California schools won’t host any more state championships |

California schools won’t host any more state championships

As far-reaching as the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s decision to keep championship games within state lines sounds, the implications won’t reach far past the football fields.

At its winter meeting Dec. 7 at Silverado High School in Las Vegas, the NIAA Board of Control passed a motion that all state championship finals take place within Nevada state lines. The motion means if any of the five member schools outside of Nevada – South Tahoe, Coleville, Truckee, Needles or North Tahoe, all in California – earns the right to play host to a state final, the game will move to a neutral site within Nevada boundaries.

“It’s a very small concession for us to make for playing in Nevada,” said South Tahoe athletics director Frank Kovac. “Of course, it would be nice, should we be able to qualify for a state championship for us to host.”

The vote doesn’t affect zone playoffs or zone tournaments, and affects football most.

“It’s not meant to be a controversial thing,” said NIAA sports information director Donnie Nelson. “That’s just the board taking some concerns that were expressed with the state legislature and acting on them.”

The decision, which the board passed with an 8-0 vote, was the result of a motion a coalition of 3A schools presented to the Nevada Legislature in May to remove Truckee and North Tahoe from the NIAA. The legislature discussed the motion, but took no official action.

“I think the board wanted to avoid the state legislature telling the NIAA what to do, so the board acted on what was in the best interest of the association,” Nelson said.

The change does not affect zone playoffs, and will have a larger impact on fooball than any other sport. While most sports have designated sites for their championship games, football teams can earn the chance to play host to the state finals with better records. For example, Truckee would have been the host school if the Wolverines had advanced to the 1999 state football final against Moapa, but volunteered to move the game to a neutral site within Nevada.

“I think Truckee was being generous guest in the matter by saying that,” Nelson said. “Truckee and North Tahoe had already volunteered to host their state tournament games within Nevada state lines in the spirit of goodwill.”

Under the old rules, South Tahoe could have been the host for the state championship final if the Vikings had advanced out of the first round this season, since the northern school was the designated host. Under the new rules, the South Tahoe athletic department and the NIAA would work together to find a neutral site in Nevada.

The one instance that will have to change is next year’s Nevada 2A boys golf championship. Needles already was on the calendar to host the championship final, but wouldn’t be able to under the new rules. Nelson said the board still needs to see what happens.

NIAA moves football season back

The board of control approved that the 2000 NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Football Championship will take place on the Dec. 1-2 weekend at the southern host school.

The 2000 football season marks a new format for the NIAA. As in 1999 4A boys soccer, the association will divide football teams into three regions: Northern Nevada, Sunrise and Sunset, to reflect a higher number of members in the south. The top two northern seeds face the southern region champions in the playoff semifinals for a chance to advance to the state championship.

“It’s going to take some time to get used to, but in the long run, it’s going to be a good thing,” Nelson said.

Yerington, Mammoth petitions fail

Yerington’s petition to drop down to Class 2A failed by a 5-2 vote. The school will remain a 3A program.

The petition of Mammoth, Calif., to become an affiliate member of the NIAA Class 2A also failed, by a 4-3 vote. Several options – including the possibility of Mammoth coming in for probationary status and regular-season schedules – were discussed.

Three sports earn state-championship status

The NIAA also granted bowling, skiing and boys volleyball state championship status, moving from the ranks of recognized sports to NIAA-sanctioned sports.

All three sports will have official state champions beginning with their current season.

The changes to skiing do not affect either South Tahoe or Whittell, as both schools compete in the Tahoe Basin Ski League.

The association has not granted 4A girls soccer state-championship status, leaving it a recognized sport. The northern and southern regions play their state championships during different season.

All three changes in status passed by 7-0 margins

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