Kansas baseball coaches call for expanded schedule

NORTHEAST KANSAS (KSNT) — For a long time, Kansas State high school baseball teams were only allowed to play 20 games in the regular season.

That remains true now, but some state coaches want that to change.

“We’re as good at baseball as everyone else, but we’re really putting our kids short compared to what other states are doing,” said Kansas Baseball Coaches Association Heath Gerstner.

Gerstner and many other coaches say young Kansas athletes deserve the opportunity to play more games. Surrounding states play up to thirty or more games per season.

“We feel like we’re behind as a state,” Gerstner said.

Playing more games presents more exposure opportunities for players who want to compete at the next level.

“I think it’s really important to give them more opportunities to play at the next level,” Seamans head baseball coach Trent Oliva said. “The more time there is, the more opportunities they can see.”

Gerstner knows this is important.

“I have a good relationship with a lot of our Kansas junior college coaches and Premier League coaches,” Gerstner said. “If they have a kid that they think is half the same as a kid from Oklahoma or Missouri, but that kid has played 60 more baseball games than that kid, that’s a pretty easy decision. for them.”

Some people quickly get angry with the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) over this issue. However, they are not the ones who put an end to this proposed change.

“Our biggest heist is not the coaches,” Gerstner said. “It was not KSHSAA. It is these directors and athletic directors who are truly in charge of change in our state. »

KABC presented a list of proposals to the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (KIAAA), which included the idea of ​​a 26-game schedule. They hoped that receiving KIAAA’s support would provide momentum before taking the proposal to KSHSAA. They met the opposite result when KIAAA rejected this proposal and all others presented.

These two coaches say players want to be on the pitch more often in competition.

“If you ask any player, I think they’ll tell you they’d rather play games than practice,” Oliva said.

Limit games can present other challenges when managing a team in the spring.

“It is difficult to maintain the commitment [when you’re not playing enough games]. They don’t want to play against each other anymore. We did it in pre-season. We want to play against other teams. Our guys can’t wait to play a game,” Gerstner said.

The Coaches Association wants to extend the season to 26 games, which is even less than surrounding states. A KSHSAA representative told 27 News that previous proposals to extend the length of the schedule did not receive enough support to get a vote from the KSHSAA board.

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