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KSHSAA votes to end ‘fan ban’ at winter sports

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) voted Tuesday to allow fans at interscholastic activities starting Thursday, but there are some limitations.

The KSHSAA Board voted to allow up to two parents/guardians per participant(s) family starting this Thursday, Dec. 10, but only as allowed by the local board of education or health department restrictions. The new plan is through Jan. 28, 2021.

There are 78 members on the board. The final vote was 54 to 24. All three Greater Wichita Area League principals voted against it.

The KSHSAA decision means schools have the option to allow two parents/guardians, but they don’t have to allow the spectators if the local school board or health department wants limitations.

J. Means, athletic director for USD 259/Greater Wichita Athletic League, said they will meet Wednesday morning to discuss what they will do going forward when it comes to fans.

Tuesday’s KSHSAA Board vote comes two weeks after the board voted to keep fans out through January 28 in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

After getting a lot of complaints from parents, the KSHSAA Board of Appeals reviewed concerns and voted to recommend that the board of directors reconsiders the ban on spectators with the consideration of allowing up to two spectators per participant.

Parents and athletes said this decision makes them hopeful. They said it also makes them feel safe.

“Nobody ever wants to have a situation occur, but if something does, it’s good to have the parents there. They can, they know how they want to deal with the situation,” said Travis Daerr, father and Garden Plain assistant wrestling coach.

“My sophomore year we had a kid get hurt, and I just thought in my head, you know, if he got hurt this year and his parent wasn’t there, what are they going to do if he needs has to go to the hospital, if he needs to go back home,” said Tranden Daerr, senior wrestler.

“After having two knee surgeries in a year, just having somebody there that knows your situation well and who knows the best way to, like I said, handle the situation and to care for you,” said Danielle Wheeler, Derby cheerleader.

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