KSHSAA cancels spring sports season amid COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 18:58:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The entire 2020 spring sports season is among the collateral damage from Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s order to close all schools in the state through the rest of the 2019-20 academic year.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced Wednesday that it “is canceling all spring championships, competitions and festivals for the remainder of this school year.”

Kelly has ordered all in-person classes in the state cease through at least May 29 amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The KSHSAA recognizes the value of school activities for all students and school communities, but the current situation does not permit the opportunity for school activities to take place in a manner that is consistent with the very reason school activities exist,” KSHSAA said in a statement announcing the decision.

All regular season games also are canceled.

“We all have an important responsibility to minimize community transmission as we embrace suggested precautions regarding COVID-19,” KSHSAA said. “As educators, the primary focus for our students and families is the health and well-being of each student. This action by the KSHSAA supports that effort across Kansas.”

KSHSAA also “strongly discourages” all non-school activities during this time in accordance with guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among public gatherings and best practices to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Earlier Wednesday, the Western Athletic Conference, including the University of Missouri-Kansas City, canceled its spring season as well.

The decision comes one day after the Southeastern Conference canceled the spring sports season. Mizzou is part of the SEC.

"This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "The health and well-being of our entire conference community is an ongoing priority for the SEC as we continue to monitor developments and information about the COVID-19 virus."

All team activities — including games, individual or team practices, meetings and other voluntary or involuntary gatherings — are suspended until at least April 15, according to the guidance from the SEC.

The Big 12 canceled its spring sports season last week. It has suspended all team activities through March 29.

Kansas and Kansas State compete in the Big 12.

The NCAA Division II Mid-America Athletics Association canceled its spring season Tuesday.

The MIAA includes the following schools from Missouri or Kansas: Central Missouri, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Lincoln University, Missouri Southern, Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri State, Pittsburg State, Washburn and Newman.