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WIAA Board of Control approves additional coaching contact and other accommodations

09/18/2020, 4:00pm CDT
By WIAA

From the WIAA -- 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved several modifications of the membership’s rules and tournament procedures, as well as the revised sites and hosts of three fall State Tournament sites in addressing the ongoing challenges of navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic at its September meeting today.

If conditions allow for culminating events or State Tournaments to continue, the Board voted in support of conducting the State Girls Golf Championships at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.; the State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships at Waukesha South High School; the Division 1 State Girls Team and Individual Tennis Tournaments at the Lake Geneva Tennis Club in Lake Geneva, Wis., and the Division 2 State Girls Team and Individual Tennis Tournaments at the Sports Core in Kohler, Wis.

The Board suspended a pair of tournament procedure regulations for 2020-21 only.  The number of teams prescribed for tournament assignments and divisional placements was removed with flexibility given to the Executive Staff to determine the structure of the tournaments. In addition, the team or individual most recently defeated in the Tournament Series will be afforded the opportunity to advance if defeated by a team or individual unable to advance because of COVID-19 related circumstances.

The Board also approved a number of other pandemic-associated rule alterations for this school year only. It grants coaches additional unrestricted out-of-season contact during the school year and prior to the start of their respective season. A one week no-contact period immediately before the start of the season remains unchanged. The additional coaching contact is limited to a school’s own student-athletes, and it may not involve students or teams from outside the school. Coaches of teams in the alternate fall sports seasons and the spring sports seasons are now allowed 15 contact days, and winter sports coaches are allowed five contact days. No out-of-season coaching contact during the school year was afforded to traditional fall seasons sports coaches that have started their season. Additional details of sports-specific coaches contact was communicated with member school athletic directors (see below, as provided to WSN).

In other pandemic-related considerations, the Board voted to permit schools to schedule varsity games after elimination from the Tournament Season, and to allow lower levels to schedule games during the entire Tournament Series. Also, the Board adjusted eligibility rules for this year to ensure student-athletes are able to participate in the alternate fall sports season after graduation.

The Board officially banned the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) Products without a prescription from a licensed health care professional, and it supported postponing the Sportsmanship Summit, scheduled for this December, until Dec. 8. 2021. The Board also voted to support a study conducted by Dr. Andrew Watson and his research team on the incidence of COVID-19 among high school athletes and to describe the risk migration procedures being used.

The conference alignment proposal for Sun Prairie West High School as a new member school to be placed in the Big Eight Conference for all sports except football in 2022-23 was approved via the fast track option implemented by the Conference Realignment Task Force this year.

The Board received liaison reports from Mike Thompson of the Department of Public Instruction, John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and Nathan DeLany of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors.

Among other discussions, the Board tabled consideration of providing student-athletes opportunities to compete in nonschool competitions during the spring sports season after a lengthy discussion and two failed motions. The Executive Staff presented the Board with topics and plans for the virtual 2020 Area Meetings scheduled for Sept. 22; flexibility for the 2020-21 revised seasons calendar; technology advancements with the school directory database, including development of alternate fall season accommodations; Technology Coordinator Eric Dziak’s appointment to the National Federation of State High School Associations Technology Committee; as well as staffing and officials’ licensing updates.

The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 514 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors State Championship Tournament Series for boys and girls.

Coaching Contact Out of Season During the School Year

Any unused summer contact days will be eliminated and the following unrestricted school coaching contact days will be allowed out of season during the school year:

  • 15 coaching contact days for fall sports utilizing the alternate fall season in the spring
  • 5 coaching contact days for winter sports.
  • 15 coaching contact days for spring sports.
  • 0 additional coaching contact days for fall sports that have begun the fall season already.
  • The dead week is still in effect and no coaching contact may done during this time.  (Baseball coaches may still utilize the pitcher/catcher acclimatization week, but no team coaching contact.)
  • The contact must be self-contained and available/accessible to any and all interested students in the school grades 9-12.
  • No competition in any setting with other schools or students from other schools.
  • School resources may be used.
  • Outside clinicians may be used.
  • Football may only use football helmets and no other protective equipment.
  • Open gyms are still available

Competitions scheduled during the WIAA Tournaments

Schools may schedule games at all including level, including varsity once eliminated from the WIAA tournament, during the WIAA tournament.  Therefore, schools may schedule JV or 9th grade games during the WIAA tournament.

Graduations and continuing eligibility.

As in spring, students who graduate in May/June will be allowed to continue their alternate fall season and will be eligible for WIAA tournaments.

Students who graduate early in January/February and who are participating in the alternate fall sport season may continue and will be eligible for their alternate fall season and WIAA tournaments. This does not apply to winter or spring sport seasons and early graduation.

Nonschool Competition

No changes were made from the previous decision to allow students to compete in two nonschool events (including tournaments) during the regular season.  More discussion will take place at the next Board of Control meeting.

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