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KHSAA: Baseball/Softball region return to Memorial Day, no more “playing up” in football

The KHSAA held their first meeting of the school year this week. Among the biggest changes:
– Baseball and softball regional tournaments will return to Memorial Day weekend to avoid having baseball and softball state at the same time as track state championships.
– There will be no more requests to “play up” in a football, cross country, or track and field class. However, there is a strict exception for geography only.
Cross country and track and field have updated alignments for a two-year cycle for 2023-24 and 2024-25.


The KHSAA Board of Control conducted its first regularly scheduled meeting of the 2023-24 academic year on Tuesday in Newport, approving revisions to spring 2024 state championship dates, adopting “playing-up” rule changes for sports classified by size and adopting a new alignment for cross country and track & field.

Tuesday began with an orientation for new and returning Board members before launching into the full Board work session, followed by the full Board of Control meeting. The Board and staff welcomed new members Brandy Carver of Morehead and Mandi Hudson of Georgetown, while KHSAA Office Manager and Assistant to the Commissioner Kara Howard was formally announced as having accepted a newly created events services position on the KHSAA staff. After a favorable annual review by the Board, KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett’s contract was once again renewed for another year.

The 2023-24 baseball and softball state tournaments were approved to return to their previous formats, maintaining current season lengths while eliminating the overlap of baseball, softball, tennis and track & field state championship events. Under the approved format, baseball and softball region tournaments will be scheduled for the week of Memorial Day and drive the remainder of championship scheduling. Both the baseball and softball regular seasons will continue to start nine weeks prior to district postseason competition and include 36 games each.

The Board moved to eliminate wholesale options to “play up” (and resulting options to “play down”) in class for the sports of football, cross country and track & field. Any appeals shall be geographically based and only due to geographic isolation from other teams in the class.

The Board approved a new alignment for cross country and track & field classes for the next two years, consistent with the timeline of the current football alignment.

“On behalf of the KHSAA office and the Board of Control, I would like to formally welcome our newest members to the Board,” said Tackett. “Today was a successful start to the 2023-24 school year and a reminder of the exciting things to come.”

Additionally, the Board reviewed and accepted the following reports:

  • Individual sport and sport-activity reports and non-sport-related reports from staff;
  • An officials licensing comparison and ArbiterSports update;
  • A status of regulations, including required Senate Bill 6, House Bill 563 and Senate Bill 83 adaptations, as well as a phase-out of Senate Bill 128;
  • A status report of participation lists, Title IX reports and prime date penalties;
  • A status report of the annual Bylaw 11 financial aid required reports;
  • A review of corporate sponsor finance reports;
  • A review of swimming & diving state championship facility considerations;
  • A status report on Bowling Green in compliance with the June 2022 agreed order;
  • An update on candidacy member schools; and
  • Information from around the state and nation.

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