Several years ago the NIAA moved several large Las Vegas schools down to 3A meaning they would compete against much smaller schools such as Lowry for state championships. Spring Valley, a school located in Vegas, has an enrollment of 1,887 students and was moved to 3A last year while Lowry’s enrollment is only at 960 students, other northern schools in 3A are even smaller such as Dayton that only has a total enrollment of 697 students. This statistic may shock many as to why Spring Valley along with many other large Vegas schools such as Sunrise Mountain and Desert Pines would be competing at the same level as such small schools like Lowry. The NIAA realized this is a problem and created a possible solution of creating the 5A classification and if passed will go into effect in the 2018-19 school year. This would move all 4A schools to 5A while moving southern 3A schools to 4A. The northern 3A schools would remain at 3A.
Previously schools were moved around from 4A to 3A based on poor performance in their division but with the new proposal switching divisions will be solely based on school population.
One of the great takeaways for the north with this proposal would be the state tournaments. Instead of state tournaments being held once every three years in the north, they would be held every other year in the north and although this is already true for several sports it would now be the same for every sport. State tournaments in the south would also now allow two northern teams to compete in the state tournament while before certain sports were only allowed to take one team. To move to 5A a school must have a total enrollment of 1,301 or more students. That would currently move 16 teams from the South to 5A and 12 from the North. This would allow 14 3A schools from the South to now move up to 4A.
If this proposal is to go through it could be a great chance for the smaller schools in the north. This will give Lowry along with the rest of the Northern 3A teams a far better chance at winning a state title.
The NIAA board will not take anymore action towards the proposal until their next meeting in April.