The Kentucky High School Athletic Association is facing intense criticism for its decision to cancel the final two events of the Class 3A Track and Field Championships due to lengthy weather delays.
As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, delays that eventually caused the cancellation of the boys and girls 4-by-400 relays began just after 9 p.m.
At 9:04 p.m. inclement weather put into effect a 30-minute weather delay. The KHSAA asked fans and participants to leave the stands and playing area at that time.
With the continued presence of lightning in the area, the organization released a tweet at 10:33 p.m. that said competition would not be resumed. An official statement released about 10 minutes later cited NFHS Rule 3-2-5, which states that “a meet may be suspended by the games committee, in collaboration with the referee, due to an emergency such as hazardous weather conditions or power failure.”
The decision to cancel the events was met with immediate furor from fans and coaches (and likely athletes, too, though that reaction was not immediately uncovered).
The point made by Alex Scutchfield (a professional mediator, by the way. Interest, KHSAA?) is perhaps the most direct and salient one to consider here. While the reasons for ending the championships for the originally scheduled date were understandable, the justification for killing off the final two events entirely — including arguably the day’s most anticipated relay races — raises legitimate questions about the very integrity of the sanctioned championships themselves.
As for the weather that brought on this headache, the rain was legitimate, as you can see from the footage directly below. Apparently the lightning was as well.
There has yet to be any momentum behind rescheduling the 4×400 relays, even though coaches from Tates Creek have already filed a motion to host the final two events to complete the meet officially. For now, there is an impression of permanence behind the KHSAA decisions.
While eliminating two of track & field’s most prestigious races from its signature meet may have ensured that KHSAA officials met their most important responsibility, keeping all athletes safe, it certainly didn’t leave all of them fulfilled, as multiple fans were quick to note: