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02/21/18 – Board of Control Addresses Postseason Formats, Future Sites and Alignment For Several Sports

February 21, 2018 2017-2018 News Releases

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2018

During the course of its February meeting at the KHSAA offices on Wednesday, the Board of Control deliberated on the postseason formats, future sites and alignments for several sports. The most impactful decision made Wednesday concerned the future of the state softball tournament, with the Board voting for the event to transition to a single-elimination format in 2019. The move to single elimination will bring the softball championship more in-line with the baseball state tournament while also helping to alleviate concerns with the potential overuse of pitchers under the current double-elimination format.

“We have been discussing the future and the format of the state softball tournament for the last several years, and I applaud the Board for the steps it took today in approving our recommendations,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “Examining the state softball and baseball tournaments, you would be hard pressed to say the events were equitable for the participants and fans in their current formats. Moving to a single-elimination format where each team plays one game per day in those early rounds will open some new possibilities for the scheduling of this championship.”

The approval for the future format of the state softball tournament also included a motion to suspend implementation of the International Tiebreaker for the 2018 season.

The Board also addressed the future dates and sites for the boys’ and girls’ Sweet Sixteen®. Having previously established dates for the 2020-21 season to address facility conflicts with Rupp Arena hosting the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Round, KHSAA staff worked in conjunction with arena personnel to finalize the 2019 through 2022 tournament dates. Under previous direction from the Board of Control, the Boys’ Sweet 16® was traditionally scheduled to avoid conflicts with the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference Tournaments. With the Girls’ Sweet 16® moving to Rupp Arena in 2019, the Board approved a recommendation to rotate the two tournaments over the next four years:

2019 – March 6-10 (BOYS); March 13-17 (GIRLS)
2020 – March 11-15 (GIRLS); March 18-22 (BOYS)
2021 – March 3-7 (BOYS); March 10-14 (GIRLS)
2022 – March 9-13 (GIRLS); March 16-20 (BOYS)

As part of the approved motion, the Girls’ Sweet 16® was awarded to Rupp Arena for an additional two years (through the 2022 tournament) following the Board’s revision of the 2020-21 playing season during a previous meeting.

The Board addressed several topics concerning football on Wednesday, including a review of a preliminary district alignment for 2019-20 through 2022-23. Following the January Board meeting, schools were given the option to declare their desire to “play up” in classification. The decisions to “play up” in the new alignment were:

  • 1A to 2A – Trimble County
  • 3A to 4A – Boyle County, Central
  • 4A to 5A – East Jessamine, Highlands, Western
  • 5A to 6A – Barren County
  • Withdrawal from District for the period – Fulton City

The draft alignment will be submitted to the membership for comment, with final ratification in May, and can be viewed at: http://khsaa.org/2019-2020-through-2022-2023-draft-football-alignment/

Following a successful debut at Kroger Field for the 2017 state football finals, the Board approved a request from staff to complete the site award for the championships to be played at Kroger Field for 2020 and 2021.

Having created an additional championship opportunity for females at the January meeting with the creation of a girls’ Archery championship, the Board approved a recommendation from staff to finalize the format and structure for this year’s region and state championships. For 2018, the team events will consist of school squads of seven to 12 archers, with the team score calculated by adding the best seven scores from the group. Girls’ teams will be female only, while schools without enough girls to form a full team can enter their female competitors as part of the boys’ team, or enter them in the regionals as individuals. A female may be entered in the region as either an individual or part of a team, but not both, and that declaration is binding for both region and state.

Upon review of its Regional and State Competitive Cheer Championships, staff submitted a proposal to the Board to revise the postseason format in an effort to assist in the prevention of automatic qualifiers at Region/State and to ensure large enough competitions at the region level to help ensure viability. The new format would create eight regional competitions, with regions combined accordingly: 1&2; 3&4; 5&8; 6&7; 9&10; 11&12; 13&14; 15&16 (the combining of regions 5&8 and 6&7 matches representation on the Board of Control).

Regions could alternate host sites or choose to have a permanent site based upon facility abilities and availability. The changes will permit region competitions to be held in current weeks #2 and #3, and removes region competition on current week #1 which has historically been an ACT Test date.

In each division, the winner and runner-up from each of the eight regional competitions would advance to the State Competition (maintaining the current number of qualifiers at state). The Board also approved a recommendation to consolidate the Coed Divisions, primarily due to the lack of participation and the inability to have a full 16-team competition at state for multiple years. The two Coed divisions will be combined moving forward, with one male required and the overall squad limit increased to 30. With the combination of the two Coed divisions, the Game Day competition will be slotted into the second Coed spot, allowing the entire championship to be conducted in one day.

In addition, instead of an open enrollment at the state championship, as was the case in 2017, Game Day will be a division at each region and teams will qualify to compete at state. Schools will continue to be able to enter two squads in the Competitive Cheer Championships (two competitive, two Game Day or one competitive and one Game Day).

In other action Wednesday, the Board:

  • Approved revisions to the Tennis alignment effective with the 2019 season.
  • Voted Pete Galloway (KDE Appointed Member; Sedalia) as President-Elect for the 2018-19 academic year.
  • Authorized the Commissioner to enter into an extension of its trophy and medal contract for a maximum of five additional years with Riherds.com in Smiths Grove, Ky.

-KHSAA-

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 279 member schools both public and private. The KHSAA sanctions 44 state championships in 13 sports and 5 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.

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