The Nebraska School Activities Association legislative process just began for the 2018-19 school year with the November district meetings earlier this week, and it appears that proposals to add bowling and change the transfer rules have a chance to reach the Representative Assembly in April.
Some of the proposals that were voted on in the first round of district meetings were mentioned at the NSAA board of directors meeting Thursday in Lincoln.
The proposal to add bowling as an NSAA sanctioned sport in the winter passed in District 1 (which includes Lincoln) by a vote of 27-16. Adding bowling made it as far as the Representative Assembly last spring but failed to gain the 60 percent threshold needed to ratify it.
The transfer proposal, which originated from last month’s Transfer Committee meeting, passed in District 1 by a whopping 42-5 margin. It will require students who attend a high school outside of their home district to be ineligible for varsity competition for 90 school days if they transfer to the school where their parents have their domicile. Current NSAA rules allow students to transfer to their home district without penalty.
NSAA executive director Jay Bellar said the slightly tighter transfer policy is still much more lenient than what other neighboring states have for transfers who are not making a domicile change nor qualify for a hardship waiver. He said Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri require students to sit 365 days, in North Dakota it is 180 school days and South Dakota is one year.
Both the bowling and transfer proposals must go through the January district meetings. If three of the NSAA’s six districts pass them in January, they will go directly to the Representative Assembly agenda. The proposals can also advance to the Representative Assembly through the Legislative Commission meeting in February, where at least six of the 14 members there must approve them for the proposals to move on.
A proposal to add girls wrestling as an NSAA sanctioned sport was not on the November agenda in District 1, but it passed in both District 2 and 6.
In action items Thursday, the board voted to keep Unified Track & Field an exhibition sport this spring when 31 schools signed up for it, fewer than the goal of 40 sought by the board to sanction it. The NSAA currently sponsors Unified Bowling. Unified Sports combine Special Olympic athletes with student partners from their same school.
The board approved formal language to allow high school coaches who also coach Legion baseball teams in the summer to go beyond the July 31 deadline for coaches to have unrestricted access to their high school athletes if their summer teams are still involved in state or regional tournament play.
The board passed a change to allow matches against JV wrestlers at varsity meets to count in seeding for Class D wrestling districts.