NIAA rejects 5A proposal, for now

A proposal to create a new 5A classification for high school football in the state was rejected by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association on Thursday in Reno.

The NIAA Board of Control, instead, decided to retain the present four-division format by a 7-2 vote at its meeting at the Whitney Peak Hotel in Reno.

At least for the time being.

A plan to create a 5A class for large schools in the Las Vegas area was sent to the board last month by the NIAA’s realignment committee. The board of control, however, voted in favor of another proposal presented at the meeting by a group of Clark County principals.

Donnie Nelson, assistant NIAA director, explained that realignment is always a challenging process.

“There are always a great number of thoughts and opinions that are specific to the particular schools and classifications. In the end, the board of control has to evaluate what it believes is best for the greater good of the state,” Nelson said. “They (board of control) had a difficult task with this one, especially when they got an entirely new 4A proposal from the Clark County principals the day of the board meeting.”

The realignment committee had recommended a 5A class to start this coming fall. The next realignment cycle is now scheduled for the 2020-21 school year, with another realignment committee due to be appointed in September. Principals indicated that they would support the 5A proposal at that time.

What is going to change to make a 5A classification feasible?

“We’ll wait and see what the Clark County principals have to say about that,” Nelson said. “They may, or may not, have reasons for 5A in two years.”

From Douglas High’s perspective, Sierra League football will have a new six school look this fall with the addition of Wooster from the 3A. The High Desert League will have five schools with the move of North Valleys to the 3A.

At the small schools level, Sierra Lutheran will remain in the Western 1A division while Coleville moves to a new Central 1A (along with Mineral County, Oasis Academy, Round Mountain, Sierra Sage/ROP, Smith Valley, Tonopah and Gabbs.


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