Often acrimonious, last Tuesday's Idaho High School Activities Association board of directors meeting in Boise had a hot topic in the split of Idaho's 1A small schools into Division 1 and Division 2 for basketball and volleyball competition starting in fall 2008.
The meeting had its contentious points, 1A athletic directors Lee Cook of Carey and John Remington of The Community School confirmed.
But it's looking more and more like the IHSAA board will approve the split at its January meeting and give the 1A schools two eight-team state tournaments—Division 1 and Division 2—like the small schools have conducted in eight-man football since 2004.
Four Boise-area Third District schools didn't like the way the IHSAA did a survey of 1A school superintendents to get a reading on the positive and negative impacts of the split.
The schools, Salmon River of Riggins (63 students), Garden Valley (79), Meadows Valley (69) and Greenleaf Friends (98) had filed requests to petition up from Division 2 (99-and-under student enrollment for grades 9-12 during 2008-10) to 1A Division 1 (100-159 students).
Brad Neuendorf of Salmon River High School said his school will incur more travel expenses, time out of school and difficulty in scheduling with the approved 2008-10 classifications, the IHSAA reported in its Dec. 4 meeting synopsis.
Carey athletic director Cook said the four schools, despite their smaller size compared to Division 1 football programs like Cascade and Council, petitioned up to keep the existing Long Pin/Western Idaho Conferencees intact and viable.
For its part, Carey and other Division 2 schools wanted Salmon River, Garden Valley, Meadows Valley and Greenleaf to remain Division 2 and keep the smaller conferences viable for state tournament purposes.
The petition-up request of Salmon River, Garden Valley, Meadows Valley and Greenleaf Friends died for a lack of motion at last Tuesday's meeting.
Dead silence greeted the request for a motion, Cook said.
The IHSAA board appeased the four schools by deciding to survey 1A superintendents for a more accurate and documented vote on the 1A Division 1 and 2 split for 2008-10. Those results will be presented at the January ISHAA board meeting.
In other business, the IHSAA board approved the request of Sun Valley's The Community School to remain in the 1A Division 2 ranks for the 2008-10 classification cycle.
Meanwhile, 2008 state volleyball brackets have been published by the IHSAA using the Division 1 and 2 state format. And the new nine-school Sawtooth Conference of Division 2 schools has nearly completed its scheduling for next season.
The Sawtooth Conference will include Carey, The Community School, Camas County of Fairfield, Dietrich, Richfield, Bliss, ISDB of Gooding, Magic Valley Christian and Murtaugh, Carey's Cook explained.
Shoshone, formerly a Northside Conference school, will join the 1A Division 1 ranks starting in the fall of 2008.
The two eight-team boys' and girls' basketball and volleyball tournaments over three days will replace the current four-day, 16-team 1A state tourneys during the IHSAA's 2008-10 classification cycle.