Latest plan thankfully shot downThere are 78 people in the state of North Dakota I love today. Seventy-eight of the 133 voting members of the North Dakota High School Activities Association voted down the proposed vote to create a third class in high school basketball and volleyball on Monday. This is now the fifth consecutive time the three-class idea has been voted down.
By: Kalen Ost, The Jamestown Sun
There are 78 people in the state of North Dakota I love today.
Seventy-eight of the 133 voting members of the North Dakota High School Activities Association voted down the proposed vote to create a third class in high school basketball and volleyball on Monday. This is now the fifth consecutive time the three-class idea has been voted down.
As sincerely as I can come across with the written word, to you 78 that voted against the third class, I thank you. And the general public, casual fans from across the state as well the hardcore sports junkies, they thank you, too.
You have kept the integrity of small-school sports alive and well. You have made sure reaching a state tournament in Class B Basketball is one of the loftier goals a school can set. When you are at that state basketball tournament this spring, look around at all the people in attendance. Know that you have made sure those tournaments are still the true gems of the North Dakota sports world.
You glorious 78 have made sure that as long as I’m covering Class B sports for the Jamestown Sun, those teams in our coverage area will get to talk to me after games (I suppose there are blessings and curses for every action or reactions) instead of talking to someone who hasn’t followed their team throughout the season. You have made sure I will only be covering a total of 12 districts split evenly between boys’ and girls’ basketball. My wife probably thanks you more than I do there — she doesn’t see me much in the winter the way things are now.
You, my favorite 78, were not shanghaied into believing North Dakota could competitively support three classes. You have seen districts such as District 6 dwindle to just six teams, when they were double-digit in numbers just four or five years ago. You were not buffaloed into believing the rest of the state should suffer because Valley City High School is tired of playing Fargo South (are there any schools in North Dakota that aren’t tired of playing Fargo South?). Let them move to Class B and compete. But don’t arrange an entire state around one school, NDHSAA, even if that one school is in the state office’s back yard.
You, setenta y ocho de muerte, still saw redeeming factors and the accomplishment that go into making a state tournament. In order to call yourself a state champion, you believed you don’t have to be better than just 10 or 15 other teams in the state. You believe the term state champion should not be an ambiguous term. You’ve seen in other sports, football for example, where an extra class does little but water down the competition. Talent is talent and it will always exist. And there will always be those without that complain they need an easier way to succeed. You, 78, said too bad.
The last time this three-class madness was voted down, 2004 apparently, it took four years to be voted down again. Yet along the way there was a series of smaller votes that illuminated an apparent need for further discussion on this. Every time the vote was proposed, there was a majority of people saying another vote would be a waste of time.
They were ignored.
Every time a question was raised for how this would serve everyone, that question went unanswered.
I can only hope this is the final time this class discussion is brought up. This issue is dead and has been one that is dead for five rounds of voting now.
But I don’t believe it will be. History has taught me that. History has taught me to be very suspicious when the new school year starts because this debate likely won’t be completed. And if it would ever be voted through, I’m sure there wouldn’t be five rounds of voting used to ensure the correct vote was made.
But more recent history has given me hope that every time it comes up, there will be more of my favorite 78 to keep the ship pointed in the right direction.
Sun sports writer Kalen Ost can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. His blog is at www.areavoices.com/iost