(MEDIA RELEASE) TOPEKA, Kan – When the champions are handed the KSHSAA State Trophy Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Girls State Tennis Tournament, it will be the first since the final ball knocked down pins in Wichita at state bowling, March 6th. Two hundred twenty-five days separate the two achievements.
The 2020-21 postseason is upon us and the KSHSAA could not be more excited to see students competing for the culminating prize at the end of their season. However, the real accomplishment has come in the ability to participate.
“We are very proud of the students, coaches and administrators who have faithfully adhered to the mitigation strategies put forth that have allowed us to progress through the fall season while also allowing teaching and learning to continue in schools,” said KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick.
To say the situation has been unprecedented is an understatement. The only remote parallel is when the Spanish Flu hit Kansas in 1918. History shows many high school games at the time were canceled. Teams were lucky to get half of a football season completed. In 2020, the cancellations began with state basketball after the quarterfinal round and eventually led to canceling the spring season in its entirety due to circumstances from the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Oct. 14, 98% of teams participating in an activity this fall are actively competing or have finished their season.
With the uncertainty of the year ahead, the KSHSAA Board of Directors approved a plan on Aug. 28 to provide an opportunity for those schools who would wish to compete in the “alternative fall.” With all the deadlines in the rearview, the five schools in the Kansas City-Kansas School District have signed up for an alternative fall season.
With Girls State Tennis and Girls State Golf (Oct. 19-20) to take place within the week, the KSHSAA plans to provide championships for all its fall activities. Modifications have been made to adhere to local health regulations and help mitigate risk at all upcoming events: Postseason Modifications.
The KSHSAA has set spectator attendance at 50% seating capacity for its ticketed events this fall. The KSHSAA is working with host schools to ensure parents of participants are admitted into the game, whether that be through digital tickets using Go Fan/Huddle Tickets or by securing a voucher for entry upon arrival, paying at the gate. The only exception to the above will be for State Cross Country (Oct. 31). Attendance will be limited to an allotment given to qualifying schools. Masks will be required for all spectators at KSHSAA events.
With limited attendance expected at the final locations for each event, the NFHS Network will provide live broadcasts of the following:
State Volleyball, Oct. 30-31: all contests, all locations
State Gymnastics, Nov. 7: all events
Boys State Soccer, Nov. 6-7: semifinals and finals, all locations
State Football, Nov. 28: all games
The Game Day Spirit and Dance Showcase competition will take place virtually. Each registered participating school signed up will submit their routine to Varsity Spirit for scoring. Details about viewing the event will be released at a later date.