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10/07/20- Extension of Deadline to Play Seeded District Games- SO, VB and Revised Tie-Breaker

October 7, 2020 AAA-Covid-19

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This is being sent to all member schools through the Superintendent, Principal, and Athletic Director. Please forward as necessary.

This is related solely to Soccer and Volleyball and this communication is specific to seeded district games. Additional communication will be issued related to football.
As we have said all along, all of us involved in any way with education have been advised to be nimble to pivot from past plans during this pandemic. Certainly, a higher amount of games have been lost during this already short fall season than anyone ever predicted or planned. As such, several questions have arisen.

During the past few days, we have received a great many inquiries regarding seeded district games that have not been able to be played due to COVID situations (quarantine, isolation, or being played in a red county). It is not considered a COVID cancellation if a game isn’t played against a red county but was scheduled to be played outside of a red county. However, for the regular season, discretion to not play in the regular season in any way related to COVID has not been penalized in accordance with Bylaw 22 in terms of forfeit fee provisions. It has also been noted that there is a huge difference between the situation of not wanting to play, or perhaps lose, because of injuries or specific players missing due to isolation, quarantine, and an entire team or program being shut down due to quarantine. Our schools have done a very good job discerning between those two situations, but isolated cases have been brought to our attention with a request for remedy.

Once a district determines that it desires to seed for the postseason (or if required by policy), it is our staff’s role to ensure fairness. Normally, the deadline to play seeded district games in the team sports is the Wednesday prior to district play. However, due to a large number of COVID game cancellations, seeded games may be played up to and including the Saturday before the district tournament begins. While this may cause hardships on some preparation for the district tournament, it is critical to protect scheduling integrity and allow those games to be played.

In addition, the procedure for handling seeded district games not being able to be played will be adjusted for 2020-2021 only (and due to the COVID pandemic). The RPI value as of the completion of all games on Friday prior to district play will determine the winner and loser of any seeded district game unable to be played solely for the purpose of seeding. As such, when figuring seeding percentages, the higher total RPI  will receive a win and the lower RPI value will receive a loss. No permanent result will be recorded in the scoreboard database for this contest as it is solely used for seeding and can be handled by the district manager. If your district designated representatives have already agreed to final determinations, no additional changes are necessary. But for those with games remaining, this allows for flexibility.

In addition, the expected release of the RPI data will be delayed until after the final game scores are recorded for Friday night prior to the district tournament. The primary reason for this delay is to ensure the integrity of the scheduling process and encourage schools to use these extra days to make arrangements for those games to be played prior to summarily canceling the games. This also supports the local decision making used originally when the district seeding vote took place. The use of the RPI does not qualify teams for the postseason as is the case in other states but simply helps create a result for a game otherwise unable to be played. It also replaces the outmoded tiebreaker detailed earlier that has been used in other team sports to help with rain canceled, late-season games in spring sports but doesn’t have the same credibility when applied to multiple cancellations as this pandemic has created.

Please contact Butch Cope (bcope@khsaa.org) if you have volleyball questions or Chad Collins (ccollins@khsaa.org) if you have soccer questions.

Stay safe and stay adaptable!

– 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 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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