NIAA postpones realignment

RENO — The Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association will not realign for the 2009-10 season.

The association told its Board of Control this afternoon it will delay any potential realignment until at least the 2010-11 season.

Last month, the NIAA proposed realigning the state’s 105 schools from four classes to three divisions, based on a combination of enrollment and competitive balance.

“We have a year to set up a committee, discuss, survey schools and go through the process we normally go through,” said NIAA executive director Eddie Bonine.

“We are fortunate to be able to have the position we are in right now,” he added. “We are able to work this way. We’re trying to save stuff instead of cutting stuff out. I’m so glad and thankful to be able to have a year and not have to force this down someone’s throat. There’s a lot that we can work on with this.”

Bonine said he’d like to start planning realignment in September and have it put into place at the Board of Control meeting in early spring 2010.

The association is attempting to cut costs for its member schools and hoped to lessen travel expenses and missed class time by teachers who also coach sports teams.

“Either we realign or we’re going to have to start cutting programs,” said Palo Verde principal Dan Phillips, a member of the Board of Control. “I would hate to see us begin to cut programs especially for kids who school is the only venue for them to compete on these teams.”

Several larger Clark County high schools, such as Basic, Clark, Del Sol and Western were to be slotted in Division II under the proposal, which would have left only 20 of the current 31 county Class 4A schools in the top division.

The NIAA realigned from three classes to four — based almost totally on enrollment — prior to the 1996-97 season.

The association did reduce the maximum number of games allowed in many sports.

Basketball teams will play a maximum of 18 games and two in-seasons tournaments beginning with the 2009-10 season, a reduction of two games per season.