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05/05/21 – Board of Control Approves Football Playoff Format Changes for 2023

May 5, 2021 2020-2021 News Releases



The Board of Control conducted its final meeting of the 2020-21 academic year on Wednesday at the KHSAA Offices, during which time it addressed the football playoff structure after reviewing the results of a recent survey of the membership.

Following a presentation by the Football Coaches Association at its previous meeting regarding its preference for bracketing in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the board directed staff to seek a position from the official spokesperson from each member school (Principal or Designated Representative) per Bylaw 1 via a survey of the football playing schools.

The Board of Control originally changed football bracketing prior to the 2019 season to conduct play intra-district for those rounds, partially due to travel and financial concerns with those contests in prior years. The change, when implemented, was to span the entire four-year alignment period. The alternative was proposed within the membership to pair districts (sister districts) 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8, for rounds 1 and 2 to determine advancers to the third round.

A total of 167 responses were received from the 225 football-playing schools, of which 109 football schools (48.44 percent of all football-playing schools) approved the change to the sister district format from prior years, while 58 schools (25.78 percent of football schools) favored remaining in the current intra-district format. After reviewing the survey results, the Board voted to return to the sister district format starting in 2023 in conjunction with the next realignment.

The Board also addressed wrestling weight classes, following a recent rule change by the NFHS which afforded states the ability to choose the number of weight classes for both boys’ and girls’ competition between 12, 13 or 14 classes.

A survey of the membership showed the majority of KHSAA schools favored keeping 14 weight classes (46 in favor of 14, 23 in favor of 12, 7 in favor of 13). For wrestling events exclusive solely to females, the results showed 30 schools favoring 12 classes, 8 favoring 13 weight classes and 29 favoring 14 classes.

Based on the survey results, and to be evaluated again after the 2023-24 season, the Board approved a recommendation for the competition rules to stipulate 14 classes for boys’ wrestling (including girls that wrestle in boys’ competition) and the subsequent weight class boundaries. In addition, for competition exclusively against girls, the Board determined that 12 classes be adopted along with the specified weight bounds.

In other action Wednesday, the Board:

  • Accepted a report containing participation data for the last two golf postseason regional tournaments and asked staff to return in July with options regarding possible revisions on the alignment and other changes to postseason formats, including an implementation schedule;
  • Reviewed a request from Monroe County to change districts, tasking staff to facilitate discussion with all 4th region schools on both this request and other subsequent district balancing concerns in terms of the number of teams for review in July;
  • Approved several across-the-board increases in game officials’ fees following a lengthy review;
  • Heard a report regarding prime date basketball compliance for the 2020-21 season which showed 55 schools unable to meet the threshold for prime date games for girls, though no penalties were levied in response to the COVID-19 pandemic season and schedule adjustments;
  • Completed a favorable review of Commissioner Julian Tackett and extended his contract for an additional year to now expire in 2024-25;
  • Approved status reports for 2020-21 winter and spring championships including planned sites for upcoming events;
  • Approved its planned meeting schedule for the 2021-22 academic year:
    • Thursday, July 22, 2021
    • Friday, July 23, 2021
    • Thursday, September 16, 2021
    • Wednesday, November 17, 2021
    • Thursday, January 20, 2022
    • Wednesday, February 16, 2022
    • Wednesday, May 11, 2022


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 284 member schools both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 215 state championships to 51 teams and 164 individuals in 13 sports and 6 sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 106,000 rostered member school student-athletes, provides coaching education and sports safety programs for more than 12,000 coaches, and licenses and facilitates the distribution of training material for over 4,000 contest officials.


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