There will be high school football in Nevada this fall, but it will look a little different than it has in recent seasons.
At an emergency meeting on Thursday, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Board of Control approved a plan to separate the large-school 5A Class into three separate division, 5A I, 5A II and 5A III for football.
The new classes separate the top seven schools in the Las Vegas area, based on rubric points earned over the past two seasons, into their own class, the 5A I.
One team in each of the three 5A divisions could move up or down, after the season, depending on how they finish.
There will be eight teams in the North 3A.
The 5A II North will match up with the 5A II South in the state football playoffs and the 5A III North will match up with 5A III South.
In football, the 5A II North would include: Bishop Manogue, McQueen, Spanish Springs, Reed, Damonte Ranch and Reno.
All six teams would make the playoffs with the top two seeds getting a first-round bye.
The 5A III – North would include: North Valleys, Carson, Wooster, Galena, Hug and Douglas.
The eight-team Class 3A – North would match up with South 3A for the state title game. All eight teams in the 3A North would qualify for the playoffs.
The 3A North would include: Fallon, Elko, Fernley, Lowry, South Tahoe, Spring Creek, Sparks and Truckee.
The 5A I South, which is only Las Vegas-area schools, would include: Bishop Gorman, Liberty, Silverado, Arbor View, Shadow Ridge Desert Pines and Coronado.
The 4A is also only Las Vegas-area schools.
There was some discussion at Thursday’s meeting about having too many state champions. This new plan creates seven state champions. There are 105 schools that play football in Nevada, which means a state champion for every 14 teams, watering down the prestige of winning a title.
The NIAA is also still trying to work out playing the state championship games at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It will be impossible to play seven state championship games there in one day.
NIAA executive director Donnie Nelson said discussion are ongoing with the Las Vegas Raiders about using the stadium for the high school state championships, but that no time frame is established yet.
The other fall sports — volleyball, cross country, girls golf, soccer and tennis — already have been realigned. There will not be three different 5A divisions for those fall sports as schools in Northern Nevada will mostly play in their traditional leagues, the leagues they have been in during recent seasons.
The changes come in the state tournament, where the North large-class schools will face the South 4A in tennis and girls soccer.
The other North 5A sports — volleyball, cross country and boys soccer — will play the South 5A at state.
The winter sports, basketball, wrestling will be discussed and possibly realigned at the March 7 meeting. Southern Nevada also bowling and girls flag football.