Return Kentucky High School State Track & Field Championship to a Two-day Format

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The Board of Control implemented a change to the schedule of the state championship meet during 2008-2009, condensing the contest from a 2-day meet with prelims and finals to a single day meet with all events being timed finals. This was done in large part to help schools save money on travel and accommodations during the difficult financial times of those years. Unfortunately it has come at the cost of having a high quality championship meet.

The first day of competition in a typical two-day championship meet is for prelims in lane finish (sprint) events and a couple finals for non-lane finish (distance) events such as the 4x800. With the timed finals in a single day format, runners in lane events are placed in heats corresponding to their times performed at the regional competition. This can be unjust for the athlete if their region had slower competition or weather related issues that could result in a slower performance time – this could bump them into a slower heat or lower seed than runners who performed under better conditions. The argument for timed finals is that you can still place or even win the event if you are not in the fastest heat, but this comes at the cost of not having the kind of high quality meet that the state championships should be. Imagine trying to watch a meet where the top two 400 runners in the state all year are racing in two different heats. Most high quality championship meets are multi-day formats such as the NCAA Championships (4 days) and the Olympic Trials (10 days). Here’s what the surrounding states are currently doing:

·         Illinois – 2-day (over a 3-day time period)

·         Indiana – 1-day

·         Ohio – 2-day

·         Tennessee – 2-day (with additional days for pentathlon and decathlon)

·         Virginia – 2-day

·         West Virginia – 2-day

·         Missouri – 2-day

Please sign this petition so that we can get a list of people together to try and instill change with the Board of Control. We aim to return the state championships to a 2-day format, promoting a better competition for the kids.

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