The 2020 spring sports season was officially cancelled earlier this spring, however, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) announced last week that to protect the students, coaches and fans, the dead period that the spring sports were under would be extended even further into the year, ultimately canceling summer sports even for travel teams in the state of Kentucky.
For weeks the confidence that the season would come back dwindled as things unfortunately have not cleared up. While it may be saddening, the KHSAA has made this decision to protect everyone more from contracting COVID-19.
“Extremely disappointed with the cancellation of our season but some things are bigger than baseball,” said Austin Horn, Mercer County baseball head coach.
“These are tough times and hopefully things will get better soon,” Horn said. “I want our guys doing what needs to be done to give us the opportunity to get back to playing baseball, but really I want our kids to remain safe and healthy during this time.”
The safety and protection of the players means a lot to Coach Horn, but he also speaks for so many coaches by saying that this is being put in place to protect what’s important, the people.
The sports that will be affected by this ruling are archery, bass fishing, esports, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field and the boys and girls basketball tournaments. This will also affect players who participate with travel teams over the summer.
Travel teams, which play in other states, are not under KHSAA rules. However the KHSAA can still rule athletes on travel teams ineligible for the following season.
There are many athletes who rely on summer and fall programs to get their skill noticed, or even to develop their talent. There is a lot of recruitment and private trainer workouts that will be missed out on.
Boyle County Baseball Coach Kyle Wynn talked about how important the summer is to ball players all around.
“Summer is a good time for kids in certain tournaments to be seen so that will be difficult if missed,” Wynn said. “I could see potentially more fall showcase tournaments to make up for anything lost in the summer.”
There is still a lot of uncertainty and fear surrounding the situation.
The KHSAA and the coaches of schools under their rule would love nothing more than to have these kids back out and playing.
But there are more important issues for now and that’s protecting everyone during a time of crisis.
There has been a lot of effort to keep spirits as high as possible. There are virtual tournaments, car parades for seniors and heartwarming gestures such as the turning on of field lights.