowling, competitive cheer, dance, swimming & diving, and wrestling.

Bowling is permitted to practice on November 2. Competitive cheer and dance can begin official practice for its seasons this Monday, September 21 with a gradual segmented approach to activity over the next few weeks.

Further details will be distributed to the member schools that allow for the resumption.

Both competitive cheer and dance have already seen regional championships moved into the new year per the board’s July meeting. In cheer, these segments will further clarify “stunting” which has been restricted during the pandemic and resumption to play.

Additionally, the Board approved clarifications on sideline cheer in that stunting (defined per NFHS rules as “One or more bases support one or more top persons off the performing surface”) can only be done during sideline cheer activities on an appropriate surface and only in skills that are permitted at that time to be practiced by the school’s competitive cheer program.

“As participants in various programs begin to get back to games and competitions, we have to help ensure a healthy transition, and returning in segments ensures an appropriate progression,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “We are thankful that unlike most collegiate games last weekend, our schools seem to take extra steps to be sure that, in a safe manner, these students can remain involved. We want that involvement and despite the fact that national sports medicine authorities don’t consider sideline cheer or other groups as essential to a contest (defining essential individuals for contests as the athletes in the contests, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, and security in resumption documents), we have to be sure things are done safely during this ongoing pandemic. A few individuals we have heard from seem to think that you can just pick up where things left off last year, but that is not practical from a health and safety standpoint and based on health data.”

Basketball can begin official practice October 26 with contests allowed to be played on a tentative start date of November 23 in a season already moved earlier than normal for a start due to facility conflicts for planned state events.

Swimming & diving and wrestling can start practices on November 2. Swimming & diving will have a total of fourteen (14) competitions beginning November 16 while wrestling can begin its regular-season on December 7 with a limit of sixteen (16) competitions. Interscholastic scrimmages are eliminated in all three sports for this season.

All six sports and sport-activities will have its seasons broken into three segments with restrictions and allowances detailed in the guidance.

“As we have said from day one, this year will likely look different,” said Tackett. “As we have resumed fall competition, our staff and our member schools are constantly making notes about enhancements as we do everything possible to help keep these important activities going during the current public health crisis. Some of our schools have some additional work to do in a variety of areas, but we remain very proud of the efforts that our schools are making as they adapt to these challenging times.”

The Board also approved the creation of a semi-state round to help with the many issues caused by COVID-19 for the 2020 State Volleyball Tournament. The 16 volleyball regions would be split with Regions 1-8 and 9-16 having a blind draw for individual first-round matches to be played at host sites. These matches would be scheduled early during the week of the State Tournament.

With the field down to eight teams following the semi-states, the Board directed the Commissioner’s office to then finalize a schedule with appropriate health authorities for the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals which are currently scheduled to be held at Valley High School in Louisville the first week of November.

The distribution of any recommended football alignment changes per enrollment report was approved by the Board. Currently, only one school would change as Sayre has agreed to take a four seed in Class 1A, District 7 for 2020, and would join Hazard, Phelps, and Pikeville in that district for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

A realignment review is next scheduled to be implemented in the 2023 season. In further football news, the Board endorsed the Association to lift the scheduling embargo for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

The Board of Control approved KHSAA staff amendments to its Discrimination and Harassment Policy, including making hate speech an identified problem with specific references to what is hate speech and what is to happen when officials encounter it in contests.

A report on changes to federal Title IX regulation was also accepted. The federally mandated changes now require all secondary schools to designate and authorize one individual to serve as that school’s Title IX Compliance Coordinator but this person must have the authority to address specific compliance issues within the school. In response, the KHSAA will establish the position in the KHSAA online database of Title IX Annual Report Coordinator, which will be separate from the Title IX Coordinator.

The Board accepted a report on officials licensing for 2018-19 and 2019-20 compared to the current academic year. The Association has gotten reports that several officials are sitting out this year due to being in an at-risk category, but there has been an increase in college students becoming licensed.

In other action Wednesday, the Board:

  • Approved an allowance for competition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the State Cross Country Championships depending on facility issues and availability. The available dates will give the Association options to address crowd control, the time between races, and sanitation.
  • Accepted a report on the State Golf Championships with plans that continue to permit a field of 144 golfers to advance to state.
  • Heard a report on the NFHS Pixxelot Camera donation program for new School Broadcast Program schools. At least thirty additional KHSAA schools have implemented the cameras into their live streams so far in addition to more than 55 schools that were already members of the NFHS Network School Broadcast program.
  • Accepted a motion to tentatively accept the membership application for Cornerstone Preparatory School in Madisonville pending review by designated KHSAA staff.
  • Accepted a report on disqualification reports when comparing 2018-19 to 2019-20. Given the fact that there were no spring sports, 88 schools had zero disqualifications in the 19-20 season, up from 58 the previous year.
  • Heard a report on eSports that the relationship with PlayVS is going well as they listened to member schools who may want to opt-out of certain games and made that possible. The Association will offer three games to member schools this season with League of Legends, Rocket League, and Smite.

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Why I Won’t Stick To Sports: Tom Oates –




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COVID-19 continues to impact HS sports, 21 football teams shut down in Week 4




The 2020 high school football season continues to be ever-changing as circumstances related to COVID-19 have impacted the state.

In what will be an abbreviated season, with just six regular-season games, some teams have been behind the eight-ball all year. While some have had no issues, others have had games canceled or postponed.

Two teams – Clearview and Ridgefield Park – have yet to play their first games.

Following is a list of teams currently shut down as well as games for this week that have been cancelled. You’ll also find a list of games added to this week’s schedule.

Check back for updates as the football staff receives additional information throughout the week.


Barringer: The team is in the second week of a 14-day quarantine after its Sept. 9 game against Livingston. Livingston reported positive COVID-19 tests among its coaching staff soon after that game.

Bayonne: Athletic programs were set down after an assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19. Bayonne schools have not reopened for in-person instruction and it remains uncertain how long sports will be shut down.

Belleville: The team is in the second week for a shutdown after a player tested positive for COVID-19.

Butler: Out of an abundance of caution, Butler is in the second week of a football quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.

Delran: The shutdown of athletics continued as additional positive tests for COVID-19 were found.

Gloucester Catholic: It was determined though contact tracing that several players needed to be self-quarantined due to individuals at the school testing positive for COVID-19. All extra-curricular activities have been cancelled until Monday.

Hanover Park: The team is in Week 2 of a shutdown believed to be COVID-19 related.

Hamilton West: The school has canceled all sports though Nov. 2 because of a second positive COVID-19 test within the school.

Immaculata: Sports are in the second week of a shutdown, although athletic director Tom Gambino couldn’t confirm the reason behind cancellations in a memo sent to parents last week.

Iselin Kennedy: The team is in the second week for a shutdown due to COVID-19 circumstances. All sports have been set down until Oct. 29.

Kinnelon: The program has been shut down for two weeks for a second time due to COVID-19 circumstances. The team has not played since losing to Hanover Park on Oct. 9 and is not scheduled to resume play until Nov. 6 at Whippany Park.

Livingston: The team is in its second week of a shutdown due to at least one positive COVID-19 test within the program.

Middlesex: The team will miss a second straight game after a player had tested positive before its Oct. 16 game against South River. Its next game is Oct. 30 against Spotswood.

Nottingham: Due to possible exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the football team will quarantine for 14 days. It is the only team within the athletic program to quarantine. This is Week 1 of the shutdown.

Park Ridge: All sports teams are sidelined through Oct. 26, athletic director Christopher Brown said. Games will resume Oct. 27. The cancellations wiped out Saturday’s football game against St. Mary (Ruth.).

Ramapo: All athletic teams are shut down until Saturday, Oct. 31 after multiple positive tests were revealed, according to athletic director Ron Anello. The school has shifted to online learning.

Secaucus: All fall sports have been shut down through Oct. 22. The school has haulted in-person learning after individuals tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second week of the shutdown.

Trenton: After playing against Nottingham last Saturday, Trenton has canceled its next two games out of caution.

Wallington: The team is in the second week for a shutdown due to COVID-19 circumstances.

West Essex: The team is in Week 2 of a shutdown after three students among the school’s student body tested positive for COVID-19. The school canceled its entire athletic schedule for two weeks.

Westwood: Athletics will remain shut down for two weeks as the district transitions to remote learning, according to a letter sent to parents on Sunday


Friday, Oct. 23

  • Westwood at Pascack Hills
  • Seacaucus at Becton
  • Montclair at Livingston
  • Cresskill at Butler
  • Hanover Park at Parsippany
  • Clifton at Bayonne
  • Wallington at Wood-Ridge
  • Immaculata at Hudson Catholic
  • Iselin Kennedy at Scotch Plains-Fanwood
  • West Side at Belleville
  • Parsippany Hills at West Essex
  • Sterling at Delran
  • Pequannock at Kinnelon
  • Middlesex at St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Barringer at Bloomfield

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Trenton at Pemberton
  • Notre Dame at Nottingham
  • Ramapo at Bergenfield
  • Park Ridge at St. Mary (Ruth.)
  • Gloucester Catholic at Cumberland


Friday, Oct. 23

  • Roselle Park at Wood-Ridge, 6
  • Parsippany Hills at River Dell, 6
  • Shore at St. Thomas Aquinas, 6
  • West Side at Hudson Catholic, 7
  • Warren Hills at Parsippany, 7
  • Seneca at Sterling, TBA

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Notre Dame at Pemberton, 11
  • Clifton at Montclair, 1
  • Demarest at Bloomfield, 1

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Kevin Minnick covers the West Jersey Football League. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kminnicksports

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Sports on TV: Wednesday, October 21, 2020




Wednesday, October 21
(All times Eastern)
Schedule subject to change and/or blackouts

7 p.m.
ESPNU — Mississippi State at Louisiana State
8 p.m.
SECN — Florida at Auburn
5:25 a.m.
ESPN2 — Samsung at KT
8 p.m.
FOX — World Series: Tampa Bay vs. LA Dodgers, Game 2, Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas
8 p.m.
FS2 — CONCACAF League: CA Independiente vs. Antigua GFC, Preliminary Round, Panama City, Panama
9 p.m.
CBSSN — UEFA Champions League: TBA, Group Stage (taped)
10 p.m.
FS1 — Liga MX: Monterrey at Tijuana
6 a.m.
TENNIS — Ostrava-WTA, Antwerp-ATP & Cologne-ATP bett1HULKS Championships Early Rounds

Early Thursday

6:30 a.m.
GOLF — EPGA Tour: The Italian Open, First Round, Chervo Golf Club, Pozzolengo, Italy
5:25 a.m.
ESPN2 — Kia at Hanwha
6 a.m.
TENNIS — Ostrava-WTA, Antwerp-ATP & Cologne-ATP bett1HULKS Championships Early Rounds

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