The Conference Realignment Task Force assembled and reviewed applications from eight schools in the first meeting of the 2021-22 realignment review process Tuesday at the executive office.
The schools requesting relief from their current conference included Monroe, Delavan-Darien, Kingdom Prep Lutheran, Watertown Luther Prep, Ripon, Berlin, Assumption and St. Mary Catholic.
The Conference Realignment Task Force voted 15-0 to advance a plan that incorporates and modifies proposals received from Monroe and Delavan-Darien. The modified plan impacts the existing Badger, Big 8, Southern Lakes and Rock Valley conferences. McFarland would move to the Badger Conference from the Rock Valley Conference; Monroe moves to the Rock Valley Conference from the Badger Conference; Beloit Memorial moves to the Southern Lakes Conference from the Big 8 Conference; and Delavan-Darien moves to the Rock Valley Conference from the Southern Lakes Conference.
The Task Force also advanced a plan that combines and modifies proposals from Kingdom Prep Lutheran and Watertown Luther Prep, which impacts schools from the existing Midwest Classic and Capitol conferences. The plan, advanced by a 12-3 vote, would add Kingdom Prep Lutheran to the Midwest Classic Conference and moves Watertown Luther Prep to the Midwest Classic Conference from the Capitol Conference.
The Conference Realignment Task Force did not advance plans submitted by Ripon, Berlin, Assumption and St. Mary Catholic. These schools may appeal the decision to the Task Force at the regular meeting on Jan. 13.
The Ripon and Berlin plans to move those schools from the East Central Conference to the South Central Conference was voted down 1-14. The rationale for the action taken by the Task Force was the absence of feedback included in the proposal from a large group of impacted schools. Additional feedback from conferences and schools impacted by the plan is encouraged.
The Assumption plan to move from the Marawood Conference to the Central Wisconsin Conference did not advance by virtue of a 0-15 vote of the Task Force. Rationale provided included a lack of support from either conference and all schools currently having a conference affiliation.
A St. Mary Catholic plan to move from the Big East Conference to the Central Wisconsin Conference-Large for all sports except football and girls soccer was not advanced by a 0-15 vote. The rationale for the vote of the Task Force included a lack of support from either conference and all schools involved currently having a conference affiliation.
In addition, the St. Mary Catholic girls soccer-only plan to move from the Big East Conference to Wisconsin Flyway Conference also was not advanced by a 0-15 vote by the Task Force. The rationale for lack of support was the school’s position it did not want to pursue the plan if all-sport, non-football plan did not advance.
All schools affected by the realignment solutions the Conference Realignment Task Force modified may provide written feedback or appear virtually at the Task Force meeting Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at 9 a.m. Requests to appear to provide additional information must be emailed to Executive Director Stephanie Hauser at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
Each school appearing virtually at the Jan. 3 meeting will be provided a maximum of three minutes to present new information to the Task Force. Schools in the same conference are asked to designate one spokesperson who will represent all schools. The time afforded to this spokesperson will be extended to five minutes.
The Conference Realignment Task Force will reconvene in person Thursday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. Member schools that had their realignment application not advanced may elect to appeal this decision no later than noon Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. Requests to appeal must be submitted in writing to Hauser at email@example.com. A school may appeal by having a representative appear at the WIAA office or appear virtually. Each school will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present new information to the Task Force.
Any schools impacted by a proposed realignment solution may provide written feedback or appear in person or virtually Thursday, Jan. 13. Additional information and requests to appear must be emailed to Hauser at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon Monday, Jan. 10. Each school appearing virtually will be provided a maximum of three minutes to present new information to the Task Force. Schools in the same conference are asked to designate one spokesperson who will represent all schools. The time afforded to this spokesperson will be expanded to five minutes.
The Task Force will finalize and submit proposals for the March 8, 2022, Board of Control meeting following the Jan. 13 Conference Realignment Task Force meeting.
Modified plans created during the Task Force consideration are found on WIAA Conference Realignment webpage. Original proposals submitted are also available on the WIAA “Conference Realignment” webpage under “Requests and Proposals.” The full conference realignment process and timeline can be found on the WIAA webpage by accessing the “Conference Realignment” option in the “Schools” megamenu.
The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 516 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.