SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 1:17 PM

The anticipated move of boys’ and girls’ lacrosse under the Kentucky High School Athletic Association umbrella has been put on hold.

The KHSAA’s Board of Control learned Wednesday that the number of schools set to field boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams next spring remains below the 50-team threshold required by KHSAA bylaws for it to consider sponsoring state championships for them.

Boys’ lacrosse schools number 39 teams and the girls have 40, according to data gathered by the KHSAA. Those numbers remained unchanged from the board’s last meeting when it tabled a decision on the sport in hopes that more schools would come on board.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett presented the lacrosse participation report to the board at its work session Wednesday morning. Based on KHSAA’s rules, his recommendation was to forgo KHSAA sponsorship this school year.

As long as 30 schools maintain the sport, the KHSAA will continue to monitor it, Tackett said. The board will revisit the decision at its May 2022 meeting.

We’ll look at it again next spring,” Tackett said. “And if the numbers are there, work on it for the future.”

On Tuesday, the KHSAA held its full annual meeting which included athletics directors from across the state. That meeting offered some perspective on the challenges faced by member schools.

“I think the message that was probably as abundantly clear yesterday as anything is the plates of our administrators on the athletic side in particular, are full, right now,” Tackett said. “And to throw (lacrosse) on there without the policy support of 50 schools probably wouldn’t be very smart.”

Tackett later added that not meeting the 50-school minimum “means less than 20 percent of our members want this. … So, unfortunately, it just does not have the numbers right now.”

High school lacrosse has become more popular over the last several years, but most teams in Kentucky are run as club programs outside their school’s athletics department budgets.

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