CLAYTON, N.Y. -- Day 1 of the NYSPHSAA Central Committee meetings went longer than we're used to seeing. Soon, so too will hockey games.
Working more than half an hour past the scheduled conclusion on the first of two scheduled days of meetings, the committee checked numerous items off its to-do list. Adding six minutes to the length of hockey games beginning in the 2018-19 season was among the proposals approved by the governing body of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
Bringing the NYSPHSAA in line with the National Federation of State High School Associations, the Central Committee approved expanding each regulation period from 15 to 17 minutes, also adjusting the length of penalties. The current 90-second minor penalties will become two-minute infractions. Major penalties will increase to five minutes and misconducts will be 10-minute penalties.
Conforming to the National Federation rules will allow New York to vie for a seat on the NFHS rules committee in the sport. More significantly, it will -- in theory, anyway -- make teams more reluctant to risk taking minor penalties since killing the final 30 seconds of a shorthanded situation is arguably as tough as killing the first 90 for a team with average depth (or less).
A pitch from the hockey committee to go to the so-called "2+2" officiating system of two referees and two linesmen on a statewide basis was rejected in the face of concerns that it's not in use in any section thus far.
The Central Committee has a history of expressing reservations along those lines when it comes to rules changes. On the other hand, they passed a request from the boys volleyball committee to shorten the fifth set in varsity matches to the first team to 15 points from the current first to 25. Section 6 successfully experimented with that NCAA innovation last season.
Tournament venues approved: Albany's Capital Center (boys volleyball), Ithaca College (girls swimming) and Cold Spring Harbor High School (girls gymnastics) all got the final round of approval for three-year contracts to host state championships beginning in 2018. Their respective sport committees, the NYSPHSAA office staff and the Championship Advisory Committee had already given their approval to all three.
One of the more interesting tidbits to come out of Tuesday's meeting was a mention by Executive Director Robert Zayas that the NYSPHSAA bidding process, which has resulted in more proposals to host, saved the association $100,000 in the most recent school year. Zayas said executives of other state high school associations have begun reaching out to him to learn more about New York's process, which begins with prospective hosts filling out a lengthy application.
New football cutoffs: The football committee's proposed new classifications for the 2018 season were approved:
|Class ||Current cutoffs ||2018 cutoffs || Percent |
|Class AA || 930-over || 1025-over || 14.90% |
|Class A || 570-929 || 585-1024 || 22.83% |
|Class B || 365-569 || 355-584 || 22.83% |
|Class C || 240-364 || 230-354 || 23.07% |
|Class D || 239-under || 229-under || 16.34% |
Steve Grandin of the New York State Sportswriters Association churned out a partial list of schools that would be affected if those numbers took effect this fall instead. Most notable is that the 2016 state Class AA tourney finalists at the Carrier Dome -- Troy and Victor -- would both slip down to Class A.
Also moving down to Class A under the new set of numbers would be these teams from sections that participate in the state tournament: Pittsford, Spring Valley, Clarkstown North, Horseheads, Gates Chili, Warwick/Seward, Horace Greeley, Minisink Valley, Webster Thomas, Williamsville North, Columbia, Churchville-Chili, Auburn, Central Square, Ballston Spa and Niagara-Wheatfield.
And these Class D teams would be pushed up to Class C:
Greenwich, Mount Markham, Frankfort-Schuyler, Canajoharie/Fort Plain, Granville, Millbrook, Sidney, Canisteo-Greenwood and Tioga.
More Tuesday developments: I was surprised at the amount of resistance in the room to allowing transfer students the ability to practice while serving their ineligibility period. That proposal ended up being shot down by a 30-15 margin even though 36 other states allow it.
Baseball also got pushback on an initiative that's still only in the discussion stages. That sport's sectional coordinators were hoping for buy-in on a package deal -- increasing the regular-season schedule to a maximum of 22 games and instituting a 10-run mercy rule.
As I suspected, the Central Committee strongly suggested breaking the two pieces apart, which pretty much would doom hopes for adding two games to the schedule.
• The new pay scale for officials working state championship events the next three school years was approved.