Jump ball will not be used during upcoming Kentucky high school boys and girls basketball season

LEXINGTON — With the Kentucky High School Athletic Association recently releasing its “Return to Competition” plan for various sports, including basketball, many coaches across the state expressed their surprise on social media with a newly adopted rule put in place eliminating the jump ball.

In the Officiating rules adopted for 2020-21 of the “Return to competition” plan, it states:

• Eliminate the jump ball, and award the choice of first possession of the ball to the team winning a coin toss, called by the home team.”

• The alternating possession arrow will then reset by rule when the initial throw-in is complete. To start an overtime, a coin toss will be used, called by the visiting team, to determine which team is awarded the ball.

• Subsequent overtime periods will be started with possession by the team based on the alternating possession arrow.

North Laurel girls basketball coach Eddie Mahan said, “like many, I am confused at why that aspect of the game was changed.”

“For us, we have a few things we do to score off of a tip, so that takes that away from us,” he said. “However, if that allows us to have our games this season, then I won’t complain.

“The most important thing is for our players to have a season,” Mahan added. “I think if you asked athletes from last spring if they would have added a few changes and would have been able to play, they would have been glad to have made those concessions. While we might not understand all of what happens, we need to keep in mind that our goal is to have a season, and however that can happen, be happy with it.”

South Laurel girls coach Chris Souder agreed.

“It makes zero sense to me. If intended for social distancing for officials just have the official wear a mask when throwing the ball up,” he said. “I have quit trying to figure the logic in all this.

“But to be honest, if flipping a coin allows us to play, I’ll make sure and provide the coin for every game. As long as it can be a penny,” Souder joked.

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