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12/10/18- Early Season Basketball/Wrestling Interpretations

December 10, 2018 Athletic Department Blog Updates


This is being posted on the KHSAA basketball and wrestling web pages, as well as being distributed to all schools, basketball officials, and basketball assigners via email.

As we begin the basketball and wrestling seasons, three issues have been consistently discussed with communication to and from the KHSAA offices and various association representatives.


All receiving this communication are reminded that there is no appeal of a judgment call by an official, including ejection of a player or coach. Bylaw 21 is explicit in that not only may protests not be granted, but they may not even be considered. This is not to say that coaches and school representatives should not give feedback to the local assigning secretaries.

As independent contractors, it is important that the assigners receive feedback as such not only helps the development of the officiating staff in that association but also helps the assigner determine future assignments. But this review and evaluation, by rule, cannot include an appeal of a call. With more than a hundred basketball games each day during a large part of the season, and hundreds more on a given day during certain times of the year, consideration of judgment calls is not workable, practical or feasible. Even when such judgment involves ejection. In the same manner that coaches do not get a second chance at a strategic decision, and players do not get “do-overs” for shot or pass selection, the same is true of officiating decisions.

Bylaw 21 does permit the Association to correct misapplications of the playing rules and the staff does not hesitate to do so. For example, in soccer or football, if the offense committed by a player cannot, by rule, result in ejection, then corrections may be made. This has happened on occasion when a player has been ejected for two personal foul penalties but the rules do not permit such ejection. But the decision as to whether or not an act merits an ejection, when such act does allow for ejection within the playing rules, is not appealable in any way. As we get started with the seasons, let’s be mindful of the practicality for the rule and not be blinded by our relationship to the people involved. This certainly does not mean that the experienced and professional staff at the Association or the school representatives will agree and approve of every call made but does ensure the proper separation of duties.


Again this year, there seems to be disagreement about players who are “rolling” the waistband of the shorts. In many cases, this is done because the shorts are not the appropriate size for the player, and rolling allows for more control to ensure the shorts stay up on the player. REGARDLESS OF THE REASON, officials who are officiating games played in Kentucky are to ignore the rolling of the shorts unless 1) the drawstring becomes exposed to the point of potential grabbing/catching by either the player or an opponent, or 2) if the waistband clearly contains multiple manufacturer’s logos in contradiction to the uniform limits. Unless those conditions exist, leave the rolled waistband alone as officials. 

We are aware that the NFHS has issued an interpretation regarding the rolling waistbands and respectfully disagree with that interpretation as it is not directly supported by the rule book. Again, the interpretation we will use in Kentucky is to allow the rolled waistband except as above. If the above issues are noted, the player is to be removed from the game until the uniform shorts do not meet either of those conditions.


We have also received multiple inquiries and dealt with multiple situations regarding the wearing of prosthetic devices early this season. In more than one case, an athlete with a prosthetic leg has been asked to alter the protective sleeves that are necessary to wear the prosthesis. This is not the correct procedure. Neither the under the prosthetic pad/sleeve nor the over the prosthetic pad/sleeve is subject to any uniform restrictions. Unless there are safety concerns with the prosthetic device or its attachment to the athlete, officials are not to be involved with judgments regarding these devices. 

If an official or coach has a situation occur, the proper protocol is to play the game as planned, and then report the situation to the Association using form OF102, which is available on the KHSAA Officials login page at

Have a great season!


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