Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

02/28/20 – KHSAA Reminds Administrators of 2020 Middle School Football Start Date

February 28, 2020 Middle School Blog Updates and Information


This is a reminder notification about an update to the state regulation specifically related to middle school football that was approved by the General Assembly through the regulatory process in 2019 as part of 702 KAR 7:065. Beginning July 1, 2020, the first regular-season middle school football contest (competition involving students enrolled in grades 5-8 competing against schools enrolling combinations of grades 6-8) has a fixed allowable starting date. Contests shall not be played before the Saturday preceding seven (7) of the National Federation of High Schools Standardized Procedure for Numbering Calendar Weeks, which for 2020 is August 15.

Congruent with this change, middle school football practice cannot have more than twenty-four days of practice prior to that first game, which closely correlates to the high school restrictions, and no activity involving helmets or any other equipment may occur before July 10 (following the dead period).

This reminder encourages senior school administrators to ensure that the information is forwarded to those involved in middle school athletics as direct contact is difficult from this office. Certainly, every district administrator should be concerned with violating these provisions from a risk and liability standpoint as they have the force of law within state regulation.We would ask that recipients widely distribute this information.

A link to the season regulations and timeline for  2020-21 can be found at

A link to the entire middle school regulation can be found here:

Questions about specifics of the regulation can be addressed to Assistant Commissioner Sarah Bridenbaugh (, although in most cases, the regulation speaks for itself without need for interpretation and the expectation is for local district compliance and enforcement.

—- NOTE —-

Frequently there are questions about “what is a middle school team”. The provisions of Section 1 of the regulation contain the factors that link each school to the need for compliance with this regulation.

KRS 156.070(2) designates the Kentucky High School Athletic Association as the agent to manage interscholastic athletics at the middle school level. 702 KAR 7:065, Section 4, is the state regulation governing middle school interscholastic. Please keep in mind, regardless of action by school councils or district boards of education, the provisions of 702 KAR 7:065 apply if any of the following conditions are satisfied (per the regulation):

  • The contest, event, or tournament is sponsored by a school or combined group of schools;
  • Competitors wear a school issued uniform;
  • The contest, event, or tournament is sponsored by an outside entity as a school entry event, which is advertised or promoted as a school event, whether or not an entry fee is required;
  • A school entity pays an entry fee, for the student or team, including payment by booster organizations;
  • A school representative accompanies the student-athlete or transports the student-athlete to the contest, event, or tournament;
  • A designated or hired member of a school coaching staff, whether paid or unpaid, is present and offering instruction, advice, evaluation, or refinement of skills or exercising other duties defined as coaching within the sport rules;
  • Transportation to or from the contest, event, or tournament utilizes school-provided or approved transportation;
  • Competitors in the contest, event, or tournament wear apparel identifying them by the name of the school, including the formal name, informal name, or team nickname;
  • Competitors in the contest, event, or tournament are provided promotional or other resources by the school including school media recognition, signage, and items clearly indicative of school representation;
  • Competition in a contest, event, or tournament has, in any form, the jurisdiction of the local school board or school-based decision-making body, including financial or other approval control; or
  • Competition in a contest, event, or tournament is covered by any school or school system provided or procured insurance policy





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