NSAA Staff Provides Legislative Changes For Ahead 2021-22 Season

LINCOLN – Officials with the Nebraska School Activities Association hosted their NSAA meet & greet event through zoom earlier this month.

From the NSAA offices in Lincoln, Jeff Stauss, assistant director who oversees the media operations led the event. Stauss also is in charge swimming & diving, speech and one act theatre.

Executive Director, Jay Bellar began the online event with a message that the Fall season is going on with no restrictions.

“That could change pretty quickly depending on the state of affairs we are in with this Delta Variant,” said Bellar. “As of right now we’re planning to go back to what we call the pre-pandemic years of running our activities the way we’ve done in the past.”

He also thanked the members of the media for their support of promoting the youth sporting events and activities.

Several assistant directors spoke which started with softball and baseball from Dan Masters.

A postseason change for softball will move the Class B subdistricts to single elimination on Monday, October 4 instead of a two-day double elimination final. The district final, featuring a best-of-three series, will be played on that Friday or Saturday of that week (Oct. 8 or 9).

Class B and C will now follow the same format.

The lone change in baseball will be the Class A and B state championship locations in the Sarpy County/Omaha area. The NSAA will enter an agreement with the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park, University of Nebraska – Omaha as well as additional Omaha area high school facilities.

One of the ways NSAA member schools can enact change in how the association operates is through a legislative process.

Jon Dolliver, assistant director for NSAA girls and boys basketball, girls and boys cross country as well as girls and boys golf and is also the supervisor of officials.

Class C1 and C2 district basketball final hosts has changed from 120 miles to 180 miles a part or less to be hosted at the higher seed. If the higher seed doesn’t want to host, a neutral site will be chosen or if the two teams are separated by more than 180 miles. For Class D1 and D2 the higher seed will host the district finals regardless of the distance, getting out the neutral site locations.

During the week of the girls state basketball championships, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln will be hosting the Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Both girls and boys state tournaments will be hosted in the same week from Monday, March 7 – Saturday, March 12.

Every Class will play in the venue that they were originally scheduled to play in for a three-day tournament, according to Dolliver.

“So, if you were scheduled to play at Devaney, Pinnacle, Pinnacle you will still play in that,” Dolliver added. “If you were at a high school then at Devaney and then Pinnacle, you will stay in that same venue. You will play Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.”

Three championship girls and three boys games will be played on Friday and the same on Saturday.

Jennifer Schwartz, Associate Director, also addressed volleyball changes which are similar to basketball for Class C1 and C2 district finals of 180 miles being the distance for host site. The NSAA state volleyball championships will move to a four-day tournament from Wednesday, November 3 – Saturday, November 6 with all first-round games being played at Pinnacle Bank Arena before moving the finals to the Devaney Sports Center while consolation games will be at Lincoln Northeast High School.

All schools are also encouraged to recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IV as well as the state volleyball championships commemorating their 50th year being sanctioned by the NSAA.

“I’ve asked all of our coaches to take the time to recognize, celebrate,” Schwartz mentioned. “Any of the individuals or previous teams that they’ve had or anybody that was instrumental in helping us get to the first 50 years.”

Nate Neuhaus then updated some of the postseason changes for football. Also, this fall is the second year of the classification cycle as it will be a busy time in the NSAA office preparing for the 2022-23 schedules. Class C1 and C2 will be divided evenly instead of by enrollment numbers starting next year after Class A and B are selected for 11-man teams. If everything goes to plan, February 9, 2022 will be the release date for the next two-year cycle of football schedules.

Also, the state track & field championships had some positive feedback from the four-day format. Discussion will continue to keep the same number of days but possibly change the sessions.

Ron Higdon, wrestling director covered the final subject which highlighted 59 schools registering for girls wrestling as of August 5. The regular season will feature 12 weight divisions all in one classification that will only allow girls to wrestle other girls. September 1, 2021 is the deadline for schools to register for girls wrestling as the girls championships will last over two-days simultaneously with the back to normal three-day boys state championship format. If a school is not registered, the girls interested in wrestling would have to wrestle against the boys team.

Visit nsaahome.org for more information.