DICKINSON, N.D. - This week, the North Dakota High School Activities Association put out its preliminary divisions for the 2021 football season. They're changing the names to 11-AA, 11-A, 11-B and 9-B.
Dickinson High is one of the schools with options. The Midgets could opt down if they want to.
"We really hadn't had an opportunity to look to deep into the plan and see where we want to be and how we want to move forward from here, that's something where my football coach and myself will get together and look deep and see where we want to go from here," said Guy Fridley, Dickinson High athletic director.
If the Midgets or anyone else in the same position decide to the opt-down option, the proposal includes a success factor.
"If we opt down or teams opt down and we're successful, we're required to move back up. They have a system where if say you're eliminated in the quarterfinals, it's one point. If you're eliminated in the semi-finals is two points. If you're if you're a runner-up it's three points. If you're a state champion it's four points and at a certain level on those points if it's four, five, six, seven or eight you have to look at moving back up, so that's where I think that competitive balance really comes into key with that," Fridley said.
In order to opt-down, teams must be within 25% of the median boys enrollment between divisions and not have qualified for the playoffs more than once in the previous four years.
Schools have until September 18 to make a decision.
The kids might be home from school's but the teachers and administrators are a busy as ever and in a lot of cases their work load has gone up.
"It's a different busy, Lee, and it's a different busy that I don't like. I don't like being busy looking at different options in what we can do in the year and looking at options on realistically at when and how we can refund student athlete's for their spring sports and we have roughly 500 athletes in our spring activities that we need to find an efficient way refund them if it does come to the point that high school activities does cancel the season," Fridley said.
That's not a small amount. The student-athlete fee is $65.
Fridley emphasized public health with the COVID-19 pandemic is the top priority in the world and the state but he also said sports on all levels brings a lot of excitement to people.
"Once it comes back, we're never going to take coaches, those 6 a.m. practices if it happens to be or anything for granted. We'll take a new look at how appreciative we are of things that we don't have right now and I've said it before you don't fully understand how much you lover sports until you don't have it," Fridley said.
All NDHSAA spring sports and winter tournaments that did not get finished are suspended indefinitely.