The start of high school sports will be delayed until early September following Gov. Laura Kelly’s announcement on Wednesday postponing the start of the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day.
The Kansas high school sports calendar was officially set to begin Aug. 17. The delay will push the start of sports back at least three weeks.
The executive order, which was broadcast on Facebook, includes a delay for when schools can begin practices. It is unclear whether the order will affect schools that already are holding voluntary workouts.
Schedules for Manhattan High fall sports are not listed on the school’s website, but schedules posted on Maxpreps.com show the Manhattan football team will miss a Sept. 4 game against Garden City while the boys’ soccer team will lose an Aug. 28 game against Lawrence and a Sept. 1 contest against Heights (Wichita).
The Kansas State Department of Education passed guidelines Wednesday that included recommendations for how to proceed with sports, including recommended limits on travel and assigning sports to tiers given their likelihood of spreading the coronavirus.
Kelly said she also will issue an order to make the guidelines mandatory for schools.
Because of Kelly’s announcement, the Kansas State High School Activities Association will hold off on its expected announcement of fall sports guidelines, according to Manhattan High principal Michael Dorst.
During Wednesday evening’s Manhattan-Ogden school board meeting, Dorst said KSHSAA sent an email stating it is considering the models and plans and will not make an announcement on Friday, as originally was planned.
KSHSAA reiterated the statement publicly on its social media accounts.
Manhattan-Ogden superintendent Marvin Wade also stated during the meeting that students will not be eligible for athletics if they choose the remote learning option of the district’s reopening plan.
“The intent of the remote learning is for the student to limit their contact with other students,” Wade said.
“We would see that as being consistent with athletics.”
Wade said students still would be allowed to participate in athletics if the district resorts to a hybrid on-site/remote model so long as KSHSAA allows it.