(Neb)-NSAA Approves Football Classification Changes
LINCOLN - As expected, the NSAA Representatives Assembly, the governing body of the Nebraska Schools Activities Association - voted yesterday to change how the classes are determined in football.
The Assembly unanimously adopted a plan to use boys-only 10-12th grade enrollment instead of total enrollment and to base classification solely on enrollment ranges and not a fixed number of schools.
NSAA executive director Jim Tenopir calls it a good plan because it addresses 2 major concerns: the large enrollment gap between the biggest and smallest schools in A and B, and the fact that some schools have a sizable imbalance between the number of boys and girls enrolled.
Class A will now be schools with 425 or more boys, Class B 160 to 424, C-1 between 70 and 159, and C-2 fewer than 70.
Class A is expected to grow from 28 to 31 schools in 2018 with Class B dropping from 32 to 25. The remaining 11-man schools will be split evenly between C-1 and C-2, as is the case now.
All schools playing 8-man football would be evenly split between D-1 and D-2, but any school with more than 47 boys would not be eligible for the playoffs.
6-man football will return to the NSAA after several years on its own starting in 2018, but the playoffs would be open to only schools with 27 or fewer boys.
Also passed by the NSAA Assembly was a proposal to have all fall sports begin practice on the same day. Currently, volleyball and cross country start a week later than football, softball, girls golf and boys tennis. Their first contests have also been a week later than football and tennis, two weeks later than golf and softball.
The NSAA Assembly sent a plan making it easier for homeschooled students to take part in NSAA activities to a membership vote later this year.
It cuts the number of classes they must take at a high school from 20 credit hours - the equivalent of 4 classes - a semester to 10. The measure needs 60% approval to pass.
The Assembly rejected by a 33-18 margin a success-factor proposal bumping up perennial state powers in a specific sport into the next-larger class for that support. Among the opponents was the Nebraska Catholic Conference.
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