NIAA discusses soccer, realignment

While the search for the next executive director is on the front burner for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Board of Control, last week’s meeting provided discussion and action on several other items.

Perhaps most pressing was the amendment to retain Division III soccer for another year despite the league not having the required nine schools to facilitate a regional or state tournament, according to Assistant Director Donnie Nelson.

Nelson said the board of control made the unanimous decision to amend the regulation to give time to discuss and plan for a possible new league or format.

The new format, a European relegation system, was proposed by Incline coach Tom Canino using a rubric system, just as the south does for school realignment. It would combine the Northern DIII into the DI-A and DI creating two leagues. Based on one- or two-year cycles and performance, teams would move up or down after calculating the rubric.

The board of control, however, did not pursue action on the item and it will be discussed with the realignment committee in the coming months.

“This would be only as a trial (basis),” Nelson said. “The realignment committee will be presented with this idea going forward. There is numerous ways this can go.”

The NIAA’s realignment committee, meanwhile, was announced and consists of board members Brain Rothe (Region I), Greg Koenig (Region II), Jason Sanderson (Region III), Trent Day, Derek Bellow, David Wilson and one other individual who has not been announced (all of Region IV). In addition, each division from the north and south is represented plus three liaisons and two liasons from the NIAA. The liaisons and consultants are non-voting members.

According to Nelson, the committee will meet several times in the coming months and present in April or June their proposal’s for the realignment, which will run from Fall 2016 through Spring 2020.

The board also discussed, and tabled, the minimum participation rule for individual-based sports such as swimming, track, tennis and cross country.

Nelson said a spirited debate covered countless concerns regarding agenda item of a student-athlete participating in at least 50 percent of their NIAA-sanctioned sport.

Concerns about athletes competing in club sports over NIAA sports and then participating in the NIAA postseason is one issue facing the board.

“There was nothing brought forward out of that meeting that said hey, we are making this decision,” Nelson said. “We had a tremendous amount of discussion on that item. There were many great comments for and against it.”

Nelson said the discussion resulted in several ideas, but more time is needed to create the regulations.

In other soccer related news, White Pine (Ely) will play in the Northern DIII next season.

As for the executive director search, the job description is posted on the NIAA’s website at


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