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Izzo: Time for North Dakota high school basketball to embrace the future and go to three classes

The NDHSAA will hear from a focus group Thursday about implementing three class basketball for the 2023-24 season.

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Kindred fans rush the court after the Kindred Vikings won the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball championship Saturday in Grand Forks. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service
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Thursday could determine the future of high school basketball in North Dakota.

A focus group that has been meeting for the last four months will present to the North Dakota High School Activities Association on a proposal for a third class of hoops in the state.

Since August that group has received nearly 75 percent approval from member schools that want to see a third class.

It will see the likes of Kindred, Central Cass, Thompson and Northern Class move out of Class B to a newly formed Class A.

NORTH DAKOTA THREE-CLASS BASKETBALL PROPOSAL
The NDHSAA will receive the three-class proposal early in November for potential approval in the 2023-24 season.
A focus group sent out latest proposal to administrators and athletic directors across the state Friday.

Big schools like West Fargo, West Fargo Sheyenne, Fargo Davies and Bismarck Century will be in Class 2A.

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The proposal also has private schools like Oak Grove, Minot Bishop Ryan and Shiloh Christian moving out of Class B into the newly formed Class A.

This idea is not new, but in my 16 years here, this is the best proposal that I've seen. The biggest difference from past proposals is that the small schools are on board.

Over the last six years, we have had three repeat champions at Class B. Hillsboro-Central Valley, Kindred and Four Winds-Minnewaukan have won multiple Class B titles. All of those schools would move up under this proposal.

It's time for North Dakota to think to the future. I know change is difficult for this state, but basketball participation numbers are dropping.

North Dakota led the way by bringing the shot clock to Class B.

It's time to lead again and move to three classes.

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Kindred's Jaiden Peraza hangs from the Four Winds-Minnewaukan basket during their North Dakota Class B Boys Basketball Tournament championship game Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Minot.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Opinion by Dom Izzo
Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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