Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

02/15/19 – Sweet Sixteen® Online Media Credentialing System

February 15, 2019 2018-2019 News Releases


The media credentialing system for the 2019 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ and KHSAA Girls’ Sweet Sixteen® State Basketball Tournaments is now available online, and can be accessed by going to Both of this year’s events will be held at Rupp Arena, with the boys playing March 6-10, followed by the girls’ tournament March 13-17.

The deadline to apply for credentials is 5 p.m. on the Monday prior to each respective tournament – March 4 for the Boys’ Sweet 16® and March 11 for the Girls.

The intellectual property, corporate, broadcasting and media rights to all State championship rounds of the KHSAA postseason championships belong exclusively to the KHSAA, including titling agreements and sponsorships. As such, the KHSAA is the only entity permitted to originate a live broadcast during the Sweet 16® (this includes the use of social media streaming platforms such as Periscope and Facebook Live by media members).


Due to ongoing renovation at the Lexington Center, the media check-in/passgate will be at a different location in 2019. Media will no longer be able to check-in and enter at the back dock. For 2019, the media check-in/passgate will be located on the main concourse area of Rupp Arena and the Lexington Center, under the wall of televisions located near the section of the old Rupp Arena playing floor. Media members will enter via the main High Street entrance and check-in inside the lobby.

Parking is not provided to the KHSAA for media use at Rupp Arena. Media members have the opportunity to purchase parking passes for the Boys’ or Girls’ Sweet 16® from the LCC Box Office. Parking passes are available for $60 apiece if purchased in person from the LCC Box Office, which covers the entire tournament, in the “Press Lot”, which will be located in the parking lot across from the Hyatt Regency on High Street at Gate 2 only for 2019. There is a $5.00 service fee if ordered over the phone for a total of $65. The LCC Box Office can be reached at 859-233-3535. Media parking passes will be available for purchase at gate two on Wednesday and Thursday only. The box office will give the parking crew a list of media members who have purchased passes but not picked them up, but those individuals must enter at gate two and then pick-up their pass from the box office upon arrival. Media members will enter via the main High Street entrance and check-in inside the lobby. Securing a parking pass does not guarantee approval of applications for media credentials.

Credentials will not be mailed to media outlets. Credentials will be available for pickup on the Tuesday prior to each tournament (March 5th for the boys and March 12th for the girls) from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) inside Thoroughbred One at the Lexington Center. Proper identification will be required to pickup media passes. Credentials can also be picked up at the Media Pass Gate (Rupp Arena/Lexington Center main concourse) beginning three hours prior to tip-off of the first session each day. All credentials are issued on a daily basis. You will need proper identification each day. Credentials are non-transferrable.

With Rupp Arena hosting a game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Florida at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9th, adjustments will need to be made by media attending the Sweet Sixteen®. Following the quarterfinal games on Friday, March 8th, the entire KHSAA arena setup, including press tables, will be removed to allow the arena staff to setup and prepare for the UK game. The press row tables will be removed intact (with tables covered), so those entities desiring to leave their equipment on the tables are welcome to do so at their own risk. The tables will be placed in the same spots when the venue is set back up for the Saturday semifinal round.

For the Boys’ Semifinals on Saturday, Match 9th, game times will be pushed back to 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to allow Rupp Arena and KHSAA staff time to completely reset the arena. Media members will not be permitted to access the court or press row, or enter the arena before 6 p.m.

With Rupp Arena hosting a concert on Tuesday, March 12th, no media members will be permitted to setup on the day prior to the Girls’ Sweet 16®. The pass gate on Wednesday, March 13th will open at its regular time, 9 a.m. – three hours prior to tip of the first game.

The KHSAA will utilize Rupp Arena’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system at this year’s events. Rupp Arena will be able to provide an analog converter (creating an analog phone line) for those needing it for broadcast purposes. No telephone handsets will be available. In addition, the KHSAA will continue to provide an Ethernet line for each station upon request.

All auxiliary media seating is in the upper arena press row (at the bottom of sections 230-231-232 and 212-213-215) or the bottom half of rows 21, 24, 38 and 41 in the arena’s lower bowl. The upper arena press row area is serviced with an elevator that is just outside the media interview area at floor level for those in the seats below 230-231-232. The upper arena press row area is also serviced by an elevator at floor level for those in the seats below 212-213-215. Those members assigned to the area will have full access to all media work and interview areas.


Whitaker Bank is in its 6th year as title sponsor of the Boys’ Tournament and is on board to sponsor the event through the 2019 tournament.

When referring to the boys’ basketball state championship, the tournament’s full name, the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Basketball Sweet Sixteen® should be used in all first references, without exception. Sponsorship of KHSAA state championship events is vital to the livelihood of the Association. Please help us thank our corporate sponsors by recognizing their commitment to the KHSAA with proper identification of our events in printed materials, broadcasts, etc.

The Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Basketball Sweet Sixteen® has an event-specific tournament logo which should be used with any accompanying articles, graphics, newscasts, etc. The KHSAA will provide a logo for authorized uses on request.

There is no corresponding corporate partnership or requirement for the Girls’ Tournament as its official title reference is the KHSAA Girls’ Basketball Sweet Sixteen®.

1. Credentials will be provided to established and recognized media outlets that cover high school athletics on a regular basis (including, but not limited to, timely reports of regular season competitions);
2. In all cases where there is consideration as to whether or not to credential an outlet, the level of regular season interscholastic coverage will be considered when applications are reviewed;
3. The distribution of credentials is conducted using the following priorities:
a. Daily Newspapers and Wire Services;
b. Statewide Media (TV, etc.);
c. Media Covering Specific Teams on a Regular Basis;
d. Regional Media;
e. All Other Outlets (Non-Broadcast Radio, weekly media, etc.).
4. Due to space limitations, full tournament credentials are not issued to non-daily newspapers or to non-broadcasting radio stations with no specific coverage teams;
5. Non-originating radio stations from the markets of participating teams will be issued a maximum of two credentials and will be assigned to the auxiliary media seating area;
6. At any time, the KHSAA may request proof of a media outlets’ legitimacy. To help the KHSAA protect access to its events, media members applying for credentials may be asked to provide samples of their work as well as information such as circulation numbers (newspapers/magazines), Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) ratings numbers or similar information (broadcast), page views/hits (online entities);
7. Credentials may be issued on a limited basis to valid websites that report timely results and have regularly covered and promoted interscholastic events. They are not issued to message board websites or to websites that do not regularly contain Kentucky based high school regular season content throughout the year;
8. Athletic recruiting promotion organizations or media outlets that can be construed as primarily recruiting publications will not be issued media credentials;
9. A credential grants the bearer, and only the bearer, access to KHSAA events, and does not include admission for children and family members;
10. Media passes will not be issued to persons under 18 years of age (with the exception of the single School Media Pass issued in compliance with School Media policies detailed for the participating teams);
11. Credentials may be revoked at any time for behavior deemed inappropriate for the intended use of the pass, including transferring a credential to someone other than its intended recipient, or using the pass to help others gain access to an event;
12. Media members are expected to act professionally and objectively at all times. Cheering or cheerleading during an event is strictly prohibited and can result in removal from the press area;
13. Freelance photographers not working for an accredited media outlet will be treated as Commercial Photographers, and will only gain access to an event by paying the media rights fee for the event in question in compliance with published guidelines;
14. Each team advancing to a state championship event can be represented by one (1) broadcast team (radio or online), which will be designated by the participating school’s principal and will be considered TEAM RADIO in accordance with these policies;
15. The KHSAA reserves the right to grant or deny any requests on an individual basis;
16. By accepting your credential you agree to all KHSAA terms and conditions.

Photography passes are provided to accredited news media outlets that meet the Credentialing policies in conjunction with print and television outlets and their directly affiliated websites.

Commercial and freelance photographers can obtain fee-based credentials, space permitting, by purchasing a limited rights license. Information regarding rights fee payments will be confirmed through the online credentialing system.

While photographers own the intellectual rights to individual photos, the KHSAA owns the intellectual property rights to all state championship events; therefore photos taken during these games are not for resale by individuals unless the requisite media rights fee has been paid by commercial photographers. By accepting your credential you agree to all KHSAA terms and conditions. The KHSAA reserves the right to deny credentials to commercial and freelance photographers who do not agree to these terms and conditions. Failure to abide by the KHSAA’s policies and procedures could result in having your credential revoked and a loss of access to future events.

Through its partnership with long-time broadcast partners Dick Farmer and Tom Stevens and with the generous support of Kentucky Utilities, the Kentucky Utilities-LG&E/KHSAA Radio Network originates a live audio broadcast of all games of both tournaments. Radio stations interested in carrying the KU/KHSAA Sweet 16® Radio Network feed can make arrangements through Dick Farmer ( There are ad sales revenue opportunities for local stations. A listing of the more than forty affiliate stations for the KU/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen® Radio Network will be posted online at A free audio-only feed of the games will also be available online through Mixlr (, which has a corresponding app available for iOS and Android devices.

Each participating team can be represented by one designated broadcast team (radio or online). Approved team broadcasts are audio only. Once the tournament field is set, the principal at each participating school will complete the online form and submit it to the KHSAA to designate one official team broadcast crew. The designated broadcast team will be permitted to originate broadcasts of games involving that specific school, so long as the requisite media rights fee is paid to the KHSAA. Absent those stations continuously grandfathered with the formation of the KU/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen® Radio Network, stations not receiving a school designation can make arrangements to carry a feed from the KU/KHSAA Sweet 16® Statewide Radio Network free of charge. A radio station not chosen by the participating school may apply for an auxiliary credential to attend the tournament, but will not be given transmission rights.

WEBCASTING/VIDEO STREAMING is the exclusive home for video webcasts of all KHSAA state championship events. Live video webcasts of all games will be available at through the NFHS Network (, which is a subscription-based service. Subscription plans for the NFHS Network are available for $9.95 a month. A monthly subscription, priced less than the cost of admission to a state championship event, entitles users to every broadcast by the KHSAA and the more than 40 participating state associations. The NFHS Network also has an app for iOS users (NFHS Network Live in the Apple store) or for Android devices (NFHS Network) in the Google Play store. All webcasts are produced by the KHSAA in partnership with First String Media and


Live stats for all games of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16® and the KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16® will be provided by WL Stats and available for media and fans at

The brackets for both tournaments are posted on the KHSAA website ( Outlets can also view district and regional schedules/results on the KHSAA/ Scoreboard by clicking on the scoreboard icon at


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 280 member schools both public and private. The KHSAA sanctions 44 state championships in 13 sports and 5 sport-activities and licenses 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.


icon-angle icon-bars icon-times