Kentucky High School Athletic Association
Motto"Serving Kentucky's high schools and student athletes since 1917"
TypeVolunteer; NPO
Legal statusAssociation
Headquarters2280 Executive Dr.
LocationLexington, Kentucky 40505
Coordinates38°02′36″N 84°25′42″W / 38.043332, -84.428418
Region servedKentucky
Official languagesEnglish
CommissionerJulian Tackett
AffiliationsNational Federation of State High School Associations
Budget$3.2 million (2015)
WebsiteKHSAA Official Website
Remarks(859) 299-5472

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has been the governing body of the U.S. state of Kentucky high-school athletics since 1917. It is located in Lexington.

Sports[edit | edit source]

The organization sanctions competition in the following sports:

Competitive bowling, bass fishing, and archery were sanctioned beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.[2]

Competition in girls' slow-pitch softball was discontinued after the 2006-07 academic year.

Schools governed[edit | edit source]

The KHSAA governs competitions for both public and private schools throughout the state, plus two federally administered schools—Fort Campbell and Fort Knox High Schools, located on the U.S. Army bases of the same names. Fort Campbell High is actually located on the Tennessee side of the base, which straddles the state border, but the United States Department of Defense organizes the schools it runs on the two bases under a single district.

Not all secondary schools in Kentucky participate in the KHSAA. About two dozen small, private religious schools are sanctioned by the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association.[3] KHSAA was created by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletes in Kentucky. [4]

Whether public, private, or federally administered, all member schools compete for state championships on an equal basis. Unlike some other states' school athletic governing bodies, the KHSAA governs only athletics; it does not govern band, academic competitions or other extracurricular activities. These activities are governed by separate bodies.

Classification[edit | edit source]

Unlike the situation in most states, the default in Kentucky is to conduct a single state championship for all schools, with no classification of schools by enrollment.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Most notably, Kentucky does not divide schools into classes in basketball,[14] with Delaware being the only other remaining state with a single state basketball championship for each sex. Of the 13 sports in which the KHSAA sanctions state championships, only three are organized in multiple classes—cross-country, football, and track. As of the 2007-08 school year, the classification rules for the three sports which are divided are:

  • Cross-country[15] and track[16]
    • Class A — 570 or fewer students
    • Class AA — 571-950 students
    • Class AAA — More than 950 students
  • Football[17][18]
    • Class 6A — The 36 largest schools in the state, based on average enrollment (see below) of boys only, among schools that sponsor the sport.
    • Class 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A — Each with 36 schools, in decreasing order of enrollment
    • Class A — All remaining schools that sponsor football after the other classes are filled

The 2007-08 school year was the first for a six-class alignment in football; previously, a four-class system had been used.[19]

Schools were allowed to petition the KHSAA for reclassification before the football realignment became final. Eleven schools requested that the KHSAA place them in a higher class than their enrollment warranted; six of these requests were approved. No school was allowed to play in a lower class, although the KHSAA accepted one school's request to adjust its enrollment downward.[20] As a result of these requests, the final number of schools in each classification was:[17]

Class Number of Schools
Class 6A 36 schools[21]
Class 5A 37 schools
Class 4A 35 schools
Class 3A 39 schools (now 38)[22]
Class 2A 33 schools
Class A 41 schools (now 39)[23]
Total 218 schools

In all three sports, classification is based on a four-year average enrollment in grades 9 through 12. Single-sex schools are deemed to have double their actual average enrollment for cross-country and track; prior to the 2007 realignment, football also used this rule.[15][16][19] In cross-country and track, the KHSAA rule is to divide the classes so that 40% of all schools that sponsor the sport are in Class A and 30% are in both Class AA and AAA.[15][16]

Eligibility considerations[edit | edit source]

As is standard for high school sports in the U.S., students are limited to four consecutive years of eligibility (grades 9-12), whether or not they participate in any sports during one or more of those years. In football and soccer, students are not allowed to play on the varsity until they are actually enrolled in the ninth grade, and wrestlers cannot compete until they have entered the seventh grade.[24] In other sports, there is no grade restriction; for example, current NBA player O. J. Mayo first played on a high school varsity team as a seventh-grader at Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland, and current PGA Tour golfer JB Holmes first played on the golf team of Taylor County High School in Campbellsville while in the third grade.[25] The eligibility "clock" for such students does not start until they enter ninth grade.[24]

Like all U.S. jurisdictions, Kentucky has an upper age limit for high school athletic participation. The KHSAA rule is that students must be under age 19 as of the July 31 preceding the current academic year. This particular rule is actually codified in Kentucky Revised Statutes § 156.270(2)(e).[26]

A student who is repeating a grade during high school for any reason is not allowed to compete during his or her second year at that grade level.[24]

Homeschoolers are prohibited from participating in any KHSAA-sanctioned activities.[24] Moreover, KHSAA schools are also prohibited from competing against teams composed of homeschoolers.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "KHSAA 2015 Tax Forms". KHSAA. https://khsaa.org/httpdocs/reports/auditdocs/Annual-KHSAA-Form-990/KHSAA%20990%20Fiscal%20Year%206_30_15.pdf. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  2. Bryan, Nathaniel (April 28, 2011). "PREP BOWLING: High schools bowled over". The News-Enterprise (Elizabethtown, KY). http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/content/prep-bowling-high-schools-bowled-over-0428.
  3. "Welcome to The Official Web Site of The Kentucky Christian Athletic Association". kcaaonline.com. 2012. http://www.kcaaonline.com/. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  4. "About the KHSAA". https://khsaa.org/general/bottom-tab-pages/about/. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  5. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Baseball Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/batournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  6. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Fast Pitch Softball Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/fptournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  7. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Golf Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/gftournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  8. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Slow Pitch Softball Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070928071445/http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/sptournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  9. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Soccer Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/sotournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  10. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Swimming Meets". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/swtournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  11. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Tennis Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/tntournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  12. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Volleyball Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/vbtournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  13. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Wrestling Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/wrtournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  14. "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Basketball Tournaments". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/bktournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Cross Country Meets". 2006-07 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/xctournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Track Meets". 2006-07 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/trtournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Final Football Alignment for 2007-08 Through 2008-09". KHSAA. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070928071529/http://www.khsaa.org/football/realignment/6classfinalalignmentfor2007and2008.pdf. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  18. "School Enrollment and Notes Used for Realignment". KHSAA. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070928071409/http://www.khsaa.org/football/realignment/schoolenrollmentandnotesuseforrealignment.pdf. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing the Football Championships". 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/fbtournamentrules.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  20. "Final Football Alignment Cover Letter". KHSAA. August 21, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070928075400/http://www.khsaa.org/football/realignment/finalalignmentcoverletter2006.pdf. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  21. This does not include the new Harlan County High School, a 6A-classified school which opened in August 2008. It did not compete in district play in the 2008 season, making it ineligible for the state football tournament.
  22. James A. Cawood High School, classified as 3A, closed after the 2007-08 school year. The students previously zoned to that school now attend Harlan County High.
  23. Two Class A schools in Harlan County, Cumberland and Evarts High Schools, also closed in 2008 to make way for Harlan County High.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 "2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook: Bylaw 4". Archived from the original on June 13, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20060613193059/http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/bylaws/bylaw4.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  25. Associated Press (January 6, 2007). "After 10 years on his school team, Holmes joins the PGA Tour varsity". PGA of America. Archived from the original on January 9, 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070109073125/http://www.pga.com/news/tours/pga-tour/holmes010607.cfm. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  26. "2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook: Bylaw 3". http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/bylaws/bylaw3.pdf. Retrieved January 8, 2007.

External links[edit | edit source]

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