09/22/16 – Board Approves New Provisions for State Tennis

September 22, 2016 Tennis Blog Updates

After hearing from its membership and discussing the issue with the KHSAA Staff, the Board of Control yesterday decided to return the state tennis team title to a points-based championship for 2017. The Association will continue to sponsor an Individual and Doubles Championship, which will be held May 18-20 in Lexington. 

Following a change in format to the 2016 State Tennis Tournament, significant feedback was gathered from the membership after the individual and team events were split over separate weekends. The split, necessitated by competition limitations recommended by the USTA and its sports medicine researchers, was put in place to prevent any student-athlete from participating in more than two full-length matches per day. The change also necessitated mandated play to determine a true region champion, adding additional matches to an already full competition schedule for most players.

While team tennis has expanded over the last eight years of play, the requirement of seven players per school prevented many schools, particularly small schools, from the opportunity to compete for a school-based title following the conversion to the team format. Through that review, and discussion with staff involved with the tournament, the Board approved a recommendation to make the change. The state tennis tournament will return to a format where advancement points are awarded in the singles and doubles competition, with the additive points determining the overall team winner. The motion also included a recommendation for staff to work with the state’s Tennis coaches, any of whom are involved in developing a new statewide coaches association, to develop their own, unofficial state team tennis tournament. This would follow a similar path to the current event sponsored by the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association in conducting its dual meet state tournament.

“This was not an easy decision for me to recommend to the board following considerable staff review and membership input. But with the recommendations from USTA and even our own Sports Medicine folks to limit competition to the benefit of health and safety of our participants, the additional time necessitated to allow the conduct of both team and individual play simultaneously, and the logjam of conflicts among spring sports participants around graduations and other end-of-year activities, a choice simply had to be made,” said Commissioner Julian Tackett. “Our staff will make every effort not only to help with the organization of a strong coaches association for tennis, but to assist with the transition of team tennis to an event sponsored by that group to continue to allow our top programs to have additional competition opportunities. This also ensures that our member schools, no matter how large or small, have an opportunity as with other individual sports, to compete in our state events.”

– KHSAA –

The KHSAA staff routinely publishes blog posts to better communicate with its various constituencies and the public. For a list of those blogs, go to http://khsaa.org/news-stats-pubs/sports-blogs/