A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First week of Kentucky high school football playoffs postponed due to state’s pandemic issues

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association notified member schools Saturday morning that the start of the football playoffs will be delayed one week in an effort to provide schools systems time to review their situations amid the ongoing pandemic and work with their health departments to determine the best course of action.

The first round of the playoffs will now take place the weekend of Nov. 19-21 with no games being scheduled for next week. Barring any other delays, the state championship games in each of the six classes will be played during the third week of December.

The Kentucky high school football playoffs have been delayed for one week due to the pandemic. (LCA photo)

“It goes without saying that we are in the midst of issues within our state and the current status of the pandemic,” KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said in a statement. “I have stated all along that decisions made by our office, at any point in time, would be done so in the best interest of student-athletes.”

“This decision isn’t just about the few ongoing quarantines,” Tackett added. “It’s about 82 counties Friday being defined as ‘red’ including the vast majority of the east. It’s about giving our schools time to deal with the issues around athletics which are not identical to the issues around the school day and as such, may need separate local discussions.”

On Friday, most of the final regular season games scheduled across the state were canceled due to COVID-19, including six games that involved Northern Kentucky teams.

The top four seeds in each district are eligible for the football playoffs. If a school decides to withdraw a seeded team, the vacancy can be filled by a non-seeded team.

“One of the deciding factors in this situation is determining what course of action to take given today’s information, that we feel gives our students the best chance to have a postseason experience,” Tackett said. “We have been calculated and strategic throughout this process and will continue to do so during these extremely challenging times, with the students’ health and ability to participate both being at the forefront of our minds.”


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