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WIAA approves fall sports season and tournament regulations amongst other items at January Board of Control meeting

01/31/2024, 3:45pm CST
By WIAA

From the WIAA --

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control authorized the Tournament Series format to accommodate a fifth division of girls volleyball and approved plans for a student leadership program at its January meeting today.

The Board approved four recommendations originated and advanced by the Volleyball Coaches Advisory Committees, including two that revamps the Tournament Series that expands to five girls’ divisions next fall. Following a review by the executive staff, Sports Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council, the Board supported a plan that places the largest 116 enrollments of schools sponsoring girls volleyball in Division 1, and Divisions 2, 3, 4 and 5 will consist of the remaining schools divided equally.

To accommodate the addition of four teams and three games, the State Tournament will expand to Wednesday afternoon and evening with the boys volleyball quarterfinals. The boys’ semifinals games will be played Thursday afternoon with the championship game scheduled for Friday evening. The girls’ Division 5 and the Division 4 semifinals are scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively, with the girls’ Division 1 quarterfinals to be played Thursday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The girls’ Division 1 semifinals are slated for Friday at 1 p.m. The girls’ Division 3 and Division 2 semifinals will be played Friday at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively. The girls’ championships Saturday will begin with Division 5 at 9 a.m. followed by Division 4 at 11:30 a.m., Division 3 at 2 p.m., Division 2 at 5 p.m. and Division 1 at 7:30 p.m.

One of the other two volleyball changes approved adds a fifth day (Sunday-Thursday) to the window that seed meetings may be scheduled, and the other requires teams to wear contrasting colors at the State Tournament for the ease of identifying teams unless the schools do not have uniforms of contrasting colors.

The lone rule change in boys soccer permits Tournament Series games on a shared football and soccer natural-turf field if agreed upon by participating schools prior to the day of the game.

One football recommendation approved by the Board changes the verbiage for the football playoff awards. The round formerly identified on the  Level 3 plaques will be changed to “Sectional Champions,” which will be presented to the winner of the third-round game. The former Level 4 game will now be identified as the “State Semifinals” with only medals still being presented following the semifinal games.

Plans for a WIAA Student Leadership Group were approved. The group, comprised of a diverse group of student-athletes statewide, will serve as ambassadors for their peers and the WIAA while learning more about athletic leadership and the sports industry, as well as providing the membership with a student-athlete voice for advancing the purpose of education-based athletics. The launch of the initiative will begin with nominations of student-athletes to serve on the leadership team beginning in March with the first meeting of the group in May.

The leadership committee will consist of 27 members with representation from each of the seven Board of Control districts based on a percentage of member schools within each district. School principals or athletic directors may nominate one current sophomore and/or junior to be a prospective member of the committee next year. After the first year of the initiative, all student-athletes will serve two-year terms.

Officers of the group will consist of a president; vice president; a representative from each of the seven districts; two State Tournament managers; and three positions responsible for technology, history and social media. Schools will receive additional information about the WIAA Leadership Group with details on how to access, complete and submit the nomination form.

Other action by the Board included approvals of the fall sports coaches advisory committee meeting minutes and the procedural monthly general fund financial statements, fall sports financial statements, the deferred liability fund statement and general fund payments.

Additional topics of discussion included staff reports on prospective Constitutional amendments, the status of the 2023-24 conference realignment process, upcoming Advisory Council and Board of Control elections, continued efforts to recruit and retain licensed officials, inquiries on competitive balance performance factor classification, plans for the 2024 Annual Meeting in April as well as the status of the 2024 Scholar Athlete program in May.

The Board received liaison reports from Dan Rossmiller of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Paul Manriquez of the Department of Public Instruction, and Eric Plitzuweit of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

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.

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