Each fall the CIAC staff convenes for one of eight regional meetings across the country with its state association peers from New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The NFHS Section 1 meeting took place in Massachusetts over two days in early October and the meetings covered a variety of topics. The meetings are an opportunity for state association staffs to discuss and collaborate on challenges, successes, and issues that each association is tackling. Similarly the meeting allows the states to hear from NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) leaders to present issues that are on the minds of the national office and what the states have to say on the topics.
Among the primary topics of discussion was the NFHS Network and continued efforts to try and grow viewership while also facing the need to reduce production cost. Associations and the Network are looking to see an increase in school broadcast programs, which the company believes will play a large part in the Network moving forward, but many of the Section 1 states have struggled to get schools to sign on to the SBP. Many attendees suggested there needs to be a focus from the Network on how the SBP fits within academic requirements of districts in an effort to help schools see the benefits of the program.
There was also a wide-ranging discussion on growth and/or decline trends in the participation, interest, and attendance at school-based athletic events, and what could be done to better explain the mission and appeal of education-based athletics. The group agreed there needs to be an effort moving forward to express a succinct message concerning the benefits of school-based athletics and arts programs and to find ways to share that message to a wide-range of constituents.
Other topics covered in the meeting included:
- Policies regarding foreign students staying more than one school year in the US.
- Drone use at athletic events
- Creating emergency action plans
- Championship participant gifts
- Home schooled legislation/eligibility
- Middle school athletic recruitment
- Developing online/electronic transfer/waiver forms
- Student leadership events
If CIAC membership has thoughts on any of these topics, please feel free to contact the office and discuss those issues.