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NSAA will use instant replay this year

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LINCOLN — Instant replay will become part of Nebraska high school football this year.

Nate Neuhaus, the NSAA Director in charge of football, told media representatives here Friday that the NSAA would use instant replay in all five of the Nebraska High School football championship games played at Memorial Stadium in 2019. 

The D6 state championship game in Kearney will not be using instant replay, however, he said.

“As we get more comfortable with it we can think about bringing it to Kearney. This is an experiment, though, so  first things first,” he said.

Neuhaus said the officials are all in favor of instant replay.

“There is nobody on the field that wants to get it right more than the officials,” he said.

Memorial Stadium already uses instant replay, so utilizing it on the high school level shouldn’t be too difficult, Neuhaus said.

In developing the plan to create instant replay, NSAA officials met with NCAA officials and other states that are trying this to get ideas on how to use the system efficiently and effectively.

Neuhaus also said work on classifications and setting up the new two-year football scheduling cycle will begin in earnest in November.

Schools are required to submit sports co-op applications by Nov. 1, he said. Schools must also declare what division they will play in by Nov. 1.

Scheduling can then begin once these applications are ruled on by the NSAA Board.

“Each year we seem to have new co-ops with teams going together,” he said. That can result in quite a few schedule changes as schools move up or down in classification.

A school’s decision as to which classification to compete in is also an important one, he said.

“Schools have to sit down and talk to parents, students, coaches and community members about this,” he said. “Often times, they hold on a little too long and some schools should move down to six-man football when they are playing eight-man football.”

Neuhaus said about four or five schools choose to opt down a class each year. A school that decides to play down a class is not eligible for post season, though, he said.

NSAA officials also announced Friday the group is creating a multi activity student award to reward schools that have a high participation level in NSAA activities. Awards will be handed out next May to schools in four different enrollment classifications.

Also Friday, NSAA Media Director Jeff Sauss said the deadline for all new legislative proposals for the NSAA Board to consider has been moved to Oct. 1 this year.

He expects to see another proposal to sanction high school bowling this year. The issue was brought before the NSAA last year and gained quite a bit of support, but ultimately it was turned down. 

Sauss said he has heard a new proposal will be submitted this year addressing some of the concerns brought up last year.