Bass Fishing Could Join Sports Offerings at Londonderry High

School Superintendent Nathan Greenberg advised the school board that the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) will be holding a fishing tournament in May, in advance of adding the sport to its official roster next year.
“We have had inquiries from several parents and students that are interested in participating in the tournament,” Greenberg said at the Tuesday, April 16 meeting. Greenberg requested permission from the school board to allow two teams of two students, the maximum allowed, to participate in the tournament.“We have two parents that have volunteered their boats in accordance with the guidelines (from the NHIAA), and there will be no cost to the school district, as there is no entry fee, and the parents are providing boats and will captain their boats as well,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg said the parents will go through the volunteer screening that is applied to all persons who work with students. “We have some shirts that we can provide so the students will have some sort of uniform, per the tournament rules. So we’re recommending to the board to allow our fishermen to cast about for bass,” he said.
The tournament will be May 9.
“Next year would be the first year that the NHIAA would recognize bass fishing, and if there’s interest, then there would be a club and it would run for a couple of years, similar to what has happened with other activities in the past, and there may be somewhere down the road somebody who may propose a warrant article for bass fishing, Greenberg said.
He said that with interest expressed by the kids, no cost to the school district and the fact that fishing is a “really neat activity,” Greenberg said he saw no reason to say no. Board member John Robinson said he wasn’t sure why bass fishing should come to the board.
“We’re doing this in the interest of transparency. What we didn’t want is to come forward with a request for a club a year from now, and then come and say to you, ‘well, we had sent some kids to this tournament prior to NHIAA having accepted it as a sport’ next year,” Greenberg said.
Robinson said if the school board agrees to the proposal, he wondered whether the board was “kicking off the process that ultimately leads to the district needing to buy fishing boats.” School Board chairman Nancy Hendricks said the board should “worry about that when the time comes.”
“I think that if we are taking the first step along a path, we ought to at least have some idea where the path is leading,” Robinson responded. Greenberg said equipment would be purchased by the participants, just as hockey players buy their skates and the ski team buys skis.
“So we are taking the first steps on a path that we anticipate is going to lead to a club and then a team,” Robinson said. “I don’t know,” Greenberg answered Hendricks, however, said that for all they knew, “it could fizzle out next year.”
Greenberg said he thought it was important that the board could offer, at no cost, support for a variety of activities for kids. “There are a lot kids in town that actually do fish,” he said. “It’s a nice family activity and the NHIAA is going to be offering it next year and there are a number of places throughout our state where kids can go fishing. It’s what I would call a carryover sport like tennis or golf, one that is done after the high school and college career is over.” The school board voted unanimously to allow the students to enter the tournament.

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