While the Nebraska School Activities Association postseason for basketball doesn’t officially kick off until Monday, new protocols for spectators along with sub-district pairings for classes B through D-2 have been issued today.
The NSAA announced this morning that capacity will be allowed to move to 75% for all postseason contests in basketball. While state measures have allowed for 75% capacity at indoor events for the past few weeks, the NSAA has continued with their 50% measure since the beginning of January.
“We were trying to get to this moment,” basketball director Jon Dolliver told nebpreps. “We have a board that gave us the opportunity to get to this point so our kids can compete for state championships. We are excited about this year’s championships.”
Limited spectators — mostly immediate family — were only allowed at December games with the 50% measure taking effect on January 6th. Additionally, the board approved a move to a five-day state tournament last month with 60 games being at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Additional changes to the postseason come in the form of sub-district hosting for classes C and D as the games will be played at host sites within the district as opposed to a neutral school as they have been in the past.
All member schools were given the opportunity to submit their school as a host their sub-district, with the host awarded to the highest seed that bid. This legislation was officially adopted for Class C moving forward and is now on the table for vote for Class D for future seasons.
“That decision really went back to health and safety of athletes and the schools involved,” Dolliver said. “The board felt that bringing in 4-5 schools with a neutral host brought in one more layer of risk for our member schools.”
District final games will continue under the same format with Class B schools hosting at the highest seed, while C and D will be played at neutral sites unless the competing teams are within 120 miles of each other. In those games, the high seed will host, or the two teams can agree to a neutral site.
Girls sub-districts will play Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of next week, with district finals on Friday, February 26. Girls district finals in Class B are next Saturday, February 20. Class A girls districts have flexibility to use the entire week of February 23rd for their games.
Boys seeding will be released next week for Classes B-D2 with a similar format followed. Sub-district play will be the week of February 22nd, with B district finals on Saturday and other classes having the option of a Saturday (February 27th) or Monday (March 1) option for their district final. Class A will play games on Friday, Saturday and Monday (February 26th – March 1).
Masks will still be required at all NSAA postseason events, whether a local mandate is in place or not.