The Oregon School Activities Association is closer to getting it right.

The OSAA Football Ad Hoc Committee last week dropped its support of adding nine-man football to the mix for 2A and 1A schools in Oregon.

The problem wasn’t so much the potential addition of nine-man football, but that the proposal would do away with 11-man football for 2A schools and eight-man football at the 1A ranks. Instead, there were going to be two divisions of nine-man football.

Schools didn’t like that, and it appears the committee listened. According to a report in The Oregonian, there was 95% support of keeping eight-man football in the fray among surveyed 1A athletic directors.

It may seem insignificant to add one more player to the field (or, for the bigger small schools, to remove two players) but for many small schools in the state, including in Eastern Oregon, eight-man is a way of life. For a lot of these schools, it is all they know, and it is where their heritage lies.

That the committee was quick to listen to the coaches who wanted to maintain an eight-man rank shows that voices matter, that speaking up can have an impact.

While we want to give the ad hoc committee kudos for listening, there is one more considered alteration that needs to be dropped for the entity to gain our full applause.

And that is the concept being looked at of making schools who play down a classification ineligible for the postseason.

Many schools who play down do so because of a lack of success at the classification they should be slated for, and part of that is due to a lack of players on their teams. Player safety is also a consideration.

Enterprise has been a prime example of this. It’s no secret the Outlaws have struggled on the gridiron for several years now, especially when they are playing 11-man football. The last few years, they have dropped down to the eight-man ranks, and that is serving the purpose of getting the program built back to where it needs to be. And as a result, the team is having more success. Getting wins goes a long way to getting players out the next season — and the year after. It helps younger athletes who aren’t ready to mix it up with their older, stronger teammates get trained up so they can handle the next level.

Punishing schools for trying to do this — which is what the postseason ineligibility would do — defeats the purpose, and takes away from the reality that high school athletics should be about the kids.

It should be a no-brainer for the Ad Hoc Committee: drop the ineligibility clause from consideration.

Then the group will, indeed, be getting it right.

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