KSHSAA votes against push by baseball coaches to extend season

Published: May. 21, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - High school baseball coaches in Kansas are once again pushing for more games in a season.

”I think it’s a no brainer. I’ve been in high school baseball for a while now, and even played high school baseball in Kansas. It seems like it’s been the same since I’ve been playing in the early 2000′s, so I think it’s time for a change,” said Wamego head coach Weston Moody.

A proposed expansion from 20 to 26 games in the high school baseball season was recently denied by the KSHSAA Board of Directors in a 33-32 vote.

The proposal came from the Sunflower League. It would have allowed, but not forced, schools to expend their seasons.

“A lot of the talking points is, we have a lot of time to practice in the state, rather than play. And they wanna see the kids get out there and actually compete instead of practicing more than they’re playing,” said KSHSAA Assistant Executive Director Jeremy Holaday.

Many coaches are looking at the schedule size of surrounding states like Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri, all playing 30+ games a season. Some believe it’s impacting how Kansas kids are being recruited out of high school.

“The states around us get to play a few more games than we do currently here in Kansas,” Holaday said. “And they feel like they would just want that opportunity to be on a level playing field with the rest of the states around us.”

“There’s weeks in our season that we don’t play but one doubleheader,” said Coach Moody.

Another reason for the push is getting pitchers more reps.

“What we need right now is to develop arms, to develop pitchers,” Moody said.

A lot of logistics go into a change like this one.

“When would those take place, do we have enough umpires, school transportation, budget items,” are some examples Holaday gave.

There’s that recurring issue across all sports in the state, having enough officials.

“It does get tough. And if we don’t continue to try to get more officials in the state, adding more games does get a little more worrisome and troublesome,” Holaday added.

But the one major question those voting wanted to know was why softball wasn’t included.

“Obviously they’re two different sports. But in Kansas especially, they are tied together a lot,” Holaday said.

Baseball coaches aren’t opposed to adding softball to the proposal.

“We’re both in the same boat. And I don’t know why they wouldn’t be included anyway,” Moody said.

The increase received an 87% approval from 170 coaches who voted back in 2021. In present day, they say they’re doing it for their kids.

“They wanna compete,” Moody said. “If you ask any kid that’s in high school baseball if they wanna play more games, obviously they’re gonna say yes. I don’t know of any kid that’s gonna say no.”

KSHSAA says they’ve gotten mixed feedback from their student advisory team, and they definitely don’t think this will be the last they hear of the idea.

“I think maybe there’s just gonna be more conversation about, ‘Hey if we do this, what does this really look like?’ and warming up to the idea and thinking of adding more games is something I think we’re gonna see talked about more and more,” said Holaday.

The Board of Directors voting body is comprised mostly of principals, assistant principals, and athletic directors from throughout the state.