Varsity Extra: Changes on the way for conference alignment

The Idaho High School Activities Association approved classification changes based on projected enrollment figures Tuesday at its board meeting in Pocatello.

The most notable changes in District Three occur in the 5A and 4A SIC beginning in 2014-15.

Columbia and Nampa move up to the 5A classification with enrollment figures projected to surpass the 1,279-student limit for 4A status. Kuna’s petition to stay at the 4A level was approved.

Meanwhile, Emmett’s projected enrollment figures make the Huskies eligible for 3A status beginning next school year.

That means there will be 12 schools in the 5A SIC and six in the 4A SIC.

District Three officials haven’t finalized plans for 2014-15, but are considering a pod system for 5A SIC sports such as football. Each sport will be evaluated individually to determine the best plan for conference competition, Meridian School District Athletic Director Scott Stewart said. Boise School District Athletic Director Matt Kobe added officials are working to develop a system that will preserve traditional rivalries.

At the 1A level, petitions by Greenleaf and Rimrock to remain 1A Division I schools were approved, while enrollment figures for Horseshoe Bend mean the Mustangs move up to 1A Division I.

Here are a few more notable items from Tuesday’s board meeting:

– IHSAA Executive Director John Billetz plans to retire at the end of this school year after eight seasons at the helm. The position opens to applicants Wednesday and closes Nov. 1. The IHSAA will narrow the field to a select group of finalists at its December meeting and expects to name Billetz’s successor in January. That person will take over the reins July 1.

– It is now mandatory that schools complete and submit the IHSAA concussion survey after each sports season, starting with the 2013-14 school year.

– IHSAA Rule 11-3 regarding transgender student participation was approved. The IHSAA said Idaho was one of about 15 states that did not yet have a transgender participation policy. To read the complete rule, visit idhsaa.org.

Our Varsity Extra blog covers all things high school in the Treasure Valley. Get breaking news updates on our Varsity Extra pages on Facebook and Twitter (IDS_VarsityX).

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