The Kentucky high school state soccer tournament will have a different look beginning with the 2012 season after changes were approved by the KHSAA Board of Control at its regular meeting Monday.
The state tournament will expand to eight teams for both boys and girls and the sectional and sub-sectional rounds will be replaced with a semi-state round. The Board previously approved a measure that creates a 16-region soccer alignment. Winners of each of the 16 regions will advance to a one game semi-state round, which is comprised of semi-state 1 (regions 1-4), semi-state 2 (regions 5-8), semi-state 3 (regions 9-12) and semi-state 4 (12-16). The semi-state pairings will be determined on a six-year rotation. Pairings for the eight teams reaching the state tournament will be determined by a blind draw.
"This is something our soccer coaches and advisory committee had explored for several years — finding a way to make this happen," said KHSAA Assistant Commissioner Michael Barren,
The expansion of the state soccer tournament is important on multiple fronts, according to KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett.
"Not only does this give more kids the chance to experience a championship atmosphere, but I think it will really help grow the sport on a statewide level."
Running clock for basketball blowouts adopted
In accordance with national rules, basketball games at all levels in grades 9-12 will feature a running clock beginning next season once the margin reaches 35 points in the second half. The change is similar to provisions in football, baseball and softball that terminate contests when the winning team, for all practical purposes, has been determined.
At the point the margin reaches 35, the clock will stop only for charged timeouts, an injury/blood or disqualification, and free-throw attempts.
"This change helps ensure that the proper level of sportsmanship is emphasized, without having an impact on winning and losing," said Tackett. "There are countless stories detailed about "out of hand" contests and the negative impact on school and working relationships."
State football championship dates announced
The board also approved the dates for each of the six championship contests in the 2012 Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl.
The championships for Classes 1A, 3A and 4A will be Friday, Nov. 30, with the championships for A, 3A and 4A the next day. All games will be at Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
Baseball, softball draws Friday
The draws for state baseball and softball post-season tournaments will be Friday at 2 p.m. at the KHSAA office in Lexington. The draw show will be streamed live at www.khsaa.tv.
The tournaments start May 21.