The dates for the 2021 Boys and Girls Sweet 16 state basketball tournaments have been set, with the boys tournament taking place March 31 through April 3, followed by the girls Sweet 16 on April 7-10.
Each tournament will be played over four days at Rupp Arena in Lexington, with the semifinals and championship played on the final day, as a one-year accommodation due to the events being scheduled around Easter.
The four-day format was standard for the state basketball tournament for several years prior to the 2013 boys Sweet 16 when a statewide legislatively-initiated panel recommended separating the prior semifinal/championship Saturday schedule into two days.
Attendance for both tournaments will be restricted to 15% of capacity within the areas of the arena in-use. Details will be announced in February regarding the ticketing process, but all-session tickets will be limited for 2021 in order to properly maintain social distancing and allow for the fans of competing teams to have an opportunity to attend. All prior ticket holders will retain their ticket records and priority and have the ability to renew into the same seats from 2020 in future years.
“We know that there are many who would like to see things resume full-speed ahead immediately, but that is neither responsible nor practical right now. This is the same situation our University partners and friends have found themselves in this season, so it isn’t all that unexpected,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett.
“Ever since the 2020 events were shut down and ultimately canceled, we have all hoped for the 2021 tournaments to be a renewal and rebirth. Unfortunately, that timeline isn’t feasible right now. We will work with our partners at Rupp Arena, the City of Lexington and various health entities to maximize the opportunities for this year’s event and ensure an optimal experience for the participating teams and members of their community.”