NIAA approves 2016-17 realignment | SierraSun.com

NIAA approves 2016-17 realignment

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

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 the 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.

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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 about which schools are moving, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that 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 that 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. Wooster currently competes in the I-A in football only.

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

The NIAA also approved a change in start dates for football. Teams are allowed to begin practice three days earlier than last year, beginning Aug. 5.

A discussion item regarding a mercy rule in soccer also was heard by the board, although Beesemyer said he is against the proposal and that coaches must figure out a way to not run up the score.