IHSAA addresses background checks for officials, school enrollment

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Twin Falls represented one of five stops on the Media Day tour, presented by the Idaho High School Activities Association.

Mike Federico, the assistant director for the IHSAA met with KMVT and the Times News at Canyon Ridge High School.

Federico spent many years at Twin Falls High School and has a good pulse for the happenings in District IV.

We discussed a variety of topics, including new rules and regulations for the upcoming school year.

One of those rules is that all officials must pass a criminal background check conducted by the association upon registering and every odd-number year of continued service.

They cannot have been convicted of a felony involving the use, possession or sale of a controlled substance within the last 10 years.

Nor been convicted of a felony regarding the use or threatened use of violence against a person in the past 10 years as well.

Anyone that's been convicted of a crime involving a minor child need not apply, no matter when it occurred.

"We didn't want to have a game where an official that shouldn't been out there is out there and we have to react to it," Federico explained. "We're going to try and get ahead of that as much as possible. It does come as a cost to an official, they'll pay an extra five dollars a year for the registration. However, we felt it was important enough for the safety of our kids."

The rule states that during an investigation, officials will be suspended.

On Monday, we asked on Facebook what sort of questions or concerns you have surrounding high school athletics. Putting you first, we addressed these with Federico.

Jaimie is concerned about parent behavior and accountability. Well Jaimie, as of this past school year, parents and fans who are removed from games must watch a video provided by the NHFS, involving sportsmanship. They will then print out the certificate of completion and bring it back to the school before attending another activity. And anyone who is tossed is suspended for at least a game.

Kody would like to see e-sports in high school. According to Federico, none of Idaho's schools have approached the organization about e-sports leagues. But he does recognize the popularity of it at Boise State and across the nation.

Lynn is not pleased about schools potentially changing their mascots. Federico says the IHSAA has nothing to do with that.

Senator Football wanted us to address reclassification plans with the state because of the changing dynamic of school enrollment. And with that question, here's Federico again.

"Our model is based in no one would play anyone twice their size. If you look at the numbers, they're all based in if you're 640, the next number is 1280 for 4A, the next number from 640 is 320." He added, "so that model was presented about 20 years ago and the philosophy behind it was you'd never play a school twice your size."

But Federico says the diversity of Idaho is "knocking on that door".

Looking ahead to the 2020-2022 general classification and alignment numbers, five local schools are expected to move up, unless they petition and win.

Canyon Ridge is on the verge of going to the 5A ranks. Sun Valley Community School and Valley would bump up to the 2A status. Castleford and Murtaugh would move up to the 1A DI ranks, while Magic Valley Alternative School would drop down to 1A DI.

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