New classification system likely for football in 2018 using enrollment cutoffs

LINCOLN — Pending a bylaw change expected to pass easily at Friday’s NSAA Representative Assembly, the Nebraska School Activities Association will go to enrollment cutoffs to classify football teams beginning in 2018.

The NSAA board on Thursday approved the changes to the classification system that came from a statewide study committee.

Class A will be for schools with a three-grade, boys-only enrollment of 425 or more. It likely will increase from 28 to 31 the number of teams in the state’s largest-school class.

Class B will be for enrollments between 160 and 424 — expected to shrink that class from 32 teams to 25.

Class C-1 will have an enrollment range of 70 to 159, with Class C-2 for all other schools playing 11-man football.

The two classes of eight-man football will divide evenly schools eligible for the playoffs. In 2016, 11 eight-man schools were above the enrollment cutoff.

Under the new system, playoff eligibility enrollment limits will be 47 boys for eight-man and 27 for six-man. The NSAA will resume sanctioning of the six-man playoffs in 2018.

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