The KHSAA has approved realignment of the 15th Region and also decided to implement a plan that will allow all 16 teams in the region to make the regional tournament beginning in 2017-18.
The new region alignment will have Lawrence Count moving to the 58th District and Jenkins moving form the 14th Region to the 59th District.
Under a new pilot program, all 16 teams will make the region tournament next season.
Here's a summary of the changes:
During the course of its regularly scheduled meeting at the KHSAA Offices on Thursday, the Board of Control addressed alignment issues and championship details in several sports, while also approving a requested new trial pilot program for the 15th Region Tournament.
Following the consolidation of South Floyd and Allen Central High Schools, changes were needed in the basketball alignment (and subsequently the alignments in baseball, soccer, softball and volleyball) for the 15th Region. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett attended a meeting of the Superintendents in the impacted districts on January 9 to review options related to the region. Facing challenges like an imperfect geographically aligned region and a pattern of reduced sport offerings by some schools in the region, there were few obvious non-impactful options available. With that in mind, the Superintendents expressed an interest in a multi-year pilot program where their teams would play one less regular season game, and then play a modified regional tournament with an extra round. This would result in all teams advancing from the district tournament to the region tournament in those sports, but seeded by regular season play, rankings, voting or other methods to be worked out in future meetings with those schools.
“This pilot program could provide great data for other regions who may face a similar issue in the future with further school consolidations,” said Tackett. “This is something that could potentially be implemented by any region with sixteen-or-fewer teams, and we are eager to monitor its results going forward. With consolidations, declining populations and job losses in many areas we have to be open to new ideas and I am grateful this group of superintendents stepped forward with their request. This also has the added benefit of de-pressurizing discussions around district alignment due to the fact that all teams advance to regional play.”
Following the approval of the regional tournament format, the Board finalized a new alignment for the 15th Region for the 2017-18 season with the impending addition of Floyd Central, which will see Jenkins move into the 15th Region.
District 57 – Johnson Central, Magoffin County, Paintsville, Sheldon Clark
District 58 – Betsy Layne, Floyd Central, Lawrence County, Prestonsburg
District 59 – East Ridge, Jenkins, Pikeville, Shelby Valley
District 60 – Belfry, Phelps, Pike County Central, Piarist
“We had several discussions with KHSAA staff about the various proposed options prior to today’s decision and completely accept this move,” said Mike Genton, Superintendent Jenkins Public Schools. “While we have a long and proud tradition in Region 14, it is hard to dispute the reduction in travel costs that this move will allow.”
No word yet on whether or not all 16 teams will receive participating trophies for "making' the tournament.
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