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11/18/18- Update on Golf Alignment and Tournament Format Project

November 19, 2018 Athletic Department Blog Updates

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It is recommended that this information is shared with all those that are interested, including coaches while realizing that any official response from the member school should come from the Designated Representative per Bylaw 1.

For its last two meetings, and beginning with discussion during the 2017-18 school year, the Board of Control has been reviewing the golf program within the Association. Realignment is long overdue and the Board and staff have spent a great deal of time discussing the state golf tournament and the best way to qualify teams and individuals. The current system has been in place for many years, and certainly merits review.

Following this latest Board meeting, it is evident that the membership needs to be updated on the progress and processes going forward.

First and foremost, it is IMPERATIVE that the membership complete the survey that was submitted to the schools in early November. To complete the survey, go to https://khsaa.org/gf110-golf-postseason-entry-survey/. Many have already completed the survey. To ensure that your survey has been received, go to the link at https://khsaa.org/golf-realignment-survey-1-responses/.

As the Board began this project, it is important that a few fundamentals be made clear to the membership. Without these clear-cut facts, it is possible that misinformation will cloud what it actually being considered.

  • First, it is not the objective in golf, or in any of the other 17 KHSAA championships, to create an event that ensures the absolute best possible field is at the state tournament or that quality of play is a criterion. The role of the Board of Control in developing policy, and of the staff in implementing that policy through procedures and events, is to ensure that all regions of the state have an opportunity to have competitors experience the state championship and represent their schools, communities and regions. This may not always result in the absolute best individuals or teams, or even the best quality of play, but does ensure a quality experience for all.
  • Secondly, there has been misinformation through the golf community about the creation of an additional round of play to further “weed out” competitors in between region and state play. The Board and staff are aware of those discussions, and though they were purportedly generated by an outside organization (the golf coaches), it is also clear that all members of the golf coaches association were not involved. As such, while the Board is aware of the discussion, that proposal is not being considered at this time. The plan by the Board is to refine the current system, addressing both geographic and representation concerns, reduce or minimize region travel where possible, and address pace of play issues that continue to plague this event, as it is played in the fall as days become shorter and daylight more scarce.

As the Board continues on with its study, the priorities at this point are as follows, and it is recognized that one or more of these objectives may not be accomplished:

  • Equalize the number of regions in boys’ and girls’ golf, with all schools being in the same region for both. This was not always possible, especially in the early days when girls’ golf was not as popular. However, as participation in girls’ golf has continued to grow, it is evident that it is no longer necessary to separate the alignments.
  • Reduce region travel in the geographic extremes of the state where possible, including increasing the number of regions.
  • Ensure that groups of schools that are assigned to a basketball region are assigned together to golf regions, even if it is not the same as their basketball region. For example, in boys’ golf at the current time, schools that are placed in one region in basketball are spread through four different golf regions. This has been a consistent request of the membership and desire of the Board, as the enhanced efficient communication that will occur because of these natural relationships is of great benefit to all of the participating students, coaches, and schools.
  • Develop a qualifying procedure that sets an ideal state tournament field at 144 to 156 golfers, which appears optimal for a fall tournament given the available hours of play each day. This may include a review of reducing the number of members scoring per qualifying team while at the same time, creating a system where there are not inherent reductions in entry opportunities per school.
  • This review also includes a careful review of qualifying standards and requirements to address issues where it has been opined that the participation experience of some may be negatively impacted by the pace of play of other qualifying competitors.
  • If possible, and only if defensible by participation data, align the golf schools in the same regional geographic boundaries as the basketball alignment, which is the pattern by which baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and tennis now are bounded. It is also a noted consideration that even with an increased number of regions, the matching of the basketball alignment may not be possible given the other objectives.

The most important current piece is your participation in the survey listed above. The collection of this data is critical to the effort.

Thank you and feel free to reach out if you have further questions.

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