The Kentucky High School Athletic Association Board of Control followed in the footsteps of its neighbors to the north on Tuesday by canceling the remainder of the boys and girls state basketball tournaments as well as the entire springs sports season.

The action by the KHSAA mirrors one the Indiana High School Association took late last month. The KHSAA had been hopeful to finish out the Sweet Sixteen tournaments and all spring sports, but after Kentucky Gov. Andy Breshear closed all schools for the remainder of the school year, the KHSAA knew it had to make the decision.

“We have until this point purposely taken a measured approach to the resumption of our basketball events and consideration of the ending of the spring seasons for sports and sport-activities,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said in a statement. “We have accepted continual guidance from a variety of sources, and have steadfastly held on to hope that the great student-athletes who represent their schools through a variety of teams would have an opportunity to compete this season.

“Nothing in mine, or frankly, anyone else’s professional career completely prepared me for this situation since mid-March and the related subsequent decisions. That was probably the hardest thing to deal with,” Tackett added. “These kids don’t get a chance to finish, especially the seniors, and it is as though they were robbed by an invisible enemy. It is sometimes a little easier in life when there is someone to blame. With this, however, there isn’t. We are all together fighting the same enemy with the same desired outcome.”

The KHSAA’s decision cancels all regular-season practices and contests as well as all postseason tournament championship events for all spring sports and sport-activities for the 2019-20 school year. This means the termination of the archery, bass fishing, esports, baseball, softball, tennis, and track & field seasons. This will also result in the continuance of all provisions of the Coronavirus dead period provisions until further notice to the member schools from the commissioner.

The decision by the KHSAA Board affects only springs sports. The Board and staff will continue discussions over the coming weeks to attempt to address issues related to the fall sports seasons.

“It is far too early in this process and battle against this virus to place an absolute planned schedule or dates out there,” Tackett said. “We remain optimistic about the fall season, even if it isn’t exactly per normal, but we will adhere to the guidance of both federal and state health officials, as well as our own Department of Education and the Governor’s office in planning our next steps in the coming weeks and months.”