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Kentucky High School Athletic Association
Abbreviation KHSAA
Motto "Serving Kentucky's high schools and student athletes since 1917"
Formation 1917
Type Volunteer; NPO
Legal status Association
Purpose/focus Athletic/Educational
Headquarters 2280 Executive Dr.
Lexington, KY 40505
Region served Kentucky
Official languages English
Commissioner Brigid DeVries
Affiliations National Federation of State High School Associations
Staff 13
Remarks (859) 299-5472

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has been the governing body of Kentucky high school athletics since 1917. Located in Lexington, the organization sanctions competition in the following sports:

Competition in girls' slow pitch softball was discontinued after the 2006-07 academic year.


Schools governed

The KHSAA governs competitions for both public and private schools throughout the state, plus two federally administered schools—Fort Campbell and Fort Knox High Schools, located on the U.S. Army bases of the same names. Fort Campbell High is actually located on the Tennessee side of the base, which straddles the state border, but the United States Department of Defense organizes the schools it runs on the two bases under a single district.

Not all secondary schools in Kentucky participate in the KHSAA. About two dozen small, private religious schools are sanctioned by the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association.[1]

Whether public, private, or federally administered, all member schools compete for state championships on an equal basis. Unlike some other states' school athletic governing bodies, the KHSAA governs only athletics; it does not govern band, academic competitions, or other extracurricular activities, all of which are governed by separate bodies. Also, unlike bodies in a growing number of states, the KHSAA does not govern cheerleading competition, which is organized by the Kentucky Association of Pep Organization Sponsors.

Boy's Basketball

See also: Sweet Sixteen (KHSAA State Basketball Championship)

2007 National City Bank KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen

March 21-24, 2007 Lexington, Kentucky; Rupp Arena

* = Overtime (one per overtime)

2008 National City Bank KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen

March 18-21, 2008 Lexington, Kentucky; Rupp Arena

* = Overtime (one per overtime)

  First round Quarterfinals State Semifinals State Championship
2  University Heights 54  
11  Lexington Catholic 69  
     Lexington Catholic 54  
     Owensboro 47  
6  Louisville Central 48
3  Owensboro 63  
     Lexington Catholic 50  
     Covington Holmes 57  
7  Jeffersontown 87  
15  Paintsville 93  
     Paintsville 53
     Covington Holmes 61  
9  Covington Holmes 64
5  Bardstown 44  
     Covington Holmes 48
     Mason County 57
13  South Laurel 47  
14  Hazard 50  
     Hazard 50
     Shelby County 53  
8  Shelby County 70
12  Lincoln County 58  
     Shelby County 50
     Mason County 60  
1  Paducah Tilghman 77  
4  Greenwood 53  
     Paducah Tilghman 46
     Mason County 73  
10  Mason County 66
16  Elliott County 62  



Mr. Football

see Kentucky Mr. Football Award

State Championship

2009 KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl Games

At Houchens Industries – L. T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green. All times local.

Class Champion vs. Runner-up Date (Time) Score Winning head coach
1A Lexington Christian vs. Mayfield Saturday, December 5, 2009 (3:00 pm) 55–19 Paul Rains
2A Fort Campbell vs. DeSales Friday, December 4, 2009 (3:00 pm) 29–9 Shawn Berner
3A Paducah Tilghman vs. Somerset Saturday, December 5, 2009 (11:00 am) 21–0 Randy Wyatt
4A Boyle County vs. Lone Oak Friday, December 4, 2009 (11:00 am) 42–39 (2 OT) Larry French
5A Fort Thomas Highlands vs. John Hardin Friday, December 4, 2009 (7:00 pm) 35–7 Dale Mueller
6A St. Xavier vs. Trinity Saturday, December 5, 2008 (7:00 pm) 34–10 Mike Glaser

see also: KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl


Unlike the situation in most states, the default in Kentucky is to conduct a single state championship for all schools, with no classification of schools by enrollment.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Most notably, Kentucky does not divide schools into classes in basketball,[11] with Delaware being the only other remaining state with a single state basketball championship for each sex. Of the 13 sports in which the KHSAA sanctions state championships, only three are organized in multiple classes—cross-country, football, and track. As of the 2007-08 school year, the classification rules for the three sports which are divided are:

  • Cross-country[12] and track[13]
    • Class A — 570 or fewer students
    • Class AA — 571-950 students
    • Class AAA — More than 950 students
  • Football[14][15]
    • Class 6A — The 36 largest schools in the state, based on average enrollment (see below) of boys only, among schools that sponsor the sport.
    • Class 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A — Each with 36 schools, in decreasing order of enrollment
    • Class A — All remaining schools that sponsor football after the other classes are filled

The 2007-08 school year was the first for a six-class alignment in football; previously, a four-class system had been used.[16]

Schools were allowed to petition the KHSAA for reclassification before the football realignment became final. Eleven schools requested that the KHSAA place them in a higher class than their enrollment warranted; six of these requests were approved. No school was allowed to play in a lower class, although the KHSAA accepted one school's request to adjust its enrollment downward.[17] As a result of these requests, the final number of schools in each classification was:[14]

  • Class 6A — 36 schools[18]
  • Class 5A — 37 schools
  • Class 4A — 35 schools
  • Class 3A — 39 schools (now 38)[19]
  • Class 2A — 33 schools
  • Class A — 41 schools (now 39)[20]

In all three sports, classification is based on a four-year average enrollment in grades 9 through 12. Single-sex schools are deemed to have double their actual average enrollment for cross-country and track; prior to the 2007 realignment, football also used this rule.[12][13][16] In cross-country and track, the KHSAA rule is to divide the classes so that 40% of all schools that sponsor the sport are in Class A and 30% are in both Class AA and AAA.[12][13]

Eligibility considerations

As is standard for high school sports in the U.S., students are limited to four consecutive years of eligibility (grades 9-12), whether or not they participate in any sports during one or more of those years. In football and soccer, students are not allowed to play on the varsity until they are actually enrolled in the ninth grade, and wrestlers cannot compete until they have entered the seventh grade.[21] In other sports, there is no grade restriction; for example, current NBA player O. J. Mayo first played on a high school varsity team as a seventh-grader at Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland, and current PGA Tour golfer JB Holmes first played on the golf team of Taylor County High School in Campbellsville while in the third grade.[22] The eligibility "clock" for such students does not start until they enter ninth grade.[21]

Like all U.S. jurisdictions, Kentucky has an upper age limit for high school athletic participation. The KHSAA rule is that students must be under age 19 as of the July 31 preceding the current academic year. This particular rule is actually codified in Kentucky Revised Statutes § 156.270(2)(e).[23]

A student who is repeating a grade during high school for any reason is not allowed to compete during his or her second year at that grade level.[21]

Homeschoolers are prohibited from participating in any KHSAA-sanctioned activities.[21] Moreover, KHSAA schools are also prohibited from competing against teams composed of homeschoolers.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Kentucky Christian Athletic Association web site
  2. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Baseball Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  3. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Fast Pitch Softball Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  4. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Golf Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  5. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Slow Pitch Softball Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  6. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Soccer Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  7. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Swimming Meets" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  8. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Tennis Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  9. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Volleyball Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  10. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Wrestling Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  11. ^ "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Basketball Tournaments" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Cross Country Meets" (PDF). 2006-07 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing Track Meets" (PDF). 2006-07 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  14. ^ a b "Final Football Alignment for 2007-08 Through 2008-09" (PDF). KHSAA. Retrieved August 10 2007. 
  15. ^ "School Enrollment and Notes Used for Realignment" (PDF). KHSAA. Retrieved August 9 2007. 
  16. ^ a b "KHSAA Rules and Regulations Governing the Football Championships" (PDF). 2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  17. ^ "Final Football Alignment Cover Letter" (PDF). KHSAA. August 21, 2006. Retrieved August 9 2007. 
  18. ^ This does not include the new Harlan County High School, a 6A-classified school which opened in August 2008. It did not compete in district play in the 2008 season, making it ineligible for the state football tournament.
  19. ^ James A. Cawood High School, classified as 3A, closed after the 2007-08 school year. The students previously zoned to that school now attend Harlan County High.
  20. ^ Two Class A schools in Harlan County, Cumberland and Evarts High Schools, also closed in 2008 to make way for Harlan County High.
  21. ^ a b c d "2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook: Bylaw 4" (PDF). Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  22. ^ Associated Press (January 6, 2007). "After 10 years on his school team, Holmes joins the PGA Tour varsity". PGA of America. Retrieved January 8 2007. 
  23. ^ "2006-2007 KHSAA Handbook: Bylaw 3" (PDF). Retrieved January 8 2007. 

External links


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