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Analysis of WIAA's proposed Tournament Performance Factor

09/29/2022, 9:30am CDT
By Travis Wilson

Catholic Memorial football would be one of the teams that would have been moved up if the WIAA's proposed Tournament Performance Factor was in place this year

WisSports.net has examined a recent WIAA proposal that would move up teams for playoff divisional assignment based on their prior postseason success, and applied that criteria to this year in an attempt to give context to how impactful the plan could be.

The WIAA has released a preliminary proposal that would significantly change how teams are placed in postseason divisions. The plan was unveiled at a series of seven Area Meetings around the state over the last two weeks, coming out of an Ad Hoc Committee formed to study competitive balance concerns.

There are two parts to the plan. The first would allow teams to request to be moved up or down from where their enrollment would place them, based on a number of factors, including success or lack thereof, socioeconomics, school demographics, participation rates, and more. This would be reviewed by WIAA staff for approval or rejection. Because it is uncertain which and how many schools would request to be moved, it is difficult to identify the exact impact of this part of the plan.

The second part, the focus of this article, is the Tournament Performance Factor. 

The Tournament Performance Factor uses the exact same points-based system to determine if teams will move up a division based on past success as did the Success Factor recommended back in 2015, and is applied equally to public schools and private schools.

Points will be awarded based upon the finish of the team in the tournament series:

  • 4 points for winning a state title
  • 3 points for advancing to the championship game
  • 2 points for advancing to the state semifinal (final 4)
  • 1 point for advancing to the state quarterfinal, sectional final or Level 3 11-player FB, Level 2 8-player FB (final 8 teams).

At the team level, those teams that accumulate six or more points in the previous three years will be placed up one division from their normal postseason classification. No team will be moved up more than one division per year.

As an example provided by the WIAA for a hypothetical team:

  • Year 1 - 0 points - Division 4
  • Year 2 - 0 points - Division 4
  • Year 3 - 0 points - Division 4 - 3-year total = 0 points
  • Year 4 - 1 point - D4 - Sectional Final; 3-year total = 1 point
  • Year 5 - 2 points - D4 - State Appearance-(Final 4); 3-year total = 3 points
  • Year 6 - 3 points - D4 - State Runner-Up; 3-year total = 6 points (will move up to D3)
  • Year 7 - 4 points - D3 - State Championship; 3-year total = 9 points
  • Year 8 - 0 points - Division 3 - 3-year total = 7 points
  • Year 9 - 0 points - Division 3 - 3-year total = 4 points (will move down to D4)
  • Year 10 - 1 point - Division 4 - 3-year total = 1 point

There will be an appeals process in place for those teams that would be impacted by the Tournament Performance Factor, with schools able to appeal to a to-be-formed Classification Committee based on the following factors:

  • Prior year out-of-building student percentage on rosters or historical movement of student athletes
  • Socioeconomics of the school's population (i.e. % of student body on Free and Reduced Lunch rate)
  • Demographics of the school's population
  • Competitive history and balance - non-success and success
  • Geography
  • School's enrollment trend
  • Student participation rate in WIAA-sponsored activities
  • Student enrollment factors (i.e. open enrollment, students from outside your school's location)

Finally, please note that the WIAA is looking to gather feedback from member schools at this time, with the Ad Hoc Committee to review the feedback for any possible changes or tweaks, and present a finalized plan to the WIAA Board of Control in February. If accepted by the Board of Control, the proposal would then go to the full WIAA membership for final approval at the April Annual Meeting. If approved there, it would be implemented in the 2024-25 season.

We have taken the initial work of the WIAA's Ad Hoc Committee and applied it to the last three years of data to determine which teams would have met the threshold and been moved up. This does not take into account the ability for any of those impacted teams to appeal to a committee to not be moved.

Notes on the process and sports reviewed

The language provided in the materials from the WIAA Ad Hoc Committee specifically mention bracketed team sports such as football, basketball, baseball, etc. with language such as, "1 point for advancing to the state quarterfinal, sectional final or Level 3 11-player FB, Level 2 8-player FB (final 8 teams)."

However, there is not currently language addressing how points would be assigned for non-bracketed team sports including cross country, swimming/diving, golf, tennis, gymnastics, and track & field. While it is likely those non-bracketed sports would be relatively easy to assign points for (two points each for teams that finish third and fourth; one point for teams that finish fifth through eighth), because there is some uncertainty at this time, we have not done the evaluations for these non-bracketed sports.

Girls hockey, boys volleyball, and 8-player football are single-division sports at this time, so teams could not move up or down, and thus we did not total points for these sports.

Boys hockey moved to two divisions in 2020, so has just two years of multi-division data, while the Ad Hoc Committee plan requires an evaluation of three years, so we did not do boys hockey at this time either.

The COVID-canceled boys and girls state tournaments in 2020 and all of spring sports for 2020 were not considered. For other sports in the 2020-21 season, which continued to have some COVID impacts, there is uncertainty on whether those seasons would be considered in the formula. Please see notes on how these sports were handled in the sport-specific sections below.

Sun Prairie split into two schools this year, Sun Prairie East and Sun Prairie West, and while both schools would likely be in Division 1 for all sports except football, we did split any points accumulated by previous Sun Prairie teams equally between both East and West. For instance, for Sun Prairie's state runner-up football finish last year, which would have been worth three points, we assigned 1.5 points to both Sun Prairie East and Sun Prairie West.

Football


Waunakee would have moved up from Division 2 to Division 1 this year under the proposed Tournament Performance Factor

One note regarding football, in the Ad Hoc Committee's plan, because not all teams make the football playoffs and the short turnaround between when qualifiers and divisions are determined (after all regular season games are completed) and when the first playoff games are contested (less than a week later), there is no process for schools to request up or down. 

The indication from the WIAA is that there would still be an appeal process for teams that would move up via the Tournament Performance Factor. It is likely that teams that meet the point threshold would be determined and notified in advance, and be able to appeal in advance of the playoff release.

Because football requires 32 teams in each division, if a team(s) is moved up a division because of the Tournament Performance Factor, another team(s) would move down in a corresponding move.

For football, we reviewed and totaled points for the 2018, 2019, and 2021 seasons, since there were no true playoffs in 2020 and a third of the teams moved to an alternate spring option.

Also, these are projected divisions, since exact divisional assignment for 2022 is not determined until after the regular season.

There are 13 teams that meet the six-point threshold to move up, though Muskego, Kimberly, and Franklin are already in Division 1 and thus cannot move anywhere. That results in ten teams that would have moved up a division in 2022 based on the proposed Ad Hoc Committee plan.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2018 2019 2021 Total Pts ProjDiv NewProjDiv
Catholic Memorial 566 4 4 4 12 4 3
Saint Mary's Springs 273 4 4 3 11 6 5
Black Hawk 104 4 4 1 9 7 6
Muskego 1637 4 4 1 9 1 1
Waunakee 1336 2 3 4 9 2 1
Homestead 1262 4 3 7 2 1
Edgar 195 3 3 6 7 6
Franklin 1569 1 1 4 6 1 1
Kimberly 1587 3 2 1 6 1 1
Lake Country Lutheran 353 2 4 6 5 4
Reedsville 187 2 4 6 7 6
Regis 200 1 3 2 6 7 6
Stratford 272 3 3 6 6 5

Girls Volleyball

For girls volleyball we reviewed and compiled points for the 2018, 2019, and 2021 seasons. We did not include the COVID-impacted 2020 season, when some teams moved to a spring option in a split season while others did not play at all.

Seven teams met the six-point threshold, though Oconomowoc and Burlington are Division 1 and cannot be moved up. That means five teams would have been moved up a division for 2022 under the Ad Hoc Committee proposal.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

GVB 22-23enroll 2018 2019 2021 Total Pts OrigDiv NewDiv
Oconomowoc 1676 3 3 4 10 1 1
Howards Grove 262 1 4 4 9 4 3
Luxemburg-Casco 601 1 4 4 9 2 1
Burlington 1040 4 2 1 7 1 1
Catholic Central 129 4 3 7 4 3
Lake Country Lutheran 353 4 3 7 4 3
McFarland 769 1 3 3 7 2 1

Boys Soccer

For boys soccer, we reviewed and compiled points for the 2018, 2019, and 2021 seasons. We did not include the adjusted 2020 season, when many teams played in a split spring season and others did not play at all.

Seven teams met the six-point threshold, though Marquette and Verona are Division 1 and cannot be moved up. That means five teams would have been moved up a division for 2022 under the Ad Hoc Committee proposal.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2018 2019 2021 Total Pts OrigDiv NewDiv
Oregon 1252 4 1 4 9 2 1
Marquette 1786 4 4 8 1 1
McFarland 769 3 3 2 8 3 2
Shorewood 663 4 4 8 3 2
Sturgeon Bay 411 2 4 1 7 4 3
Brookfield Central 1212 4 2 6 2 1
Verona 1756 4 2 6 1 1

Boys Basketball


Roncalli boys hoops would be impacted by the proposal from the WIAA's Ad Hoc Committee, if applied this year

For boys and girls basketball, it is a bit unclear whether the WIAA would use the 2021 season with a number of COVID interruptions and adjustments to the divisional structures for the postseason (re-seeding sectionals, pod systems in regionals, adjusted cutlines due to teams not playing). Certainly, 2020 would not be used as the boys state tournament was canceled altogether while only a couple girls state games at the Resch Center were held prior to the shutdown.

In an attempt to identify possible impacts, we looked at boys and girls basketball two different ways: one with the 2018, 2019, and 2022 seasons; the other with the 2019, 2021, and 2022 seasons.

In boys hoops, using the last three years of 2019, 2021, and 2022, six teams would be impacted, though two of them are Brookfield Central and Neenah, who are already Division 1 and cannot move up. Four other teams, Roncalli, Pewaukee, Lake Country Lutheran, and Lourdes Academy, would move up under this calculation.

If the 2020 and 2021 state tournaments were ignored and just the 2018, 2019, and 2022 seasons were considered, the total impacted teams would be seven, though once again Division 1 schools Neenah and Brookfield Central would have nowhere to go. Teams that would move up one division under this proposal are Roncalli, Bangor, La Crosse Central, Milwaukee Washington, and Nicolet.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

Boys Basketball using 2018, 2019, 2022

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2018 2019 2022 Total Pts Original New
Roncalli 246 4 2 4 10 4 3
Bangor 214 4 2 3 9 4 3
Brookfield Central 1212 4 3 7 1 1
La Crosse Central 1055 2 2 3 7 2 1
Milwaukee Washington 609 3 3 6 2 1
Neenah 2015 2 4 6 1 1
Nicolet 1090 1 4 1 6 2 1

BOYS BASKETBALL USING 2019, 2021, 2022

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2019 2021 2022 Total Pts Original New
Pewaukee 839 4 4 8 2 1
Brookfield Central 1212 4 3 7 1 1
Lake Country Lutheran 353 3 4 7 3 2
Lourdes Academy 161 3 4 7 5 4
Neenah 2015 2 4 6 1 1
Roncalli 246 2 4 6 4 3

Girls Basketball


Laconia would have moved from D4 to D3 this year under the proposed Tournament Performance Factor

For boys and girls basketball, it is a bit unclear whether the WIAA would use the 2021 season with a number of COVID interruptions and adjustments to the divisional structures for the postseason (re-seeding sectionals, pod systems in regionals, adjusted cutlines due to teams not playing). Certainly, 2020 would not be used as the boys state tournament was canceled altogether while only a couple girls state games at the Resch Center were held prior to the shutdown.

In an attempt to identify possible impacts, we looked at boys and girls basketball two different ways: one with the 2018, 2019, and 2022 seasons; the other with the 2019, 2021, and 2022 seasons.

In team wrestling, using the last three years of 2019, 2021, and 2022, seven teams would be impacted, and all would move up one division.

If the 2020 and 2021 state tournaments were ignored and just the 2018, 2019, and 2022 seasons were considered, the total impacted teams would be six, and once again all would move up a division under the Ad Hoc Committee proposal.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

GirlS BASKETBALL USING 2018, 2019, 2022

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2018 2019 2022 Total Pts Original New
Beaver Dam 1145 4 4 1 9 2 1
Aquinas 313 4 4 8 4 3
Marshall 295 4 4 8 4 3
Black Hawk 104 3 4 7 5 4
Laconia 311 1 3 3 7 4 3
Melrose-Mindoro 242 3 3 6 4 3

GIRLS BASKETBALL USING 2019, 2021, 2022

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2019 2021 2022 Total Last 3 Original New
Notre Dame 755 1 4 4 9 2 1
Aquinas 313 4 3 7 4 3
Assumption 132 4 3 7 5 4
Mineral Point 239 3 4 7 4 3
Black Hawk 104 4 2 6 5 4
Freedom 521 2 1 3 6 3 2
Laconia 311 3 3 6 4 3

Team Wrestling

Like boys and girls basketball, it is a bit unclear whether the WIAA would use the 2021 wrestling season with a number of COVID interruptions and adjustments. 

A note regarding wrestling: the WIAA has indicated that, as currently presented, the plan would move up both teams and individuals for any teams who meet the six-point threshold and are moved up as a result of the Tournament Performance Factor.

In an attempt to identify possible impacts, we looked at team wrestling two different ways: one with the 2019, 2020, and 2022 seasons; the other with the 2019, 2021, and 2022 seasons.

In girls hoops, using the last three years of 2019, 2021, and 2022, seven teams would be impacted. Two of them, Stoughton and Kaukauna, are already Division 1 and would not move. Five of the teams would have been adjusted up a division, however.

If the 2020 and 2021 state tournaments were ignored and just the 2018, 2019, and 2022 seasons were considered, the total impacted teams would be seven, through three Division 1 teams (Stoughton, Kaukauna, Mukwonago) would not be able to move up. That means four teams would move up in the Ad Hoc Committee plan.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

Team Wrestling USING 2019, 2020, 2022

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2019 2020 2022 Total Pts Original New
Fennimore 222 4 3 4 11 3 2
Stoughton 905 4 4 2 10 1 1
Coleman 221 1 4 3 8 3 2
Kaukauna 1233 2 2 4 8 1 1
Mukwonago 1669 3 3 6 1 1
Random Lake 246 2 2 2 6 3 2
Stratford 272 3 2 1 6 3 2

Team Wrestling USING 2020, 2021, 2022

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2020 2021 2022 Total Last 3 Original New
Coleman 221 4 3 3 10 3 2
Kaukauna 1233 2 4 4 10 1 1
Stoughton 905 4 3 2 9 1 1
Amery 485 4 4 8 2 1
Fennimore 222 3 4 7 3 2
Prairie du Chien 373 2 3 2 7 2 1
Random Lake 246 2 2 2 6 3 2

Baseball

For baseball, we reviewed and compiled points for the 2019, 2021, and 2022 seasons. Obviously we could not include the completely canceled 2020 season.

Six teams met the six-point threshold, though Bay Port is Division 1 and cannot be moved up. That means five teams would have been moved up a division for 2023 under the Ad Hoc Committee proposal.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2019 2021 2022 Total Pts ProjDiv NewProjDiv
Denmark 496 4 4 8 2 1
Bay Port 1916 3 4 7 1 1
Boyceville 200 2 4 6 3 2
Jefferson 599 3 3 6 2 1
Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic 220 4 2 6 3 2
Regis 200 2 4 6 4 3

Softball


Poynette's run of success would have them moved up a division under the Tournament Performance Factor proposal

For softball, we reviewed and compiled points for the 2019, 2021, and 2022 seasons. Obviously we could not include the completely canceled 2020 season.

Five teams met the six-point threshold, though Kaukauna is Division 1 and cannot be moved up. That means four teams would have been moved up a division for 2023 under the Ad Hoc Committee proposal.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2019 2021 2022 Total Pts ProjDiv NewProjDiv
Poynette 317 4 1 4 9 3 2
Horicon 270 4 1 3 8 4 3
Kaukauna 1233 4 4 8 1 1
Mishicot 275 3 4 7 3 2
Blair-Taylor 189 3 2 1 6 4 3

Girls Soccer

For girls soccer, we reviewed and compiled points for the 2019, 2021, and 2022 seasons. Obviously we could not include the completely canceled 2020 season.

Nine teams met the six-point threshold, though DSHA and Muskego are Division 1 and cannot be moved up. That means seven teams would have been moved up a division for 2023 under the Ad Hoc Committee proposal.

The teams, their points, and new projected divisions are below.

SchoolName 22-23enroll 2019 2021 2022 Total Pts ProjDiv NewProjDiv
Divine Savior Holy Angels 1360 3 4 3 10 1 1
Oregon 1252 4 2 4 10 2 1
Whitefish Bay 942 3 4 3 10 2 1
Muskego 1637 4 4 8 1 1
Notre Dame 755 2 3 3 8 3 2
The Prairie School 232 4 3 7 4 3
Lake Country Lutheran 353 1 1 4 6 4 3
McFarland 769 4 2 6 3 2
New Berlin Eisenhower 715 2 4 6 3 2

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.

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