NDHSAA to vote on switching Class B golf seasons
FARGO -- Class B golf could soon be switching seasons. The North Dakota High School Activities Association will likely vote on a proposal to move Class B boys and girls golf from the spring to the fall at its next board meeting, which is schedule...
FARGO -- Class B golf could soon be switching seasons.
The North Dakota High School Activities Association will likely vote on a proposal to move Class B boys and girls golf from the spring to the fall at its next board meeting, which is scheduled for June 21-22 in Valley City.
"I can see weather-wise that it could be better," said former Hillsboro golf coach Chris Eckart, who was recently hired as the school's principal. "I think it will eventually happen. But for our situation at our school it's not going to be the most productive thing."
Eckart said many smaller Class B schools are worried that golf programs will lose several participants if the season is moved.
Golf competes with baseball, track and field and softball during the spring.
The golf season would compete with football, volleyball and cross country in the fall.
Students are allowed to participate in two sports at one time, but Eckart said it would be tough to ask athletes to play back-to-back days.
The majority of the Burros 15 boys and 10 girls golfers also played football and volleyball, respectively, Eckart said.
"Our kids would struggle having a golf meet on a Saturday after playing a football game on Friday," Eckart said. "For a girl, they usually have volleyball tournaments on Saturday.
"It would hurt our numbers (to move to the fall)."
Stanley golf coach Gary Schell said he is against a switch because it forces many Class B students to play two sports or choose between two sports.
Schell said he polled each team at this year's Region 6 boys meet about moving the season to the fall. He said 11 of 64 golfers said they are in favor of fall golf.
"My biggest question is: Are we putting the athlete first?" Schell said. "I just really don't see the equity. If they are going to move the girls or the boys to the fall, either way I think there is going to be a drastic reduction in numbers."
The biggest reason to move to the fall would be to take advantage of better course conditions, Kindred coach Perry Piatz said. Players would come into the season at the top of their game after playing during the summer.
The season could begin in early August, and several tournaments could be played before the start of the school year.
"You can play more than one sport," Piatz said. "It's hard, I'll be the first to admit it. It's a lot of work for the kids and a lot of time for the kids. For the smaller schools, it might be a bigger issue. ... I'm in favor of moving to the fall."
Central Cass coach Gregg Robbins said there are more positives than negatives to switching seasons. The biggest reason to change is to keep students from missing classes, Robbins said.
"Let's try it," he said. "Let's take a season and just see how it goes. Let's do an experimental season."
This is the second attempt in six months to make the switch for Class B golf. The NDHSAA District Chairs initially recommended that Class B boys and girls golf be moved to the fall at their Nov. 20, 2009 meeting.
An advisory committee voted 10-5 in favor of forwarding the recommendation to the board for a vote. However, the NDHSAA board voted 5-4 against the proposal in March.
The issue was approved again by the District Chairs 9-6 at their March 19 meeting in Minot.
North Dakota Class A girls golf is played in the fall. The Class A boys golf plays in the spring.
"We've been really successful in golf and volleyball because we haven't had to make that choice," Eckart said. "It's easier to make the choice between track, softball and golf."
Hotzler is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.