KSHSAA reverses course, will allow limited capacity for fans
Kansas high school and middle school teams will not be playing in empty gymnasiums and other venues, at least for now.
Fans now will be able to attend Kansas High School Activities Association events in limited capacity, WIBW reported late Tuesday afternoon.
The KSHSAA Board of Directors voted Tuesday, 54-24, to allow up to two parents or guardians per participant family. The change goes into effect today and continues through at least Jan. 28.
Tuesday’s decision came as a reversal of an original ruling that no fans would be admitted to events until Jan. 28 in an effort to address COVID-19 concerns. Health professionals had recommended that KSHSAA begin competition in the new year, with the basketball regular season being 13 games instead of the standard 20 games. But many across the state were not satisfied, and KSHSAA voting members went with the regular start, but with the “fan ban.”
But that also was sufficient for some, as the organization received several formal grievances and more than 1,000 emails opposing the decision.
The board of directors considered motions that would have allowed family members besides only parents or guardians, but it was ultimately voted down, WIBW reported. Some board members also were concerned about enacting the change so quickly, but other members said they were ready to allow fans immediately if allowed.
This year’s changes come after the final two rounds of state basketball were canceled this past March and spring sports were canceled completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fall sports were able to take place, though there were some postseason adjustments and in some situations, teams’ seasons ended because of quarantine protocol forcing them to forfeit playoff games. Tonganoxie High was able to play a complete football season, though many players were out in Week 3 against Paola due to a positive case and subsequent quarantine protocols. Games against Southern Boone (Mo.) and Shawnee Mission East were added after original games were canceled due to other teams not being able to play. Attendance at fall activities had limited spectators as well.
Local health department and county restrictions also could affect the number of fans allowed to attend competitions.