Rebuilding America: Coaches, athletes work to comply with KSHSAA guidelines

Jason Brown
Sports team members in the Pratt area are anxious to get back to working out as they prepare for what they hope will be a normal fall slate of sports activities.

One season of sports has already been erased by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that began in early March and is still greatly affecting athletes across all levels of sports.

Now, after just over three months into the pandemic, coaches, athletes and administrators are hoping for a return to their fields of play this summer to prepare for the fall seasons.

Each of the local districts has announced plans to keep student/athletes in shape and ready for a return to competition in the fall, with the caveat that any activities must be compliant with guidelines posted by the Leavenworth County Health Department and Kansas Department of Health.

“We are encouraging them to start taking part in those non-sports specific workouts,” Lansing and Basehor-Linwood swimming coach David Bresser said.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association issued guidelines in early May for schools to begin planning workouts and camps that could begin June 1. Those guidelines include:

* During the first calendar week, athletes may only engage in a maximum of three hours of activity per day. Organized competition sanctioned by outside organizations shall not take place during this time.

* During the second week, the maximum time athletes may engage in activities is raised to five hours per day.

* Students may begin organized competition under the guidance of their school coaches beginning the third week of a summer activity program.

* One-week school coach team camps may begin after the 10-day acclimatization period detailed above and take place through Aug. 15.

Under the current guidelines, fall practices are scheduled to begin on time on Aug. 17 but are subject to change.

KSHSAA issued additional guidelines for football teams returning to the field for the first time since the fall which include allowing 5-on-5 and 7-on-7 drills, as well as week-long camps, after the initial three-week conditioning period is over. College contact camps will also be permitted with a two-day maximum from the end of the initial period to Aug. 15.