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05/09/18 – Board of Control Addresses Football Alignment, Scheduling Grid, Cross Bracketing

May 9, 2018 2017-2018 News Releases

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2018

The Board of Control conducted its final meeting of the 2017-18 academic year on May 8-9 at the KHSAA offices, addressing several issues related to football along with the postseason for multiple sport-activities.

Following initial review in February, KHSAA staff presented the draft football alignment (2019-22) to the membership for comment. After a lengthy review of feedback and consideration of each change proposed by the membership, the Board approved a final four-year alignment to begin in 2019. The new football alignment can be viewed at: https://khsaa.org/final-approved-alignment-football-2019-through-2022-playing-seasons/

With recent change allowing football playing member schools to have two scrimmages regardless of playing season, staff recommended to eliminate the “week 0” terminology from the scheduling grid, as it no longer has an impact on a team’s regular season or scrimmage schedule. The mandatory scheduling grid is listed at: https://khsaa.org/football/schedulinggridfor2019through2022.pdf

The Board approved the removal of “week 0” from the scheduling grid lexicon, while also electing to keep week 11 (formerly week 10, the last playing week of the regular season) as a mandatory non-district week. In its final football-related action of the meeting, the Board approved the proposed cross bracketing format for Classes 2A through 6A for the 2019-2022 playoffs, available here: https://khsaa.org/football/regionrotationandcrossbracketpairingsfinalthrough2022.pdf

Upon review of the Association’s first State Dance Championships, staff returned to the Board with the following recommendations for 2018-19. Beginning next year, teams will advance to the state dance championship by competing in “sectionals” (four sectionals of four regions each), with the number of teams qualifying for state from each sectional based upon the number of teams that declare entry by the Oct. 1 deadline – not to exceed a total of 16 teams per division at state. The Board also confirmed the site and date for the 2018 KHSAA State Dance Championships, with the event scheduled for Dec. 15 at Frederick Douglass HS in Lexington.

In addition, the divisions for the State Dance Championship were revised, with the Board approving a proposal to eliminate the Kick Division for 2018, in favor of:

  • Jazz – Small (7-16 competitors) and Large Divisions (17-30 competitors)
  • Hip Hop – Small (7-16 competitors) and Large Divisions (17-30 competitors)
  • Pom – Small (7-16 competitors) and Large Divisions (17-30 competitors)

Competitive Cheer and Archery were also on the agenda, with the Board addressing potential issues with site and personnel availability in Archery by moving next year’s state championship to April 18, 2019 at the Kentucky Basketball Academy. In Competitive Cheer, the Board approved a motion to revise the recently approved regional groupings to pair region 5 and 6 together, along with 7 and 8, in an effort to be more consistent with other sports and sport-activities.

The Commissioner made a report to the Board on a new opportunity for students in Kentucky, outlining the NFHS Network initiative regarding eSports. While the Association will not be conducting its own championship at this time, the KHSAA will distribute information to the membership outlining opportunities for schools to get involved while the NFHS Network eSports project is evaluated for future implementation.

The Board took action on several recommendations from staff regarding officiating, including a proposal for the Association to work with Arbitersports to mandate an evaluation system which can be tied into game assignments. Having local associations utilize the evaluation system, which is tied directly to game assignments, will help transition to a more modern system as the determinant for postseason rankings.

The Board also implemented limitations on the number of officiating scratches permitted by member schools. Per the Federal Court Order of 1971 as amended in 1987, schools must be given an opportunity to scratch an official. However, those limitations have varied over the years, and have created nearly impossible situations for assigners to staff games in some cases. Standardizing the number of scratches, however, would allow for their continued use in those limited situations where they are deemed essential, without allowing for the “gamesmanship” that sometimes occurs within the system. Following discussion, the Board approved the Commissioner’s directives to local policy boards to establish a limit of not less than two and not more than three scratches within the local officials associations in the sports of baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, softball, soccer, volleyball and wrestling and to restrict scratches solely to the roster of that specific local association. In isolated cases, schools were attempting to utilize scratches of officials across region lines, which hampers assignments of postseason games and was not within the original scope of the Federal Decree.

The final officiating-related topic centered around the conduct of assistant coaches during contests, which will be a point of emphasis relayed to the membership by the Association in rules clinics and meetings for next year. Proper action and conduct will be outlined to all coaches to help deter the rise of unsporting acts by assistant coaches (including those with leadership roles in non-varsity contests), which has negatively affected officials and contributed to the decrease in licensing and retention of officials.

Additionally, the Board finalized its meeting schedule for the 2018-19 academic year:

  • Wednesday, September 19 (KHSAA Annual Meeting)
  • Thursday, September 20 – Board of Control, Lexington
  • Wednesday, October 24 – Board of Control, Lexington
  • Wednesday, November 14- Board of Control, Lexington
  • Thursday, January 10 – Board of Control, Lexington
  • Tuesday, February 19 – Board of Control, Lexington
  • Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8 – Board of Control, Lexington

In other action, the Board:

  • Heard a report from the Commissioner on a new Triple Threat Award which will be presented to the more than 1,800 multi-sport student-athletes that competed in a sport or sport-activity across all three seasons this year (fall, winter, spring).
  • Accepted the report of deficient schools in regards to Prime Date Scheduling and directed penalties be implemented by the Commissioner under Bylaw 27.
  • Reviewed ticket prices and available financial reports from state championships, approving a proposed increase in ticket prices for Wrestling and Competitive Cheer due to facility cost increases, while leaving Baseball, Swimming & Diving, Bowling and Softball up for further review following cost analysis once future sites are determined.
  • Held a second reading for proposed Bylaw changes and amendments to be reviewed at the Annual Meeting.
  • Conducted the annual review of Commissioner Tackett as required by state regulations and based on that review, extended his contract for an additional year through the 2021-22 school year.

– 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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