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NIAA to re-evaluate rule allowing appeals of forfeits

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has decided to take a closer look at contribution to victory.

The association’s board of control voted Wednesday to have staff write a proposal and survey member schools to possibly strike the ability for teams that use an ineligible player to appeal any forfeits.

Class 2A Southern League president Bill Darrow asked the board to consider striking a rule from the Nevada Administrative Code that allows a school that forfeits a game to appeal the ruling based on whether or not the ineligible player contributed to the team’s win.

Darrow, the athletic director at Needles High School, brought the rule to the board’s attention after Calvary Chapel’s girls basketball team was forced to forfeit 11 games because of the use of an ineligible player. Calvary Chapel appealed and had six of its wins restored after “establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the school would have won the game(s) … without the participation” of the ineligible athlete.

It allowed Calvary, which originally finished second in the league but was moved to eighth place, to still make the Southern League playoffs as the No. 4 seed. The Lions beat top-seeded Needles in the semifinals to earn a spot in the state tournament.

“Class 2A is asking why is that regulation in there,” Darrow said. “The consequence should be the consequence.”

Many of the board’s voting members and liaisons seemed to support getting rid of the clause allowing a forfeiting team to appeal.

“If someone ineligible plays, you shouldn’t get to win,” board member Angela Taylor said.

Said Lake Mead athletic administrator Jeff Newton: “I think it’s a poorly written rule.”

In the end, the board settled on having staff survey schools and report back in the June meeting with a possible change to the rule.

Founders Academy gains membership

Founders Academy, a Las Vegas charter school, was granted associate membership at the meeting.

The school currently has 129 students in its high school grades and is fielding teams in cross country, girls volleyball, boys and girls basketball and has 13 track athletes.

Founders’ two-year associate membership begins in next school year. The school will be an associate member for at least two years before applying for full membership.

Founders will not be eligible for postseason competition during its associate membership.

Laughlin football gains independent status

Laughlin’s football team was granted independent status and will compete next season as an 8-man team.

The Cougars, who had been competing in the Class 2A Southern League, played 8-man games last season, their most successful in years.

“We’ve won 12 games in the last five years, five were this last fall,” Laughlin athletic director Tony Petrik said. “We do not have a strong football program at our school. A majority of our kids are just learning how to play the game.

“We know we’re not going to be competitive. We want to have a program for our kids so they can have something to participate in.”

The Meadows previously was granted independent status. The Class 2A Southern League probably will have only four football-playing schools in the fall: Calvary Chapel, Lake Mead, Lincoln County and Needles.

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