01/12/17 – Board of Control Addresses Alignment Issues, Archery Championship
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2017
During the course of its regularly scheduled meeting at the KHSAA Offices on Thursday, the Board of Control addressed alignment issues and championship details in several sports, while also approving a requested new trial pilot program for the 15th Region Tournament.
Following the consolidation of South Floyd and Allen Central High Schools, changes were needed in the basketball alignment (and subsequently the alignments in baseball, softball and volleyball) for the 15th Region. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett attended a meeting of the Superintendents in the impacted districts on January 9 to review options related to the region. Facing challenges like an imperfect geographically aligned region and a pattern of reduced sport offerings by some schools in the region, there were few obvious non-impactful options available. With that in mind, the Superintendents expressed an interest in a multi-year pilot program where their teams would play one less regular season game, and then play a modified regional tournament with an extra round. This would result in all teams advancing from the district tournament to the region tournament in those sports, but seeded by regular season play, rankings, voting or other methods to be worked out in future meetings with those schools.
“This pilot program could provide great data for other regions who may face a similar issue in the future with further school consolidations,” said Tackett. “This is something that could potentially be implemented by any region with sixteen-or-fewer teams, and we are eager to monitor its results going forward. With consolidations, declining populations and job losses in many areas we have to be open to new ideas and I am grateful this group of superintendents stepped forward with their request. This also has the added benefit of de-pressurizing discussions around district alignment due to the fact that all teams advance to regional play.”
Following the approval of the regional tournament format, the Board finalized a new alignment for the 15th Region for the 2017-18 season with the impending addition of Floyd Central, which will see Jenkins move into the 15th Region.
District 57 – Johnson Central, Magoffin County, Paintsville, Sheldon Clark
District 58 – Betsy Layne, Floyd Central, Lawrence County, Prestonsburg
District 59 – East Ridge, Jenkins, Pikeville, Shelby Valley
District 60 – Belfry, Phelps, Pike County Central, Piarist
“We had several discussions with KHSAA staff about the various proposed options prior to today’s decision and completely accept this move,” said Mike Genton, Superintendent Jenkins Public Schools. “While we have a long and proud tradition in Region 14, it is hard to dispute the reduction in travel costs that this move will allow.”
Based upon feedback from the Archery Advisory Committee following their discussions in a meeting on December 15th, Association staff proposed a change to the format of the state archery tournament. For the last two years, the archery state tournament included a “medal round” in which the top four teams would shoot another round to determine the team champion. However, members of the Advisory Committee expressed concerns that the medal round asked too much of the student-athletes, as shooting two full flights in one day, which is not in line with the normal physical training regimen for shooting, puts undue physical stress on the students. Following Board approval, the medal round will be eliminated, which will allow staff the option to expand the number of qualifying teams and individuals, if desired, by using those afternoon slots previously used by the medal round.
The Board also accepted a recommendation to revise the awards structure for the regional and state archery tournaments. Where previously the regional tournaments recognized the top four overall shooters regardless of gender, the regional tournaments will now award medals to the top four individual performers in each gender. The state tournament, which previously honored the top eight individuals regardless of gender, will now award medals to the top five performers in each gender.
The archery alignment was also adjusted, as the addition of a dozen schools to the sport-activity necessitated the expansion from 10 regions to 11. The new regional alignment was composed with boundaries comparable to the basketball boundaries, with a combination of regions in the far east and far west portions of the state, and the remainder in geographic proximity to the current basketball alignment. The final approved draft is online at https://goo.gl/N0QAL1.
“We are extremely pleased with our tremendous growth in the number of participating teams in Archery,” said Tackett. “Our partnership with KY NASP and the hard work of our member school coaches and student-athletes has resulted in the need to address these issues, which are a natural outgrowth of increased participation.”
The Board addressed a pair of volleyball issues as well on Thursday, voting to adjust the alignment in the 13th Region for the 2018 season while also addressing a scheduling conflict with the 2018 state tournament. As more teams have added volleyball in the 13th Region, including the addition of Pineville in 2016, the Board addressed a need for an adjusted alignment by approving a measure which will match the 13th Region volleyball alignment with the one utilized in basketball starting in 2018.
A change to the dates of the 2018 state volleyball tournament was necessitated by the city of Louisville hosting the Breeders Cup races at Churchill Downs, as housing will be at a premium due to the conflict. Working with the Volleyball Advisory Committee, staff proposed a one-year adjustment to the schedule for all postseason play, thereby shortening the regular season by one week (for 2018 only). There will be no other change to the season with regards to the corresponding dates or the first allowable practice or contest.
The new schedule adopted by the Board for the 2018 volleyball postseason is:
Last Date to Play Seeded Contest – Wed., Oct. 4, 2018
District Tournament – October 9-14, 2018
Regional Tournaments – October 16-21, 2018
State Tournament – Valley High School (Louisville), Oct. 27-29, 2018
“I know our staff has worked hard with our hosts at Valley and we have seen tremendous growth in the popularity of volleyball since our move to a more regular host site,” said Tackett. “The Breeders Cup brings worldwide demands for housing, as well as tying up other resources, so this one-year change was widely understood by our Advisory Committee and the many individuals we talked to in the volleyball community.”
In addition, the Board also approved recommendations from staff regarding the field hockey alignment and the format of the state tournament. Entering its fourth season as a KHSAA-sponsored sport, staff advised the Board to keep the state tournament format in its current state, with further evaluation planned following its three-year review period.
The addition of teams since field hockey was initially adopted, and the physical relocation of at least one school, prompted a geographic change in alignment. Beginning in 2017, the new alignment for field hockey will be as follows:
REGION 1 – Ballard, Kentucky Country Day, North Oldham, South Oldham, St. Francis
REGION 2 – Christian Academy Louisville, Eastern, Mercy, Sacred Heart, Seneca
REGION 3 – Assumption, Atherton, Central, Louisville Collegiate, Male
REGION 4 – Butler, DuPont Manual, Holy Cross (Louisville), Presentation, Pleasure Ridge Park
In other action Thursday, the Board:
•Made a motion to move referendum one (Definition of Open Gym) and two (Amendment of Bylaw 24 to conform with new Open Gym restrictions) on to the Kentucky Board of Education for adoption. Both proposals passed easily in a referendum poll of the membership following the Annual Meeting.
About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 278 member schools both public and private. The KHSAA sanctions 43 state championships in 13 sports and 4 sport-activities, licenses and trains over 4,000 officials, provides catastrophic insurance for its more than 70,000 member school student-athletes, as well as overseeing coaching education and sports safety programs.