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The Nebraska School Activities Association Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday at its August meeting in Lincoln to approve Unified track and field as a sanctioned sport for the spring 2020 season.

Track joins bowling as the two Special Olympic sports now under the NSAA wing. Bowling is entering its fourth season this fall as a sanctioned activity.

Exhibition events in the 100-meter dash, long jump and the 400 relay have been held the past two years at the state track meet in May in which Special Olympics athletes are paired with a partner from their school.

NSAA assistant director in charge of Unified Sports, Dan Masters, told the board that 42 schools are currently signed up to have Unified track teams in the spring. The NSAA sanctioned Unified bowling after the total number of schools offering the activity surpassed 40.

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Details about how many track events will be offered and what the district and state meets look like will be worked out later this fall.

In other action, the board signed off on allowing NSAA assistant director for football, Nate Neuhaus, the latitude to permit eight-man football teams to schedule exhibition games against out-of-state teams to replace Nebraska games in which they’ve received a forfeit.

The forfeit and corresponding wild-card points will count on the winner’s record, but not the result of the exhibition game.

NSAA rules don’t allow for schedule changes after the season starts in sports that utilize a wild-card system. But Neuhaus said there are eight-man schools that could potentially be looking at three forfeits this season out of their eight regular-season games, and that there are Iowa eight-man teams looking for games that could help fill that void.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or rpowell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @ronpowell_ljs.

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Sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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