KHSAA basketball

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has delayed the start of basketball season and other winter sports until Jan. 4 and will conclude the season in late March in the hope of avoiding too much overlap with spring sports.

The board’s working group considered three options, one that would’ve begun the season in mid-December, one that would play a shortened season beginning in January and one that would’ve extended the winter sports season until the end of April or early May.

Basketball season was originally scheduled to begin Monday. Wednesday's decision governs public schools in the state of Kentucky. Local school districts may impose other restrictions or schedules on schools depending on COVID-19 statistics in their areas.

Along with the start of competition on Jan. 4, the KHSAA set basketball the start of district tournaments for March 1 and regionals for March 8. The Sweet 16 tournaments for boys and girls would be played March 17-21 and 24-28, though there is a Rupp Arena conflict with the second week that will need further negotiation.

Jan. 4 also will mark the beginning of other winter sports -- swimming, wrestling and competitive cheer and dance

“I really can't in clear conscience tell you that I think it's a good idea for our member schools to start playing organized games, official games, this coming Monday,” KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett told a working group of the board on Wednesday.

After beginning football season three weeks late, the KHSAA board decided that with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the state being what they are — with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear expected to announce tighter restrictions in response — that beginning the winter sports season after the first of the year would give time for the virus to further abate in Kentucky.

The state board left practices to the discretion of local school districts. A start date for spring sports will be determined at a later meeting.

A special meeting of the board was set for Dec. 10 to discuss the negotiated state tournament dates.

The proposal, according to Tackett, “should not be considered in concrete. … We’ve got some cleaning up to do.”

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