High School Sports

Is lacrosse on its way to becoming an official high school sport in Kentucky?

Lacrosse appears a baby step closer to becoming an official high school sport after a decision made Thursday by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Board of Control.

The board recommended creating a focus group on sanctioning boys’ and girls’ lacrosse following a recent survey of its membership showing 56 votes from its members in favor or a boys’ spring season and 54 votes in favor of the same for girls, the KHSAA said in a release after its regular meeting in Lexington. Interest in a fall season did not meet a 50-school threshold, the KHSAA said.

There are a number of schools in Central Kentucky and Louisville offering lacrosse as a sport competing in their own respective leagues.

“For the first time following several surveys over the years, the required number of member schools responded in the affirmative to the sponsoring of a lacrosse championship. But now it comes down to gathering data from those schools to ensure they have genuine, measured student interest and are aware of cost, scheduling and all other factors,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “It will be a chance for those with strong interest to do more than simply respond to a survey, by taking the steps to determine genuine interest. Adding an additional team sport to a crowded offering of championships is not a decision to be made lightly by the schools and this will allow them to make certain they are ready to take this step.”

The earliest lacrosse could be launched if all the criteria are met would be the 2020-21 season, the KHSAA said.

Other issues considered this week by the KHSAA included:

  • In Wednesday’s annual meeting of KHSAA delegates, the group codified some aspects of its transfer rules to more closely define its rules against transfers for “athletic advantage.” Transfers motivated by athletics are prohibited and the new rules include lines that clarify a player can’t transfer to follow a particular coach, assistant or volunteer to a new school; can’t transfer if a coach previously provided housing or housing assistance; can’t have expressed “dissatisfaction” with their previous schools’ program, coaches or philosophy; and can’t use the transfer to escape a ruling of ineligibility at a previous school. Exceptions including “bona fide change in residence” remain. The vote on the new rules was approved 193-20.

  • No action taken by the board Thursday on changes to how “team tennis” championships are awarded after a survey of membership. The KHSAA gauged interest on a separate “bracketed” team event rather than awarding team points based on singles and doubles play.

  • Confirmed Bryan Station and Henry Clay as tentative sites for the 2019 state soccer semifinals and finals. Host schools would not be able to play at their sites.

  • Extended Commissioner Julian Tackett’s contract for another year, set to now expire in 2023.