05/08/15 – KHSAA Sanctions Lawrence County, Pike County Central For Bylaw 15 Violations

May 8, 2015 2014-2015 News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2015

Following an incident in a varsity baseball game between Lawrence County and Pike County Central on May 5, which led to the termination of the game by the officiating crew in the 6th inning, the KHSAA conducted an investigation to determine any appropriate penalties.

Per the umpire’s incident report, the altercation began when a Pike County Central student-athlete charged into the Lawrence County base runner at second base. Per the officials’ report, and confirmed later through discussion with school representatives, both teams had players leave their positions during the altercation, which was a violation of the NFHS Baseball Playing Rule 3-3-1g. In addition, Pike County Central had additional players leave the dugout as well, which is a violation of the KHSAA conduct policies. It was stressed through the findings that neither team had additional players become involved in the altercation or in separate altercations.

The task of identifying each violator during the incident was not possible, as neither school was able to provide the KHSAA with comprehensive video evidence showing both the initial altercation and the actions of the other players.

“Regardless of participation by throwing a punch, merely leaving the dugout or position during this altercation was grounds for immediate ejection of each person,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “In this matter, the situation escalated so quickly, the game was terminated before any penalty could be applied to a specific offender. Without video or other substantiating evidence, it is impossible to determine the exact identity of each person for both teams that violated this rule, and as such, institutional penalties are the most appropriate remedy.”

Following this review of the incident, including lengthy discussions with representatives of each school, the following penalties have been assessed:

1. Both schools will forfeit one of their remaining contests, which cannot be rescheduled or replaced. The score will be recorded as a 7-0 forfeit loss. Specifically, the contests to be forfeited are the games scheduled for Saturday, May 9. The forfeit loss will count against the limit of games contained in Bylaw 23 for Pike County Central and Lawrence County, but not the opponents.

2. Both programs are placed on probation for the remainder of the baseball season.

3. A $200 fine is assessed against the baseball program at Pike County Central High School for the players who left the dugout during the altercation. This is not the maximum fine allowable under Bylaw 27 for this violation, as the cooperation of the school and the desire to quickly resolve this situation should be recognized.

4. The Pike County Central student-athlete that instigated the altercation, per the officials’ report, is suspended from varsity play through the conclusion of the District baseball tournament. During the period of suspension, the student-athlete may not be in the game uniform at any contest, home or away, and may not participate in any warm-up activity prior to the suspended games.

“The game officials, who handled the situation in the exact manner as expected, were quick to report their observations and have been fully cooperative in the review,” said Tackett. “It is important to note that if a fight or other altercation occurs, it is expected that all official team representatives, in particular members of the coaching staff, enter the field to assist with the situation. The school representatives were very helpful in ensuring that no additional incidents occurred and have been very helpful in the review process.

“Penalizing our membership is never a pleasant thing and it is hoped that lessons have been learned so that incidents like this will not occur in the future. It is everyone’s responsibility, administrators, coaches, officials, fans and participants, to ensure that a safe environment for athletic competition exists. The actions of the involved team members placed the health and safety of all in attendance at risk of injury not only by the lack of self-control and discipline, but also by the continued involvement when the situation occurred.”

The KHSAA will have no further comment on this matter. Additional inquiries should be directed to the member school representatives.

– KHSAA –

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 277 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.

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