09/22/16 – Board of Control Approves Unified/Adapted Opportunities in Bowling; Alters State Tennis Format
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2016
During its regularly scheduled meeting at the KHSAA Offices on Wednesday, the Board of Control approved a proposal to add Unified and Adapted opportunities in the sport-activity of Bowling, beginning with the 2017 state championship. Bowling will be the second KHSAA offering to include Unified and Adapted opportunities, joining Track & Field which began including Unified events in 2015 following a joint partnership between KHSAA and Special Olympics Kentucky. The Unified Bowling events will be added to the singles competition on Feb. 9, with a final schedule to be announced at a later date. Unified sport allows for combined competition involving intellectually disabled students and non-intellectually disabled counterparts, while adapted sport allows for participation by those with physical disability.
“One of the most gratifying things we have been able to do in the past few years is the addition of adapted and unified track and field events,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “This addition in bowling continues the Association on its message to include students of all types in its sports and sport-activities.”
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 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.”
Following last week’s voting results from the Annual Meeting of the Delegates, the Board approved a recommendation from the Commissioner to put Proposal 10 into action this year. That proposal, which was approved with 186 affirmative votes versus 30 votes against, amends Bylaw 22 and removes restrictions on playing only members schools when competing against out-of-state teams in the Association’s team sports. This change would apply to games played both in-state and out-of-state. The Commissioner will be issuing clarification to the membership in the coming days to permit this change to be implemented immediately.
“Clearly, as evidenced by this vote, our members believe in local control with regard to scheduling decisions and this measure returns those decisions to their likely proper place,” added Tackett.
The Board also took action regarding the Baseball and Field Hockey state tournaments, approving staff recommendations on proposed schedules and times for each event. The State Baseball Tournament will continue with the two-weekend format first implemented last season, however, scheduling conflicts in 2017 have necessitated an adjustment to the game times for the second weekend. With the Lexington Legends having home games on June 16th and 17th, the KHSAA semifinals will be played at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 16th, followed by the championship at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17th. The KHSAA and the Lexington Legends are working collaboratively in conjunction with the South Atlantic League office to prevent scheduling conflicts in the future and protect the relationship between the KHSAA and the Legends, which is obligated through 2022.
“This is not anyone’s ideal schedule for the semifinals and finals, including our office or the Lexington Legends. But we have had to make these accommodations in basketball before with the 2013 UK/Florida situation and the football finals with the conflicts with a home game at both Papa John’s Stadium and our current hosts at WKU, among other events,” said Tackett. “These facilities that we utilize are the best available for all involved, but they were built for that University’s students or that owner’s team, and we know that on very rare occasions, there will be conflicts where that host team has the priority. Obviously, if this becomes a long-term issue, other discussions would need to be held, but for one year, we will work to ensure the participation opportunity is the best it can be for the students involved.”
With the dates and sites already set for the 2016 State Field Hockey Tournament, the KHSAA presented final game times for approval. Quarterfinal games will be played on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Assumption Green at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Semifinals will move to Bellarmine University on Monday, Oct. 24 with the games taking place at 5:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. The Finals will be played on Wednesday, Oct. 26th at 6 p.m., also at Bellarmine.
In other action Wednesday, the Board:
- Approved the immediate distribution of a multi-part referendum on the proposed changes to Bylaw 23 and 24, clarifying and officially defining Open Gym/Field, from the Annual Meeting of Delegates (Proposal 11), with results to be reported to the Board for action in November.
- Approved a recommendation from staff that the field for State Diving be expanded to 40 entrants per gender following a survey of the membership. The State Diving field will consist of a minimum of two competitors from each region plus 22 at-large, with each diver performing three dives in the preliminary round, rather than the previous five dives. This change mirrors the increase in participation that was implemented in Swimming last season.
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.