KHSAA OKs golf playoff changes, reviews other changes

Football, other bracketing reviewed

LEXINGTON, Ky. (KHSAA/WTVQ) – The KHSAA Board of Control conducted its fourth regularly scheduled meeting of the 2021-22 academic year on Wednesday at the KHSAA Office, approving changes to the golf playoff format, effective fall 2022.

The changes will increase the number of golfers advancing beyond the Regional tournament, and create a State First Round of play to expand postseason opportunities.

After Regional play, an additional round of golf, deemed the State First Round, will be conducted across three locations. Each State First Round will include four defined Regions with each Region advancing advance 20 golfers to the State First Round for a total of 80 golfers at each site.

In contrast to the previous format that advanced the winning team and seven at-large qualifiers, the newly adopted format will advance the top two teams and the top 10 individuals from non-advancing teams.

Thirty golfers from each State First Round site will advance to the State Final Round Tournament for a total of 90 participants: the top three teams from each semi-state plus 15 individuals from non-advancing teams.

With the change, up to 96 additional golfers will advance from Region to State First Round, promoting potential growth of the sport in all areas of the state. With an increased number of participants advancing, Regions with traditionally successful teams and individuals are not eliminated in favor of participants from other areas.

With the addition of three additional courses, strong relationships have the potential to develop with host sites, assisting with the continued growth of the sport. Both the State First Round and the State Tournament have the flexibility to start later in the day in the event of inclement weather, allowing for completion of play, which has been a major challenge with the current format.

The State Final Round will have all 90 golfers compete for both days of the event without the necessity of a cut and allow play to be conducted in one flight, as players are accustomed to doing most of the year.

“When the golf format was revised before the 2019 tournament, we had received significant input from our schools to continue to look at options so that the Region runner-up teams could come back to competition and yet expand the field to help grow the game,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “With three years’ worth of data and tremendous success in our 2019 realignment of teams in balancing participation, we have the data now to support this expansion. More kids participating continues to be our goal as we work to give more opportunities for the students.”

The board also considered survey results from the membership about the potential implementation of a statewide shot clock. NFHS rules changes for this season permitted states to adopt the shot clock on a state-by-state basis beginning with the 2022-23 season. The KHSAA found that membership does not favor the adoption by any form of plurality or majority. The survey was conducted using the Board of Control election system in order to restrict each school to one vote and not to collect individual school responses.

“When the NFHS made its rule change, the Rules Committee contemplated this exact scenario,” Tackett said. “Any consideration of the shot clock should be reviewed by its member schools in each state association and allow those states to decide which route to take on this rule. This is certainly not the end of shot clock discussion, but at least for 2022-23, the Board agreed the support simply was not there. It is a much bigger issue than just a few blowout games or situations. Our schools are somewhat concerned about the costs, but more importantly, they are concerned with getting reliable game-day staff on a night-in and night-out basis and at all levels of play to manage yet another game management position with the shot clock. We will continue to communicate and gather data from our schools in future years and make decisions based on that data.”

Wednesday’s meeting featured the adoption of a draft approved in November 2021 to realign the schools in basketball Region 4. The association has previously received a request from Monroe County High School to return to its historic placement in District 16, an alignment that was in place for nearly 100 years before the wholesale realignment in 2005. In addition, the Board had a request from Foundation Christian to move into postseason play in 2022-23.

Following review and discussion, and multiple opportunities for member input, the Board approved a series of moves that would move Monroe County to District 16, move Warren East from District 14 to District 15 and place Foundation Christian in District 14.

“Alignment discussions are always challenging,” said Tackett. “Looking at the alignment solely on a geographic basis, the Board felt the moves were warranted. Certainly, there was not a lot of desire to create a six-team District with the addition of Foundation Christian, so the issue was certainly germane given the Monroe County request. There was a considerable amount of feedback from member schools and systems, and the Board did an exemplary job ensuring the issues stayed with geography so that consistency with the other Regions could be maintained. The process was more than a year from start to finish, illustrating the tough nature of these decisions.”

Additionally, the Board of Control approved wrestling State First Round sites for 2022 and 2023. Regions 1-4 will compete in the State First Round at Union County High School in 2022, while Regions 5-8 will compete at Great Crossing High School. Next year, Regions 1-4 will visit Central High School, and Regions 5-8 will go to Larry A. Ryle High School.

The Board of Control took the following action, as well:

  • Reviewed football playoff bracketing timeline and feedback and directed staff to gather more up to date feedback from the membership through its principals and designated representatives
  • Adopted UTR for tennis Region and State entry and seeding and regular season results, effective spring 2022
  • Reviewed timeline for baseball and softball postseason and adjusted the season to permit play to start in both sports on Monday, March 14
  • Reviewed championship reports for fall, winter and spring sports
  • Reviewed KHSAA membership requirements for non-public schools
  • Reviewed officials division report illustrating the continued decline in the number of licensed officials
  • Reviewed issues around the Commonwealth and nation including current legislative issues potentially impacting the KHSAA.
Categories: High School Highlight Reel, News, Sports

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