KHSAA Sanctions Officials for Botched Playoff Call

Dec 9, 2014


The KHSAA has imposed sanctions against a crew of five football officials, following a misapplication of  rules in a high school football playoff game between DeSales and Murray on November 28th that might have affected the outcome of the game. 

During the second quarter, on a play when Murray scored a touchdown, an official called a foul against a Murray coach for being in an area where coaches aren’t permitted during play. The officials assessed the penalty from the spot of the foul, not allowing the touchdown.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says the foul was correctly called, but the touchdown should have been allowed.

“The foul was correctly called and should be called every single time it happens.  However, any time an official calls a foul, they must be able to properly administer the penalty, and this was not done in this instance. This foul is considered a “nonplayer” foul in the rules, and all of those fouls are to be enforced succeeding spot (after the play). So in this case, the touchdown should have been allowed, and DeSales should have been given the option of accepting the distance penalty on the try or on the kickoff."

Murray went on to lose the game by seven points.

The five officials involved will not be assigned contests for 2015 season weeks 0, 1 and 2 or work past the first round of the playoffs that season, and the local association will see a reduction in playoff games for 2015, particularly in rounds 3 and 4.

“This by no means rights the wrong, in my opinion,” Tackett added. “There is simply not a truly equitable alternative. As Commissioner, I am truly sorry that there were system failures in efforts to ensure that the best possible service is provided to the student-athletes, coaches, families and spectators by our independent contractors who serve as officials. As adults, we failed the students and that is never a good thing. And as a long-time (now retired) official at the collegiate level, I know personally that these officials are hurting too as they have put much time and effort into this avocation, and then not only fail the students involved, but damage their own personal reputations as officials.”