Four schools poised to join I-A

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With a laundry-list of proposals and action items, realignment was the hot topic to emerge from the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Board of Control spring meeting in Las Vegas on Monday and Tuesday.

According to Assistant Director Donnie Nelson, an amendment to the Southern Nevada Rubric has allowed a change to realignment. The original proposal was to have a pair of Division I schools move to DI-A, and two DI-A school move up.

Northern Nevada schools do not use a rubric and league administrators determine division affiliation by voting.

“It’s not going to change playoff or state representation,” Nelson said.

But with the disparity between programs in the south, four DI schools will join the DI-A next season, although it isn’t clear which quartet will make the move.

Nelson said the Southern DI-A will feature 17 schools next year, but there will be no changes to postseason qualifications.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, five Clark County schools are battling for the four spots. Del Sol, Rancho, Desert Oasis, Spring Valley and Sierra Vista are under consideration.

The NIAA will announce the four schools at its May meeting in Reno.

DI schools with fewer than 15 points in a two-year cycle are eligible for realignment. Conversly, a DI-A school with more than 150 points would move up; however, Faith Lutheran, Moapa Valley, Virgin Valley and Boulder City can exercise their option to remain in the DI-A.

Rubric points are determined by a school’s finish in each sport. Faith Lutheran and Boulder City are the only two current Southern DI-A schools with more than 150 points.

Rancho (11 points) fields a competitive baseball team, thus, could pass the threshold and remain where it is. Desert Oasis (11), Spring Valley (nine), Sierra Vista (six) and Del Sol (zero) could stay in the DI with deep postseason runs.

“The schools will be determined at the spring meetings,” Nelson said. “It will go into effect next fall.”

In other NIAA news —

The board heard discussion about a possible shakeup for the Northern DI and DI-A soccer affiliations.

Nelson said coaches are proposing the two leagues join forces and use a European-based model of relegation each season. For example, the English Premier League relegates three clubs to the second division, while the top three second-division clubs join the EPL.

Nelson said “it is a long way away” from being passed or possibly implemented. He said one concern would be the juxtaposition of a school with programs competing in different divisions.

Support to launch a new version of a Super State Wrestling Tournament is growing.

Nelson said the proposal would consist of 16-man brackets with wrestlers from all divisions competing against each other in their respective weight classes.

Nevada had a Super Tournament, but it ended in 1999 under controversy, Nelson said.

The former Class 4A did not have a state tournament and the top grapplers qualified for Super State. The Class 1A, 2A and 3A each had its own state tournaments but it affected the outcome of the Class 4A team champion.

The details of the new format are yet to be determined, but Nelson said it could be held after each division’s state tournament. Other hurdles include how wrestlers would qualify for Super State.

“We are a long way away on this,” Nelson said.

A tie-breaker proposal by Northern DI-A President Mike Altenburg of Elko was passed by the board.

The rule calls for a score differential to be implemented for two schools tied in the standings. Nelson said the rule will only determine seeding.

For example, if two schools are tied for third, their season-total for points, runs, goals, etc., will be used to determine the third and fourth seeds.

The former rule was the higher seed was awarded to the school that won the second head-to-head matchup in league play.

Nelson said the rule is will be in a trial phase next season, with the expectation it will be introduced to all sports in all divisions in the future.

“It’s a very sound proposal and makes sense,” he added.

Currently, swimmers must compete in 50 percent of their school’s regular season meets to be eligible to participate in the postseason.

Although it is not an official rule, Nelson said it will be implemented as Nevada Adminstrative Code — or law through the state legislature — in the future.

The proposal to dismiss the rule was defeated by the board, although the Nevada Legislature must approve it the current rule. Nelson said it protects schools from losing athletes to club teams during the season.

Under the previous rule, athletes did not have to compete with their school during the regular season.

The seven-day blackout rule for golfers was approved, although it will not be in effect until at least the fall season, Nelson said.

Under current legislation, golfers (boys and girls) are not allowed to play on courses designated for their respective state tournaments for seven days leading up to the event.

Nelson said more than likely the new rule will be in effect next spring, pending its passage in the legislature.

The North Tahoe swimming and diving team was approved to compete in championship events this season.

The Lakers, who are competing in their first season in swimming, were given the green light because of the school’s full member and good standing status with the NIAA.

Reed and Bishop Gorman were selected to play in the annual Sollenberger Classic football game in August at Bishop Gorman.

The showcase pits two Arizona and Nevada schools against each other.

Gorman will play Brophy Prep on Aug. 22 and Reed will take on defending Arizona state champion Mountain Pointe. Last year, Mountain Pointe beat Gorman, 28-21.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, it is only the second time a Northern Nevada school has participated in the event.

Action regarding Hug’s application to become independent in girls volleyball and girls and boys soccer was tabled.


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