Class C and D boys basketball teams will have more options for when they can play their district finals next season, and the D-1 and D-2, eight-man football playoff schedule will change for the 2020 campaign.
Those were among the approved rulings that the Nebraska School Activities Association Board of Directors passed Thursday at its April meeting. The eight-member board passed judgment on an array of proposals across the spectrum that advanced out of the district meetings.
Next season, the 12 subdistrict champions and the four wild card teams that advance to the district finals will be able to play those games either on Saturday or the following Monday or Tuesday. In 2020, those dates are Feb. 29, March 2 and 3.
This past season in the first year of the substate format for C and D basketball, all of those district finals were supposed to be played on Saturday, Feb. 23, at neutral sites agreed upon by the schools involved, just two days after the subdistrict finals. A blizzard that weekend, however, caused all of those games to be postponed to the following Monday.
Coaches were already concerned before the season about the short two-day turnaround between the subdistrict and district finals.
The proposal that passed the board, however, stipulates that if schools can’t mutually agree on a date or site, the game will be played on Saturday (Feb. 29 in 2020) at a site chosen by the NSAA.
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In 2020, the D-1 and D-2 football playoffs will closely mirror the playoff schedules in the 11-man classes (A, B, C-1 and C-2) and six-man. After completing their eight-game regular seasons, the 32 teams advancing to the D-1 and D-2 playoffs will play their first-round games on Thursday of week nine of the football season, the final week of the regular season for A, B, C-1 and C-2.
The D-1 and D-2 second-round, quarterfinal and semifinal games will then be played on Friday the next three weeks, the same day as the first three rounds of the 11-man playoffs.
The 2019 playoff schedule will be the same format as it’s been in the past. First-round games this coming fall will be on Thursday, Oct. 31, second round on Wednesday, Nov. 6, the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and semifinals on Monday, Nov. 18.
The postseason format for Class B softball will be changing this fall. In the approved ruling passed by the board, there will be 10 double-elimination subdistrict tournaments. Those 10 subdistrict winners and the next six teams in the wild-card standings will advance to a best-of-three district final series hosted by the higher-seeded team. The eight district final series winners then move on to state.
Next season, the subdistricts will be on Oct. 7 and 8 (Monday and Tuesday) with the district final series played on Oct. 11.
A similar proposal for Class C softball failed. The proposal to move the Class A district softball tournaments to Wednesday and Thursday and use Friday as a rain date passed as well as preseason jamboree events.