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  IHSAA Board Meeting: F1 Rule Adjusted

The rule regarding F1 international students has been adjusted. Read that and more news and notes from the IHSAA board meeting.

By: Matt Harris
Published: 9/26/2018 12:04:09 PM
 
Defending 1AD2 boys basketball state champion Genesis Prep is one of the schools expected to be impacted by the F1 international transfer student rule change.

The state’s governing body has made changes to the way in which international students can participate in high school athletics in the state of Idaho.

The Idaho High School Activities Association approved, in an 8-4 vote, a motion to adjust the current rules regarding eligibility of F1 international transfer students. The new, modified rule states that any F1-designated students who desire to play high school sports will be required to play on the junior varsity level for their first year at their school but allow for them to begin play at the varsity level in their second year, including in all district and state tournament events. This change goes into effect immediately.

This modification reverses the previous decision made on Aug. 2, 2017 when the board implemented the F1 rule, dubbed by some as the ‘Genesis Prep’ rule, which limited international students to participation in regular season varsity contests only and barred those students from any action in district or state events. Genesis Prep won the 2016-17 state boys basketball title over Dietrich with a number of F1 students on their roster. Shortly thereafter, complaints regarding the Jaguars’ use of F1 students began to arise. Genesis Prep repeated as state champions in 2017-18.

The issue was the most discussed issue at the board meeting, which lasted over three hours. Administration from a few private schools made comments during the discussion to help clarify and continue the discussion, along with athletic directors from public schools.

Ty Jones, the executive director of the IHSAA, said during the meeting that they have had a good amount of dialogue and discussions with administration from private schools, such as Greenleaf Friends, Genesis Prep, Nampa Christian and others, to try to find the best solution and to understand each other more. Jones said that the private schools they visited with preferred the traditional transfer rules to the former F1 rule.

A main concern of the board stated during the discussion was preventing the recruiting of international athletes via F1 transfers. F1 students are, for the most part, able to choose the school of their choice when coming to the United States and normally remain here for more than one year. J1 students, who are one-year exchange students, normally do not have a choice of which school they attend.

As of now, the IHSAA says that Idaho does not have any limits on the number of F1 students that a school can have participating on varsity teams or programs. Age limits were also discussed, with Jones saying that no one who is over the age of 19 is allowed to start a sports season. 

During the course of the meeting, the suggestion of looking into creating a private school classification was brought up, citing the need to create or maintain a level playing field for all as much as possible. There was no action taken on the idea.


Milk Bowl Football at the Kibbie Dome in Jeopardy

Some challenges regarding the hosting of Milk Bowl state football championship games at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow has arisen.

Ty Jones announced at the IHSAA Board of Directors meeting that some conflicts in scheduling with the Kibbie Dome may force semifinal or championship football games outside of the dome.

Any games held on Nov. 9 or Nov. 16 at the Kibbie Dome would have to be played in the morning. According to Jones, the Kibbie Dome needs to be cleared by the afternoon on Nov. 9 so that the arena staff can prepare the dome for the Idaho Vandals’ matchup with Montana the following day. On Nov. 16, the venue will close in the afternoon so that staff and a production company can set up the arena for a concert that will be held the next day.

So what will the IHSAA do if there are multiple football matchups that are scheduled to be played at the Kibbie Dome those weekends? They will move them to area high schools or, if necessary, even Washington.

“Obviously our first choice is to hold these games in Idaho, preferably in a domed stadium or a field that has turf, such as Albertsons Stadium,” said Jones. “But if we have to, we will look at moving those games to area high schools. If that’s not suitable, we have talked about playing at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane or Eastern Washington University in Cheney.”

When asked about potentially playing at Washington State University’s Martin Stadium in Pullman, which is eight miles west of Moscow, Jones indicated that they could look at moving the games there if circumstances permit.

Another option that the IHSAA could go with is playing those games on a Thursday night. However, that idea will depend on when the previous week’s games are played. Any team that participates in a game on a Saturday is required to have five days in between games. This was the case last season when Shelley and Homedale played in the 3A state quarterfinals. Shelley had wanted to play their contest against Homedale at Holt Arena, but the only spot available for the Russets was on a Thursday. Since Homedale had played the Saturday prior, the earliest the game could be held was Friday, which was played in Shelley.

“Sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control and you just have to deal the best you can with what’s put in front of you,” he added.

Decisions on where state playoff games are made on a week-to-week basis depending on which teams are playing in each contest. However, the rotation for the Milk Bowl state championships are set. The rotations, which are based on regions and are determined by where each region played each other last in the title game, were voted on and accepted by the IHSAA board. The rotations for this year can be viewed here.


IHSAA Legends of the Game Announced For 2018-19 Season

The IHSAA board of directors announced the selection of this year’s basketball ‘Legends of the Game’. This honor, which has been presented since 2001, recognizes outstanding basketball teams in Idaho’s history. 

This year, the 1993 Centennial girls basketball team and the 1976 Teton boys basketball team were selected as the recipients as the 17th and 18th recipients of the award, respectively.

Nominees of this award are nominated and selected based on a variety of factors, such as win-loss records, outstanding player/coach accomplishments and state championship victories. 

The 1993 Centennial team will be honored during halftime of the 5A girls state championship game on Feb. 16, 2019, while the 1976 Teton team will receive their awards during halftime of the 5A boys title game on Mar. 2, 2019.


Soccer Roster Sizes Potentially Increasing

High school soccer teams could soon see their roster sizes increase by as many as four players.

The IHSAA Board of Directors discussed increasing roster sizes from 18 to as many as 22 players during their board meeting on Tuesday. 

Surveys that were sent out to athletic directors and coaches indicated that most were in favor of increasing the number of players allowed to dress for each game by at least two. 

In comparison to other sports, soccer has a lower number of substitutes available. In basketball, 15 players are allowed to dress for a game while only five are on the court at any given time. Volleyball allows 12 players to dress for a match while six are on the floor during the game. But in soccer, the team is maxed out at 18 players suited up for a contest while 11 are on the field.

The board did discuss potential increases in cost due to more players attending state tournament events if the roster size is increased. A motion was made to move this item from the discussion agenda to the action agenda for next board meeting on Dec. 4, with the board deciding to look into and research the idea more.


Mid-Season Dead Weeks Discussed

Prior to the fall sports season, coaches and administrators around the state observed ‘Dead Week’, which prohibits contact between coaches and students for athletic purposes. It’s meant as a way to give both sides a break to be able to spend time with families.

There could be more dead weeks coming in the future. The IHSAA discussed potentially adding more dead weeks to the calendar in coming years, giving students, coaches, administrators, and parents more breaks over the course of a season.

The dead week period that gained the most traction in the meeting was over the Winter/Christmas break. Highland athletic director Travis Bell stated in the meeting that the Fifth District already has a five-day moratorium for athletic activities over that break. Every school in the Fifth District requires their athletic teams to select five days over the break to not hold any practices, games, or matches. One of those days must include Christmas Day.

One concern that arose was holiday basketball tournaments and the impact a dead week would have on preparations for those tournaments. These events have become increasingly popular around the state in recent seasons. West Jefferson athletic director Dave Hadley stated in the meeting that most schedules for next basketball season are complete or nearly complete, meaning that this rule, should it be voted on and passed, would more than likely not be implemented until the 2020-21 season.

The board discussed issuing a dead week for spring sports, but issues were raised with the difference in spring break dates for schools all across the state. With each school district having spring break on different dates, it would make having a statewide dead week very difficult.


Other notes from the board meeting

-The IHSAA says that participation numbers are up, mainly due to the addition of swimming as an IHSAA sanctioned and sponsored sport. Ty Jones said that numbers overall are up between 1,000 and 1,500 students. Jones added that participation in 11-man football is down while numbers in 8-man football have increased. The board was concerned with a sharp decline in participation in wrestling, which has dropped by 300 to 400 kids. It was mentioned that girls participation in wrestling has nearly doubled.

-The board accepted a contract offer from Penn, a maker of tennis balls, as the official tennis ball of the IHSAA which will be used in state tournament events. The use of this ball will go into effect for the 2019 state tournaments.

-Julie Hammons, assistant director at the IHSAA, announced that the location of the 2A state softball tournament will be moving from Orofino to Moscow since Orofino will also be hosting the 2A state baseball tournament at the same time. After consulting with the state tournament committee, Moscow High School and athletic director Lance Abendroth stepped up and said they would be happy to host the softball tournament. The event will take place May 17-18.

-Background checks for officials was discussed. How to handle those background checks and who should front the cost for them was a main point in the discussion. Background checks cost $10 per official. Rules regarding which offenses would disqualify someone from officiating in Idaho was talked about at length. The board decided to discuss the issue further at their next meeting following more research and feedback from individual districts.



 


Fan Comments Sign In | Register
SawtoothFan
9/28/2018 3:52:46 PM
IHSAA Board Meeting: F1 Rule Adjusted
With private schools being allowed to play by a different set of rules than public schools, this is surely not about competitiveness or kids. What glory is there in winning a state championship when you play at a level of competition that is three or four levels higher than 1A D2? If you have to go out of state to find competition in a Christmas tournament playing against 5A schools, and that is your ONLY competition for the season that tells you something. Very disappointed in the IHSAA. They just threw small town kids under the bus. I especially feel for the kids in the North Star Conference that will NEVER have the opportunity to win a conference championship or play in a state tournament game with this ruling. Again, if you win your conference championship game by 48 points, where is the glory and accomplishment? With the exception of private schools, the basketball athletes of 1AD2 were sold out by the IHSAA. No, this has nothing to do with kids, control, nor competition.
SawtoothFan
10/9/2018 2:49:33 PM
@ Joel Brown
I agree completely. A good example of that is Lighthouse Volleyball in Twin Falls. I think that it is 7 or so straight years that they have been in the state championship game with talent from Twin, Jerome, Buhl, and other nearby communities. Last year they were joined by a private school from Idaho Falls, Watersprings who placed third. Butte County placed 2nd, but in reality should have been in 1A D1 with their 99.5 kids. I guess the state does not see the inequality in the rules or competition. There are public schools that were competitive in their conference but get blitzed by “recruits” from the private schools and sit at home when by rights they should be representing 1AD2 schools at state. These small rural programs have been replaced by urban “small schools” that can bring in students, er “recruits” from a large geographical area. Many of those “recruits” are from quality 4A and 5A programs. I guess I can’t blame the “recruits”. If I had the chance to go from a solid contributor on a big school team to an all-state performer at 1AD2 where you can blow people up and get some love in the paper then I probably would do it too. After all, it is all about the recruits, er kids, right? I can tell you that it certainly is NOT about the rural student athletes which is what 1AD2 sports used to support. For every private school in state competition, there is a public school sitting at home who had that opportunity taken away from them.







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