NIAA approves 2016-17 realignment |

NIAA approves 2016-17 realignment

Steve Puterski

Once again, realignment is coming.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Board of Control voted last week to accept the NIAA Realignment Committee’s proposal, according to Assistant Director Jay Beesemyer.

He said the vote mostly focused on the Division I-A, specifically the number of schools in the southern region but said the changes will not go into effect until the 2016-17 school year.

As for the Northern DI-A, no changes were made to schools moving up or down.

“Now everybody will come back, the schools on the bubble, to appeal to go up or down,” Beesemyer said. “Realignment is usually very contentious and that may still happen. It was mainly a I-A issue in the south. The northern teams didn’t want a whole bunch of teams in the south. They thought it was a bit unfair.”

As a result of the vote, the board capped the number of schools in the Southern I-A at 16, although Beesemyer said he expects several schools to appeal the decision at the NIAA’s meeting in September. For example, The Meadows was moved up to the I-A due to the private school multiplier, which automatically doubles a private schools enrollment, thus putting The Meadows above the DIII threshold.

But Beesemyer said The Meadows is a DIII school and would likely be approved to move to its longtime home in DIII.

Regardless of The Meadows, the Southern I-A will still use the rubric to determine classification. The rubric is a formula that complies a school’s performance in 22 sports and uses a point total to determine if the school will transition.

Although no official ruling has been made to which schools are moving, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Faith Lutheran will return to the DI since the Crusaders have already eclipsed the 149-point mark.

Faith Lutheran currently has 204 points, won six state titles this past year and has 16 state championships in three years in the DI-A.

The Review-Journal also reported current DI schools Eldorado and Durango may be possible replacements for Faith Lutheran.

In the north, Beesemyer said there are rumblings of Wooster and Hug seeking membership in the Northern I-A, which would require all sports at those schools to move down.

“The committee did a good job,” Beesemyer added. “All the ground worked had been laid.”

However, no official requests have been made by either school. Wooster, though, currently competes in the I-A in football only.

In addition to realignment, the NIAA will also revert back to the Class 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A designations in the 2016-17 year.

In other NIAA news —

The NIAA also approved at its Board of Control meeting last week a change in start dates for football.

Teams are allowed to begin practice three days earlier than last year beginning on Aug. 5. Players must go through a four-day heat acclimatization period, which ends Aug. 8.

After those four days, a three-day non-contact period runs from Aug. 10-Aug. 12. Nevada high school sports are not allowed to practice on Sunday.

Full-contact practices, meanwhile, commence Aug. 13 and the first scrimmage can be either on Aug. 21 or Aug. 22.

The Board granted permission for schools in the Northern Nevada Football Coaches Association (Division I Northern Region, only) to schedule 180 minutes total per week (90 minutes full contact and 90 minutes “thump”) within two days per week of contact practice time limits.

A discussion item regarding a mercy rule in soccer was heard by the board.

Beesemyer said he is against the proposal and coaches must figure out a way to not run up the score. Admittedly, he said teams do crack the 10-0 and sometimes it’s to get a player a record.

In addition, Beesemyer said he is not in favor of terminating games.

The proposal may be on the agenda for the September meeting for additional discussion or possible action.