From the WIAA --
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Conference Realignment Task Force convened Thursday to conduct appeals for requests that were denied in December in addition to providing a hearing and configuring plans that were modified from their original proposals.
The current nonfootball conference realignment process addresses sports other than football for implementation in 2025-26. Football-only conference realignment consideration occurs on an alternate-year rotation.
There were two appeals of denied plans conducted by the Task Force. The St. Augustine Prep proposal, which had its conference realignment plan rejected by the Task Force in December, was reviewed with the denial of the plan upheld. Plans that have been denied upon appeal to the Task Force may appeal to the Board of Control at its meeting on Jan. 31, 2024.
The appeal of the plan originally submitted by Oak Creek, which was denied in December, was modified upon review and will receive further consideration at the Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. The revised plan would move Oak Creek from the Southeast Conference to the Classic 8 Conference in 2025-26.
Based on the information gathered from the hearings for the modified plans, the Task Force amended a number of the proposals that will receive a hearing for all schools impacted by the modifications at the Feb. 8 meeting. Schools that are affected by modified realignment solutions have the opportunity to provide feedback, which enhances engagement, communication and transparency in the conference realignment process.
As a result of the appeal by the Capitol Conference, the Task Force reconfigured the alignments of the Capitol Conference, Rock Valley Conference and a new league to be named at a later date. Under the modified plan, the proposed Capitol Conference will comprise Clinton, Columbus, Jefferson, Lake Mills, Lakeside Lutheran, Lodi, Whitewater and Waupun. The Rock Valley Conference will include Big Foot, Delavan-Darien, East Troy, Edgerton, Evansville, Monroe and Turner. A newly formed conference will include Belleville, Brodhead, Cambridge, Marshall, New Glarus, Poynette, Waterloo and Wisconsin Heights.
In an effort to place Plymouth and Kewaskum into a conference, the Task Force modified plans impacting three leagues. Plymouth and Sheboygan South would transition from the East Central Conference and Fox River Classic Conference, respectively, into the North Shore Conference. In addition, Kewaskum would move from the East Central Conference to the Wisconsin Flyway Conference.
The Task Force also addressed conference alignment for the inaugural season of boys and girls lacrosse in 2026 by combining the Big 8 Conference schools sponsoring lacrosse with the La Crosse Central co-op and the Badger Conference. That Badger Lacrosse Conference will include DeForest, Edgewood co-op, La Crosse Central co-op, Middleton, Oregon co-op, Sauk Prairie co-op, Sun Prairie East/Sun Prairie West, Verona/Mount Horeb, Watertown and Waunakee.
The conference configurations for all the modified realignment plans, as well as all the original realignment proposals submitted, are available on the Conference Realignment Requests and Proposals page of the WIAA Website at https://www.wiaawi.org/Schools/Conferences/Conference-Realignment/Requests-and-Proposals.
The Board of Control will vote on the recommendations of the Task Force at its meeting Tuesday, March 5. The Board has the options to approve, reject or remand realignment recommendations back to the Task Force. If approved, the modifications will be implemented for the 2025-26 sports seasons. If remanded, the Task Force will reconvene to make appropriate changes to the plan before presenting it to the Board of Control again in April. If rejected, the conferences will remain in their current configuration.
The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 515 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.