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KHSAA rule change proposal that I can get behind


BigVMan23
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There was talk in another thread recently about home schooled kids and playing sports, in essence something similar to the "Tim Tebow rule" here in KY. There was a lot of back and forth, some for it whole heartedly, some completely against it, some on the fence (like me) that see the positives but also see a lot of potential issues with it as well and maybe can't support it because of those issues.

 

Well, here is a proposal that I can get behind and something I have actually espoused the past couple of years. This is from an acquaintance that is currently pursuing avenues to allow non-KHSAA school and homeschool teams to play athletic contests against KHSAA member school teams. Now, this isn't something that schools like a Scott County or a CovCath would even sniff at...BUT, it would greatly benefit teams like a Silver Grove, Riverside Christian, Villa Madonna, Paducah Community Christian, etc. and give them other opportunities to play teams probably closer to their talent level and be more competitive. What do you think?

 

Freedom to Play Proposal

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

On behalf of the student athletic community in Kentucky that exists outside of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), including the homeschool sports community, I am writing today to advocate for the passage of a Freedom to Play Initiative in Kentucky.

 

The passage of a Freedom to Play Initiative in Kentucky would seek to bring about a rule change within the KHSAA or the passage of a state law that would allow coaches of KHSAA member schools to play non-member schools during regular season athletic competition. Currently coaches, regardless of the sport they coach, face punishment from the KHSAA if they play or even scrimmage a non-member school. We feel that this is not only unfair to non-KHSAA student athletes, but to many KHSAA member school coaches that would benefit from playing non-member schools during regular season competition.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

 

It is important to note that the Freedom to Play Initiative is 1) not a push to force competition with KHSAA schools, or to compete in district, regional, or state championships hosted by the KHSAA. 2) This initiative is not related to what has become known as the “Tim Tebow Law” that would require public schools to allow homeschool kids (or private school kids that attend schools that do not offer a particular sport) to try-out for their local public school’s athletic team.

 

HOMESCHOOL SPORTS

 

Regarding homeschool athletes, the Freedom To Play Initiative would allow homeschooled student athletes to compete against their peers attending KHSAA member schools only at the invitation of the member school coach for a regular season, game or competition. For example, if a cross-country coach at a KHSAA member school was willing, they could allow homeschooled runners run in races they were hosting. Also, if a homeschool basketball team existed and a coach at local KHSAA member school desired to play or scrimmage this team during the regular season, they would have the “freedom” to do so.

 

PRIVATE/NON-KHSAA SCHOOL STUDENT ATHLETES

 

Similarly if a private school that is not a member of the KHSAA had a team in a given sport and a KHSAA member school found it beneficial to play them in a regular season game or competition, they could do so.

 

CURRENT RULE

Ideally, a simple rule change within the KHSAA could resolve this matter. Bylaw 22, sec.1 of the KHSAA handbook strictly forbids member schools at the high school level from playing nonmember schools and promises punishment if they do so.

 

BYLAW 22. CONTESTS, SANCTIONS, RULES, YLAW 22. CONTESTS, SANCTIONS, RULES, FORFEITURES, FACULTY TO ACCOMPANY ORFEITURES, FACULTY TO ACCOMPANY

 

Sec. 1) CONTESTS AGAINST IN-STATE OPPONENTS

 

a) KHSAA member schools may only compete in contests in KHSAA-sanctioned sports against schools located in Kentucky that are current members of the KHSAA.

 

b) Any KHSAA member school that engages in an athletic contest in a KHSAA-sanctioned sport with a school located in Kentucky that is not a member of the Association shall be subject to all penalties contained in Bylaw 27.

 

c) All contests within Kentucky played by KHSAA member schools in a KHSAA sanctioned sport shall be governed by the rules and regulations established by the Board of Control. Approval for any exemptions shall come through the Commissioner.

 

TENNESSEE EXAMPLE:

 

A change in this rule comparable to Tennessee’s State High School Athletic Association (THSAA) is desired. Below is the how Tennessee has addressed this issue:

 

Page 62 - 2016-17 TSSAA Handbook

 

Schools Which Member Schools May Play or Scrimmage

 

Q. What schools may a member school of TSSAA play or scrimmage during regular season?

 

A. TSSAA member schools may play or scrimmage the following:

 

1. Any secondary school team with grades 9 and above.

 

2. An individual home schooled student who might be invited to participate in a track meet, wrestling competition, golf competition, etc. This would primarily apply to individual sports.

 

3. A home school team in a team sport, such as basketball, baseball, softball, etc., where home schooled students go together to form a cooperative team.

 

Q. Who can a member school of TSSAA not play during regular season?

 

A. Any non-school team. Examples would be a club team, recreational park league team, or any type of independent team.

 

 

To summarize, the THSAA gives coaches and administrators participating in the KHSAA the “freedom to play” teams in their area that they desire to play regardless of their THSAA membership. For example, In Tennessee, a TSHAA school can compete in basketball against any team they would like so long as they do not exceed their maximum number of regular season games (for basketball it is 25). If a TSHAA member school hosts a golf tournament or a cross-country meet, they are allowed to invite a local homeschooled athlete to compete in that event. Similarly, they could invite a non-TSHAA private school team to compete. The schools have the freedom to play against whomever they think would be in their program’s best interest.

 

TWO PATHS OF ACTION

 

KHSAA Rule Change. It is our belief that a similar change to the KHSAA rules would be the best route and would bring about fairness and equality to all student athletes and their families--regardless of educational choice. In addition, we believe that many KHSAA schools will benefit from this change as it will provide a wider variety of teams to play, scrimmage, invite to their camps, and events. In short, it will provide freedom to KHSAA programs to play non-KHSAA teams when it beneficial to them.

 

A State Law. If such an internal rule is not willing to be considered, it is our desire to see a law passed in the state of Kentucky forbidding athletic associations from dictating whom coaches (whose programs are often funded by taxpayers) can and cannot play. A Similar law was recently passed in the state of Arkansas. AR SB331 was enacted on March 20, 2015. The bill can be read here: ftp://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/2015/Public/SB331.pdf

 

SUMMARY

 

To summarize, the Freedom To Play Initiative would in no way seek to force a KHSAA member coach to play non-KHSAA programs or demand such teams to participate in end-of-season KHSAA sponsored tournaments. This would give coaches the freedom to play whomever they think is in the best interest of their program during the regular and off-season. For team sports, this would put the burden on private school teams and homeschool teams, who are not member schools, to run their programs in such a way that KHSAA coaches would want to play them. Similar policies and laws exist in many states and have had positive outcomes for state association members, non-members, and homeschooled athletes alike. As students in our state continue to grow in diversity in regard to how they are educated, it is our belief that action on this Initiative would go a long way in benefiting the maximum number of student athletes in our state by opening up doors that are currently closed, while, at the same time, preserving the rich tradition of KHSAA sports.

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I would need some clarification on the reasoning behind the current bylaw restrictions. If I am not mistaken, one of the reasons the KHSAA hasn't allowed this in the past has stemmed from insurance concerns. Is that correct?

 

I believe that is an argument that they have hung their hats on, yes. However I'm not sure it's a valid one. As stated, several other states allow this, so obviously there is something in those states where the insurance component either isn't an issue or they have done something to ensure it isn't an issue.

 

My non-KHSAA boys basketball team plays IHSAA school teams every year. IN does not have the same restriction KY has, being similar to what TN allows.

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I would need some clarification on the reasoning behind the current bylaw restrictions. If I am not mistaken, one of the reasons the KHSAA hasn't allowed this in the past has stemmed from insurance concerns. Is that correct?

 

Correct, but its only partially true. I wish I knew how to explain it in an easy way to make sense, but I dont. In short all schools have different insurance, so KHSAA point of insurance isnt really correct in the way they present it.

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Won't fly until you get some of the legislatures out of Frankfort.

 

I keep hearing that, and I'm not all that well schooled on the matter, but does the KHSAA have to get the OK from the state legislature every time they make a rule change? Or is there a board that governs the KHSAA rule book and they are the ones who make the changes?

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I believe that is an argument that they have hung their hats on, yes. However I'm not sure it's a valid one. As stated, several other states allow this, so obviously there is something in those states where the insurance component either isn't an issue or they have done something to ensure it isn't an issue.

 

My non-KHSAA boys basketball team plays IHSAA school teams every year. IN does not have the same restriction KY has, being similar to what TN allows.

 

The KHSAA insurance is only for catastrophic injury, ie, death, and it only covers the KHSAA, it does not cover member teams from any harm. So in short, the reason KHSAA doesnt allow play out side of KHSAA (or other state associations) is to cover their own butts, nothing more.

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Correct, but its only partially true. I wish I knew how to explain it in an easy way to make sense, but I dont. In short all schools have different insurance, so KHSAA point of insurance isnt really correct in the way they present it.

 

Yep, it can't be, because if the insurance thing was an actual issue then my middle school program couldn't go in and play the public middle schools that we play that are affiliated with KHSAA high schools. What would the difference be?

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I keep hearing that, and I'm not all that well schooled on the matter, but does the KHSAA have to get the OK from the state legislature every time they make a rule change? Or is there a board that governs the KHSAA rule book and they are the ones who make the changes?

 

Let me reword this for you.

 

KHSAA has their pockets into enough old time legislatures that it would never be allowed to be change.

 

Remember how KHSAA works.

 

KHSAA works for Kentucky board of education

 

Kentucky board of education works for Kentucky Legislature

 

Kentucky legislature works for the people.

 

 

Big V, you and I need to get together one day and discuss this in length.

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Yep, it can't be, because if the insurance thing was an actual issue then my middle school program couldn't go in and play the public middle schools that we play that are affiliated with KHSAA high schools. What would the difference be?

 

Middle School is not covered under any catastrophic insurance plan with the KHSAA. (this is the reason KHSAA will not fully take over anything Middle School.) I only know of two districts in the state that have catastrophic coverage for Middle/elementary school, and both those districts are self insured......(might I add better than anything the KHSAA could get.)

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I believe that is an argument that they have hung their hats on, yes. However I'm not sure it's a valid one. As stated, several other states allow this, so obviously there is something in those states where the insurance component either isn't an issue or they have done something to ensure it isn't an issue.

 

My non-KHSAA boys basketball team plays IHSAA school teams every year. IN does not have the same restriction KY has, being similar to what TN allows.

So in this case, if the KHSAA changes the Bylaw, then you would be able to play other KHSAA teams?

 

 

What is the reason for the KHSAA teams not being allowed to play non-KHSAA teams? Is it because they aren't members of the KHSAA?

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