Ejections down following emphasis on sportsmanship
Board approves realignment of 15th Region for 2014-15 schoolyear
By Steve LeMaster
LEXINGTON - The Board of Control conducted its November meeting at the KHSAA offices on Monday. Among the various items addressed during the meeting was a discussion on the emphasis placed on sportsmanship across the state and the significant reduction in ejections in football and soccer.
During the period between October 8th and the end of the regular season, compared to the same time period one year earlier, ejections in football declined from 39 in 2012 to 17 in 2013 – a 56.41 percent decrease. In soccer, there were 42 ejections from October 8th to the end of the 2012 regular season, compared to 34 during the same time period this season – a reduction of 19.65 percent. Cumulative totals for the fall including all play dates, show that football ejections dropped from 108 in 2012 to 71 in 2013, for a 34.26 percent decrease.
In other business on Monday, the Board approved a measure unanimously endorsed by the seven public school superintendents in the Basketball 15th Region to make two alignment changes. The move, which was sought as a means to balance the number of teams in each district within the region, is effective starting with the 2014-15 playing seasons and will impact baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball.
The changes that will go into effect in the 15th Region in 2014-15 are as follows:
- In Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball and Softball, Lawrence County will move from District 57 to District 60, to be in the district with Belfry, Phelps, and Pike County Central.
- In the sports in which they participate, Piarist School would move into District 59 to join East Ridge, Pikeville and Shelby Valley and create a four-team district, thereby reducing the 58th district to four teams.
- In soccer only, Lawrence County will move from District 57 to District 58 to be paired with its natural new district teams. The alignment in soccer in this area is ever evolving and will likely continue to change as new teams are formed.
The request for realignment came through a unanimous decision by the superintendents from Floyd County, Johnson County, Lawrence County, Martin County, Paintsville Independent, Pike County and Pikeville Independent. Among the rationale behind their request was a desire to eliminate all three-team districts where there existed enough teams in the region to do so, and correct the disparity wherein the 15th region is the one and only region in the state that has a five-team district in the same region with two three-team districts.
The superintendents also sought to address competitive fairness due to an imbalance in opportunities to advance to regional tournaments, which not only impact participation opportunities but athletic department finances as well, and tournament administration disparities (additional nights and costs of hosting a five-team tournament vs. a three-team district).
In other action taken Monday:
- The Board approved a waiver of Bylaw 23 for the 2014 season only, to allow track and field meets to be held after the regional and prior to the final Saturday for competition (May 17), provided no school exceeds 19 total meets. Due to scheduling conflicts involving officials and facilities, the date of the 2014 KHSAA Track and Field State Meet was previously moved to Memorial Day weekend (May 23-24) from its original date. The waiver of Bylaw 23 allows for teams to hold a meet in between the track regionals and the state meet, as large regional meets may not be possible on May 17th due to the large number of track officials across the state who will be involved in the University of Kentucky’s hosting of the SEC Outdoor Championships. The waiver of Bylaw 23 will allow coaches an opportunity to keep their student-athletes in top physical condition heading into the state championships.
- The Board approved a request from East and West Jessamine High Schools to move into the 12th Region for Tennis. The measure allows East and West Jessamine’s tennis programs to compete in the same region as their baseball, basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball teams.
- The Board approved a request by Leslie County to allow its cross country and track and field teams to play up and compete in Class 2A starting this year. The motion was passed with a stipulation that the change in classification would hold for a minimum of four years beginning with this year’s track season.
- The Board discussed Softball site specifications for future state softball tournaments, as the KHSAA’s agreement with the city of Owensboro expires following the 2014 championship. The KHSAA will being the process of receiving proposals from interested sites, with a decision planned for July’s Board of Control meeting.
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