08/11/14 – Reminder on “Fall Ball” and Facilities
With the start of a new school year, it’s a good time to remind schools about recent changes in KHSAA Bylaws, and we wanted to remind Administrators and Baseball/Softball Coaches about issues around offseason play (“Fall Ball”) and school facilities.
Bylaw 23, which defines the season and allowable play, was amended at the Annual Meeting in 2012 (approved by member school administrators by a vote of 194-12-1) and changes were approved through the regulatory process and published in the 2013-14 KHSAA Handbook. The primary element of this change was a restriction in the use of school facilities by enrolled student-athletes outside of the season.
This restriction is during the school year, but outside the defined limitation of season where coaches (head/assistant) may not coach players in organized competition on the campus of a member school if such competition involves at least fifty (50) percent of the normal playing squad (5 or more for baseball and softball), and the members of the team may not play as a unit on the campus of a member school if such competition involves at least fifty (50) percent of the normal playing squad (5 or more for baseball and softball).
This was voted on and put in place as a means of giving students an option of not having to play one sport year round, the possibility to play other sports (and multi-sport participation remains the gold standard for participation at the high school level in terms of overall predictors of success in becoming college and career ready), giving the facilities a break with time for maintenance and other usage and not giving an advantage to a group of students at one school over another group at another school that may not have such facilities.
During this same time period, off of school campus/facilities with principal approval, coaches could be involved in competition with students who were members of the high school team provided participation is not mandatory, no school funds are used, no school equipment or uniforms are being used and with the knowledge that this activity is not covered under the KHSAA Catastrophic Insurance plan. On campus, such involvement may only occur if there are less than five players involved at a time, an allowance that allows for individual skill development and offseason skill improvement.
School administrators, as evidenced in the 194-12-1 vote, want to get away from year-round school play/facility use by the high school students. However, it is acknowledged in some areas that the school facility may be the only facility in the area, thus the provision to rent to an outside group remains available. The rental of the school facility to an outside league/group continues to be permitted, but that rental itself does not allow 50% or more of a normal team to play together at the facility.
A specific scenario – School A rents its facility to an outside group. Can coaches from School A coach members of Schools A’s High School team on a team playing in the outside league on School A’s campus? — No, not if such competition involves at least fifty (50) percent of the normal playing squad (5 or more for baseball/softball) of School A’s High School team. Additionally, School A rents its facility to an outside group. Can fifty (50) percent or more of a normal team (5 in baseball/softball) play together in the outside league on School A’s campus? — No, not if such competition involves at least fifty (50) percent of the normal playing squad (5 or more for baseball/softball) of School A’s High School team.
Hopefully these important reminders assist everyone in understanding the bylaw. Please contact the office if you have further questions.
– KHSAA –
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