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WIAA approves two conference realignment proposals at Board of Control meeting

03/09/2022, 10:15am CST
By WIAA

From the WIAA -- 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control voted to advance three Constitutional amendments to the Annual Meeting in April and approved two conference realignment plans at its March meeting today.

The amendments change language in the membership’s Constitution. One would clarify that when existing school districts expand to create a new stand-alone high school, they will not be subject to the probationary period. The second would make the penalty for withdrawal from a conference to be uniform for all sports at two years. The third would clarify that co-ops for football shall meet an Oct. 1 deadline in conjunction with the football-only conference realignment timeline.

The editorial changes to the Constitution were also forwarded and supported. Within those changes is the replacement of language to help clarify the understanding of the summertime coaching contact regulations. All references to unlimited contact will be replaced with “nonschool programming” contact, and all references to unrestricted contact will be replaced with “sanctioned school” contact.

The Board approved two conference realignment plans advanced by the Conference Realignment Task Force Committee. The first incorporated and modified proposals originally submitted by Monroe and Delavan-Darien. The plan impacts the existing Badger, Big 8, Southern Lakes and Rock Valley conferences. McFarland will 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 second realignment proposal approved by the Board combined and modified plans from Kingdom Prep Lutheran and Watertown Luther Prep, which impacts schools from the existing Midwest Classic and Capitol conferences. The plan adds Kingdom Prep Lutheran to the Midwest Classic Conference and moves Watertown Luther Prep to the Midwest Classic Conference from the Capitol Conference.

The Board rejected a third plan, originally submitted and subsequently modified by Berlin and Ripon then remanded back to the task force by the Board at its January meeting, that would have created a 13-team conference by combining the East Central and South Central Conferences. The schools directly impacted are Berlin, Kettle Moraine Lutheran, Kewaskum, Plymouth, Ripon, Waupun and Winneconne from the East Central Conference and Adams-Friendship, Mauston, Nekoosa, Wautoma, Westfield and Wisconsin Dells from the South Central Conference.

The Board approved the executive staff recommendation to make the use of the COVID Symptom Checklist optional for member schools. In addition, the Board requested that the executive staff create a proposal for reporting school enrollment numbers in an efficient, effective and consistent manner that provides guidelines as to which students are to be included in the count. 

Among the topics discussed included a review of a number of membership related topics, including the continued efforts to recruit and retain licensed officials, post-season video streaming applications, an update on the committee reviewing the possibility of adding lacrosse as a WIAA-sponsored sport for boys and girls and an introduction to the possibility of adding middle-level Tournament Series or culminating events.

The Board received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Paul Manriquez of the Department of Public Instruction and Shawn Groshek of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association. In addition, the Board engaged in presentation on the progress of the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee presented by co-chairs Michelle Guyant-Holloway and Jordan Sinz.  For more information on the competitive balance efforts of the committee, access the Competitive Balance page on the WIAA website.

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 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.

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