MARSHALL COUNTY -- Athletes, regardless of their sport, will be finding some way to compete during the summer months. However, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has regulations governing high school sports during the summer months. Each sport is bound by a set of bylaws with specific instructions regarding sports activity in the summer, specifically the time frame known as the "dead period."
KHSAA Summer Sports and Sports Activities Bylaw 24 Sec. 3 SUMMER DEAD PERIOD states a) From June 25 to July 9 (inclusive) each year: (1) Students may not receive coaching or training from school personnel (either salaried or non-salaried) in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport or sport-activity; (2) School facilities, uniforms, nicknames, transportation or equipment, may not be used in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport or sport-activity; (3) School funds may not be expended in support of interscholastic athletics in any KHSAA-sanctioned sport; and (4) Postseason wrap-up activities, celebrations and recognition events relating to a spring sports team at a school which participated in KHSAA state championship play in that particular sport during that particular year may be held.
The KHSAA specifically addresses the purpose of Bylaw 24 Sec. 3 for complete understanding. KHSAA Bylaws stated regarding Sec. 3 of Bylaw 24, the Dead Period was developed following a nearly year long task force review in the middle-1990s to address a growing issue where year-round athletics was eroding family opportunities for a break from participation, and outside entities were beginning to sponsor a growing amount of school based summer competition.
In addition, over the years, many sometimes overzealous coaches required their players to play scores of games throughout the summer, in addition to a year-round workout regimen.
The KHSAA regulations went on to state that while this may seem to be in the best interest of developing sports talent, such is not the purpose of high school athletics. High school sports are to supplement classroom learning and allow for in-season competitive opportunities, not a year round Olympic or professional development period.
The KHSAA research found that families were complaining that they could not plan vacations and family outings because of coaches' requirements and athletes were complaining of burn out. In addition, schools were increasingly concerned with liability issues related to the summer.
In a survey conducted by the KHSAA, 80% of superintendents, principals and athletic directors who returned the survey indicated they supported a "dead period" in the summer. Initial responses were overwhelmingly in support of a four (4) week dead period. The primary intent of the regulation is to eliminate, for an approximately two (2) week period, the leverage a coach has over his/her high school athletes.