KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of athletes on the metro’s Missouri side will get to play this fall after a vote Monday from the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference.
The conference, which is made up of 27 high schools from Grain Valley to Kearney to Raymore-Peculiar, has voted unanimously to allow fall sports to proceed as scheduled.
That means cross country, football, girls golf, boys soccer, softball, boys swimming and diving, girls tennis and volleyball all have the green light.
Sources tell FOX4 that superintendents voted last week, but the vote was paused after the Jackson County Health Department recommended all districts cut extracurricular activities based on the latest COVID-19 data.
In the end, though, district leaders decided to press forward on Monday.
Grain Valley Athletic District Brandon Hart said the benefits of competing outweigh the risks.
“There are a lot of things, other components to health, that sports provide, and we just feel like when you weigh the risks that they’re all dealing with, we just feel like the values of sports outweighs those risks,” Hart said.
Several schools, including Grain Valley’s football team, have their first games as early as this Friday.
Hard said they’re excited to play but warned players and parents that game day procedures will be different this year due to the pandemic.
Fans will be required to wear masks, and concession stands will not be open in Grain Valley.
There are still a lot of questions each district will have to work out, like how many people will be allowed at games. Grain Valley hopes to give two tickets to each player so that athletes’ families can at least be at the game.
Each school or district will release its own health and safety guidelines for practices and games. The conference has created a list of recommendations for member schools.
“Our member schools have worked hard to implement health and safety protocols to keep our students, staff, and fans safe during practices and competitions,” said Dr. Alan Markley, president of the conference’s executive directors. “From cleaning equipment to precautions associated with safe hydration, to transporting students to and from contests, our schools are considering all factors to safely navigate this important part of our student experience.”