Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Big Changes Could Be Coming To Nebraska's Small School Athletics

In the 1980s, Dorchester athletics had to compete with nearby Lincoln Christian, which was able to cherry pick some of the Capital City's better athletes for its Class C teams.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, DHS competed with Class D Falls City Sacred Heart, which, like Lincoln Christian, was able to select high caliber athletes.

Dorchester isn't the only small public school in Nebraska that has often found itself outgunned by private schools in athletics.  Over the past decade, in football, volleyball and boys and girls basketball, 50% of the state's 1st and 2nd place medals have gone to non-public schools, even though those schools comprise just 13% of NSAA member schools.

KWBE Radio reports that could begin to change after an upcoming vote by the Nebraska Schools Activities Association on Friday.

A proposed NSAA rule would penalize schools that have continued athletics success in concurrent years by requiring a jump in class size in a particular sport.

According to KWBE, "If passed, individual sports programs would need to accumulate 10 success points over a four-year period to jump a class. In order to receive a point, a program would need to get into the top eight in their class. A semi-final berth, or a 3rd-4th place finish, would give a school another point, advancing to the championship game or placing 2nd would give a school three points in total, and if you win a state title, four points would be given to the program for that season."

"Once a school reached ten points, they could lose -- or gain -- points based on a few other factors: percentage of students on free or reduced lunch, percentage of students in special education and a school’s proximity to a Class A school."

The rule has already been approved by three of the NSAA's six districts, but it was rejected by three other districts.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the NSAA Office in Lincoln on Friday. A three-fifths majority is required to pass the vote.  Click here to see who will be voting.

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