Northern 3A could see changes in next NIAA realignment in 2020-21

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Realignment Committee met on Friday, May 24, to discuss possible changes for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. 

The biggest topic of the day was the adoption of a recommendation regarding Northern schools currently aligned in the 3A and 4A classifications being re-worked to establish a new 5A division.

Lowry High School Principal Ray Parks is on the NIAA Realignment Committee and attended the meeting.

“They are still trying to decide if they are going to do the 5A for the big schools in Clark County mainly," Parks said. "If that happens, they are talking about making the Reno (large) schools do 5A as well, and then they would branch off into a 4A playoff."

If the new league is created, it may bring big changes to the Northern 3A. 

"The biggest deal for us is that it looks like next year will be the last year of our 10-team Northern 3A," Parks said. "South Tahoe, Truckee, and North Valleys all want to petition to move to 4A or this new 5A whenever it comes. Then they can just play the "real schools" and not have to drive out to Lowry or Elko/Spring Creek for financial reasons also. They could just stay in the Reno area. That would drop us to a seven team league, which is scary, because right now the top two teams in every sport go to state. I imagine that would drop to taking only the top team in the north and three teams from the south because they will have so many more numbers than we will.”

The last time the 5A proposal was brought up, it failed in the final stages after principals in Clark County noted the schools did not have time to look over the proposal in a timely manner. 

In addition, Dayton is asking to drop to the Northern 2A for a third time. In each of its last two appeals to drop, the NIAA Board has denied its petition.

Parks noted that he believed that Dayton will be turned down again.

Dayton's football team will play as an independent this fall and will not be eligible for the postseason.

The Dust Devils are scheduled to play Lowry in Winnemucca on Friday, Oct. 11.

NIAA member schools will be assigned to a classification based on three things for the 2020 season. 

The count of enrollment reported in the fall of 2019, points earned by the school as determined by applying a rubric approved by the Board of Control of competitive factors, and other factors listed in NAC 385B.250-4.2. 

For purposes of assigning private schools, charter schools and single gender schools to a classification, the count of enrollment is increased by a factor of two.

“We will have another realignment meeting over the summer and the NIAA has to decide if they are going to do this 5A deal, because obviously that changes all of the alignments in the 3A and 4A quite a bit," Parks said.