Future Scheduling of High School Nationals

High School Nationals Date Change (Part 2)

If you haven’t heard by now, the original date of the 2015 High School Powerlifting Nationals has been changed to March 26-28, 2015.

Three days ago we outlined the process of that change. Read: High School Nationals Date Change (Part 1)

I’d like to take the opportunity to examine past, present, and future implications of this date change in a couple of states.

 

Louisiana’s High School Powerlifting Schedule

 

From Part 1 of our article,

During the Louisiana State meet held in West Monroe, LA (March 2014), I got a chance to speak to John Burford, head powerlifting coach of Covington High School. John was a great High School (Slidell) and Collegiate (LSU) powerlifter who is now an excellent coach and a future leader in this sport.
 
During our conversation he mentioned that he was looking at the USA Powerlifting website and noticed that the date of the 2015 High School Nationals was set for March 19-21. This was also the date that (he thought) was set for the 2015 Louisiana High School State Powerlifting Meet.
 
While the date was not officially on the LHSAA website (at that time), I set out to confirm that both contests were on the same weekend and to learn the process of date selection for future Louisiana Championships.
 
Boy, did I get an explanation!

 

I started by asking Duane Urbina (coach of Alexandria Senior High). This was news to him as well. If you know Coach Urbina, he is an intense guy who works fast. He and I started to look for the LHSAA and LHSPLA directors for confirmation on the 2015 date.

Let’s back up a moment. High school powerlifting in Louisiana is now “officially” recognized as a varsity sport sponsored by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA). This was accomplished by pioneers in Louisiana Powerlifting such as Steve Baronich and Dr. Billy Jack Talton (and MANY others). After a two-year piloting process during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, powerlifting was voted in as a sanctioned LHSAA sport in the summer of 2012. It has been operating under the auspices of the LHSAA for the past two years. Louisiana is only the 2nd state in the country (Mississippi) where high school powerlifting is a sanctioned sport sponsored by its state high school athletic association.

With the growth and opportunities (i.e. coaching stipend) from this historic move, comes oversight regarding the date and scheduling of the state championships.

It didn’t take long for the LHSAA directors to explain the process and to lay out a foundation for future schedules. They informed us that the LHSAA follows the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) calendar format.  Based on previously published schedules, this information looks accurate.  Link to NFHS Calendar http://www.nfhs.org/media/885653/calendar-brochure.pdf

Take a look (link to 2014-2015 LHSAA Schedulehttp://lhsaa.org/sports/season-dates/2014-2015). You can easily see the reasoning of the LHSAA to hold the Powerlifting Championships on the #37 week of the year. Powerlifting faces Soccer (Week #34) and Basketball (Week #35 & #36). Considering that the LHSAA considers Powerlifting a “Winter” sport, pushing the meet further back seems less likely as well.

 

Insert another wrinkle: The LHSAA also faces a logistical hurdle…Mardi Gras. Adjustments from the above NFHS calendar may occur based on the timing of Mardi Gras each year.  For example, hosting a major championship (basketball) during the last weekend of Mardi Gras is logistically impossible is most all cities in south Louisiana. For our readers who are not familiar with Mardi Gras – Explanation of Easter and Mardi Gras date fluctuation.

Future implications (2016 and beyond)

Louisiana’s pattern (and NFHS calendar) is that the Powerlifting meet is to be held on week #37. If you were to project these parameters into the future, what would you find? You would find another major conflict in 2016 (What? Two years in a row!). The decision about the location and weekend of the 2016 National Championships was to be made the next weekend at the next USAPL Teen/Junior Committee Meeting in Killeen (then forwarded to NGB for final approval).

Conflict with High School Nationals By-laws

Teen/Jr Committee Meeting minutes submitted at 2013 USAPL NGB meeting indicate that “The Teen/Junior Committee also voted unanimously to only accept bids for HS Nationals that fall on the last two weeks of March. The meet shall not fall on dates in April in the future”  Link: http://www.usapowerlifting.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2013TeenJuniorCommitteeMinutes.pdf  Given the history of this discussion and past conflicts with Easter, I too would have probably agreed with this vote at the time.

At the time of the 2014 Teen/Junior Committee meeting, the 2015-2016 calendar for LHSAA had not been publicly released.  However, based on their pattern (and NFHS calendar) of Powerlifting being held on the #37 week. The assumption was that the date of the LHSPLA/LHSAA state powerlifting meet would be March 18-19, 2016. The assumption that the LHSPLA/LHSAA would use week #37 was stronger when you added Easter to the equation. Easter is Sunday, March 27th, 2016 (Week #38).

This may be why it was decided to host 2016 High School Nationals on April 1-3, 2016 in Orlando.

Another Easter conflict will not be an issue until 2027 (13 years from now)
2017 – Easter April 16 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 24-26
2018 – Easter April 1 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 23-25
2019 – Easter April 21 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 22-24
2020 – Easter April 12 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 27-29
2021 – Easter April 4 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 26-28
2022 – Easter April 17 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 25-27
2023 – Easter April 9 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 24-26
2024 – Easter March 31 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 22-24
2025 – Easter April 20 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 28-30
2026 – Easter April 5 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 27-29
2027 – Easter March 28 – Week #38 in NFHS schedule is March 26-28 (CONFLICT)

I’m not implying that the above dates are the best dates for high school nationals, but they are a starting point for discussion about what is best for all states involved. As we look below at Texas scheduling, there are major conflicts with the boys state meet in Texas and the 4th weekend of March.

 

 

Good for Louisiana, but what about the other states?

How does moving the date of the 2015 High School Nationals affect other states such as Wisconsin, Texas, & Mississippi?

 

Wisconsin

The 2015 Wisconsin High School State Meet is set for March 13-14 in Necedah, this now allows two weeks rest for Wisconsin lifters. We saw this as a factor of having an additional week of rest at last years Nationals in Killeen.

 

Texas Girls

Official dates for the Texas Girls State meet held in Corpus Christi, TX have not been released (at the time of this article).

2012 State Meet was held March 16-17. (3rd weekend in March)
2013 State Meet was held March 15-16. (3rd weekend in March)
2014 State Meet was held March 14-15. (3rd weekend in March)

The Texas Girls High School State Championships have consistently been on the 3rd weekend in March.

If the pattern continues, could we guess the date of the state meet, or not? (the month starts on Sunday in 2015). The 3rd weekend of March dates are 20-21 (in Corpus Christi).

 

Texas Boys

Official dates for the Texas Boys State meet held in Abeline, TX have not been released (at the time of this article).

2012 State Meet was held March 23-24. (4th weekend in March)
2013 State Meet was held March 22-23. (4th weekend in March)
2014 State Meet was held March 21-22. (4th weekend in March)

The 4th weekend of March dates in 2015 is 27-28, this is the same date as high school nationals in Milwaukee.

2016 Texas Schedule?

 

Looking at the March 2016 calendar, there are only 4 weekends in the calendar.

1st Weekend – March 4-5
2nd Weekend – March 11-12
3rd Weekend – March 18-19
4th Weekend – March 25-26 (EASTER IS MARCH 27th)

 

Everyone could foresee the dates of the 2016 Texas State Meets moving up a weekend.

 

1st Weekend in 2016 – March 4-5
2nd Weekend in 2016 – March 11-12 – Potential Girls State Meet
3rd Weekend in 2016 – March 18-19 – Potential Boys State Meet
4th Weekend in 2016 – March 25-26 (EASTER IS MARCH 27th)

 

If it is inevitable (based on the March calendar always adjusting) in the future to move the dates up a weekend, why not start in 2015? I know its a stretch, but I had to try.

 

 

Mississippi

Traditionally, Mississippi’s season is longer and finishes later than other states. As an officially recognized sport by the MHSAA, they are considered a “Spring” sport. The Mississippi State meet is usually after High School Nationals in April.

According to the MHSPA 2014-2015 Calendar, these are the 2015 dates:

Regionals – February 9th
North & South State – March 7th
State Finals – April 18th

A glimmer of hope exists to see some Mississippi lifters, this comes from the three week gap before the state meet.

 

Conclusion

In my opinion this move definitely helps Louisiana, Wisconsin, Texas Girls, and potentially Mississippi.  This schedule change could back up closer to other sports and activities that create a new set of problems for a few individuals.  However, this has been a great move to include as many lifters from across the nation at this moment in the history of High School Powerlifting.

This article is only the opinion of PowerliftingHigh, these dates should be confirmed by visiting each state organizations website. We regard communication and correct data to be important. If you feel like any of these dates are not accurate, please let us know.
Links to State Websites and Calendars
Wisconsin –  http://www.liftwhspa.org/
Louisiana  – http://www.lhspla.org/
Texas Boys – http://thspa.us/
Texas Girls – http://www.thswpa.com/
Mississippi  – http://www.misshsaa.com/sports/powerlifting.aspx