WICHITA — The City League (Greater Wichita Athletic League, GWAL) has canceled all nonleague competitions for all fall activities in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, GWAL athletic director J. Means told the Eagle. The decision whether to play any games is coming Thursday, he said.
"We have started notifying all nonleague opponents," Means said.
GWAL teams' postseason status is to be determined, Means said. Bill Faflick, the executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), told the Eagle that Tuesday's news does not automatically remove the City League programs from postseason contention. That does not mean GWAL won't remove itself from the postseason.
The decision to only play City League opponents drops every GWAL football team from eight to six regular season games. Boys soccer teams will lose about five competitions, and some volleyball teams will lose more. Bishop Carroll and Kapaun Mt. Carmel high schools, who are part of the City League but not Unified School District 259, will also play only other City League opponents, Means said.
The inability to control non-City League teams' precautions and money-saving measures, namely travel and anticipated limits on attendance, were among the reasons for the cancellation.
The City League is a haven for Class 6A and 5A teams in western Kansas. The cancellation of nonleague competitions cuts Dodge City's schedule in half; the team will play one game through the first four weeks of the season unless it can find last-minute replacements. Liberal lost three regularly scheduled opponents, and Garden City and Hays lost two each.
Derby's schedule also took another hit. Days after the cancellation of its Week 1 competition at Newcastle, Okla., Derby lost its Week 3 contest against rival Bishop Carroll.
It is believed GWAL is the first league in Kansas to make such a decision, but it follows the Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte public schools systems that canceled all fall activities.