Members of the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly will be asked to toughen safety standards for girl's high school fast pitch softball. The proposed measure would require the pitcher, plus players at first and third base to wear protective masks.
The issue was discussed last week during a legislative meeting in Frankfort. Meade County Softball Coach Mike Harreld testified before the Interim Education Committee.
"It doesn't make sense to me that they made a rule that the batters had to wear a face mask because the pitchers were throwing 60 and 65 miles an hour and some of them were getting hit," said Harreld. "Yet, the ball is being hit back at these pitchers and corners at 100 to a 120 mile an hour."
Six Kentucky high school football champions are being crowned Friday and Saturday in Bowling Green.
Belfry of Pike County beat Louisville Central 14-7 in the class 3A title game. Belfry running back Austin Hatfield carried the ball 30 yards for 235 yards and a touchdown in the first of six championship games to beplayed at Houchens-L.T. Smith stadium.
Here is the rest of the lineup:
2A game between Louisville DeSales and Newport Central Catholic is underway.
5A game at 6:00 p.m.: Pulaski County vs. Graves County
Kentucky’s six high school state football championship games will remain in Bowling Green through 2018.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that it will continue its partnership with WKU and Russell Athletic for at least four more years. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says while there are larger football stadiums in the Commonwealth, WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium offers the perfect venue for the games.
“And what we hear from the fans that come, from the coaches who come, to the players who have played here is that the intimacy of a packed or a nearly packed house sometimes trumps some of the bells and whistles that they’ll never see anyway.”
The state football championships moved to Bowling Green in 2009 after 30 years in Louisville. W-K-U Athletic Director Todd Stewart says his school’s coaching staff loves hosting the games because it exposes potential recruits and their families to the campus, stadium, and community.
“Our coaches have always felt that if they can get a recruit here on campus then we have a great chance to get them, because they’ll see everything. And so for us to have six state championship football games here every year, which is obviously bringing 12 high-caliber teams here , exposes our program to them, and vice-versa.”
The 2014 state championship games will be played at WKU December 5-6.
A former WKU basketball star is being honored for her prolific high school career.
Crystal Kelly is a member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, which was announced Sunday.
Kelly was named Kentucky’s Ms. Basketball in 2004, after leading Sacred Heart to three straight state championships. Kelly went on to become WKU’s all-time women’s leader in points and rebounds, and was taken by the Houston Comets in the 2008 WNBA draft.
Another member of the KHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is Ron Bevars, who coached at North Hardin High School in Radcliff for 38 seasons. Bevars retired in 2013 after racking up 805 wins, the fourth-most in Kentucky high school basketball history.
Next year’s girls high school basketball state championship will be the last one played at WKU’s Diddle Arena for at least two years. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has voted to award the girls’ basketball championship to Northern Kentucky University for 2016 and 2017. The girls tournament had been held at WKU every year since 2001.
The Bowling Green Convention and Visitor's Bureau says an estimated 39,000 visitors came to town during the course of the 2013 tournament.
Bowling Green also lost out on the state high school softball tournament which will remain in Owensboro through 2018.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association says it’s monitoring the weather situation related to the six football championship games being played Friday and Saturday at LT Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.
A cold front is expected to hit the area Friday, with snow, sleet, and ice possible.
At this point, the KHSAA says its schedule remains the same, with game being played at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm central time each day.
However, the group says a final determination will be made Friday morning concerning the evening game and the three Saturday contests.
Here is the current schedule for the six title games (all times central):
Friday, Dec. 6
11:00 am: Mayfield (13-1) vs. Williamsburg (11-2) in Class 1A championship
3:00 pm: Wayne County (13-0) vs. Belfry (13-1) in Class 3A championship
7:00 pm: Meade County (12-2) vs. Scott County (14-0) in Class 5A championship
Saturday, Dec. 7
11:00 am: DeSales (13-1) vs. Newport Catholic Central (10-4) in Class 2A championship
3:00 pm: Collins (12-2) vs. Ft. Thomas Highlands (13-1) in Class 4A championship
7:00 pm: Bowling Green (13-0) vs. Pulaski County (14-0) in Class 5A championship
The leader of Kentucky’s high school sports governing board is trying to clarify the group’s position on postgame handshakes.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association came under criticism after media outlets reported that a statement released by Commissioner Julian Tackett banned postgame handshakes due to incidents of fights breaking out.
According to the Courier-Journal, Tackett says the KHSAA is not banning or in any way prohibiting the practice of teams or individual athletes shaking hands following a game. However, the sanctioning body said it would fine schools if fights or other conflicts break out after games end. The KHSAA says they would rather have the practice monitored instead of eliminated.
Tackett admitted that his initial news release on the subject was “at best poorly worded, and at worst...incomplete.”
The leader of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association says he’s pleased with the job WKU has done in hosting the state football finals. That might quiet any talk about the finals moving from Bowling Green to Louisville.
WKU has hosted the state high school football finals since 2009, and is under contract to remain host through 2014. Before that, the city of Louisville hosted the events stretching back to 1979.
In a text message to a Courier-Journal sports reporter, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said his group is happy with Bowling Green as the location for the football finals, saying WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium gives fans and player a more intimate setting than the larger Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Tackett says WKU “appears to maximize all desired factors.”
The U of L Cardinals’ upcoming move to a new athletic conference means the team won’t be playing at home the first weekend in December, the weekend the high school football finals are traditionally held. Because of that availability, some have speculated the KHSAA might consider moving the high school finals back to Louisville.
Kentucky lawmakers are reviewing a proposal that would place middle school athletics under the control of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, with the regulations going into effect for the 2014-15 school year.
If approved, the measure would mark the first time middle schools fell under statewide oversight.
The state board of education has already signed on to the idea. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett told the Lexington Herald-Leader the lack of statewide oversight over middle school athletics has led to problems that include some schools playing more games during a season than is considered safe and parents holding students back a year simply for athletic reasons.
The regulation was filed with the Legislative Research Commission on Friday. After a month long public comment period and a public hearing, the General Assembly's Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee and the Interim Joint Committee on Education will give the regulation a final review.