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WIAA Board of Control votes on winter sport regulations at June meeting

06/20/2024, 7:00pm CDT

From the WIAA -- 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and acted on several committees’ recommendations impacting season regulations and membership policies at its June meeting today.

Four basketball coaches’ recommendations were approved by the Board. Three of those impact the electronic seeding criteria used for the basketball Tournament Series, effective next season. The first is an amended recommendation that eliminates any forfeited games from being factored into a team’s win percentage. In addition, results versus bordering states of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota will factor in a team’s win percentage and its opponent’s win percentage. Results versus non-bordering states will impact the formula only for a team’s own win percentage. Furthermore, head-to-head results will be introduced into the criteria under two circumstances. The first is when two or more consecutive seeds have a final seeding calculation within a predetermined threshold, they will be considered a virtual tie with a tie-breaker protocol to be applied. The second continues the use of head-to-head results of consecutive seeds to determine the home team in the first-round games for both teams.

The other basketball recommendation passed addresses language in season regulations regarding the 3-Point Challenge. The new threshold increases the required minimum number of attempts from 75 to 100 during the regular season to be eligible for the Challenge.

The Board of Control voted 4-6 against a proposal that would have placed the basketball shot clock for a membership vote at the 2025 Annual Meeting.

There were nine wrestling coaches’ recommendations voted into the season regulations by the Board. Four of those address the Tournament Series for girls only. Beginning in 2026-27, the WIAA will implement a State Girls Wrestling Team Tournament. The Board also approved recognition of a girls’ team champion beginning in 2024-25, determined by point values awarded for results at the State Individual Wrestling Tournament until the team tournament is sponsored in 2026-27. In addition, during the 2024-25 season, the girls’ tournament will expand to 16 regionals for participants in girls’ wrestling programs, which will advance four girls to eight sectionals and then two girls from sectionals to the State Tournament. The Board also supported a mandate that requires a sponsored girls’ school program to only wrestle against other schools that sponsor a girls’ wrestling program, starting in 2025-26. Furthermore, eligibility for the State Girls’ Wrestling Tournament will only be afforded to wrestlers participating in sponsored girls’ wrestling programs.

Two of the wrestling rules passed impact the State Individual Tournament schedule. The Thursday afternoon session will begin one hour earlier, which allows for a two-match minimum for each participant in lieu of a true third- and fifth-place match. Also, all matches through the quarterfinals in all divisions will be completed on Thursday.

Two more wrestling recommendations approved by the Board involves tournament seeding. Beginning next season, coaches will be required to enter all results of team and individual competition in a WIAA-preferred database within seven days following completion of the competition. The other seeding component passed into the season regulations establishes a 10-match minimum for consideration of a seed point when comparing winning percentages for the State Team Wrestling Tournament seeding.

The final wrestling recommendation approved strikes a WIAA adaptation to the NFHS rules that, as a result, will permit any authorized person to supervise weigh-ins, not just licensed officials. 

There were two changes to the gymnastics Tournament Procedures approved by the Board to be implemented in 2024-25. The first outlines a protocol and schedule for setting up a Tournament Series meet using an event management system of a designated platform partner. The second is an amended recommendation that prohibits a school-approved uniform from displaying club logos, club mascots or club names.

A pair of Sports Medical Advisory Committee recommendations received Board support. The first adds a WIAA-licensed official liaison to the committee beginning in 2024-25. The other is an amended proposal that requires schools to conduct a pre-contest meeting to discuss the Emergency Action Plan before interscholastic events that may include event management, officials and medical personnel .

The Board also approved a number of changes requested by the Conference Realignment Task Force, effective in 2024-25. The conference realignment process for the sport of lacrosse, a sport sponsored for the first time in 2023-24, will coincide with the football-only procedure this fall. A second request passed permits applicants to submit up to two different solutions. A third recommendation supported by the Board is the establishment of a second virtual appeal meeting to the Task Force in February prior to the March Board meeting for schools newly impacted by additional changes to realignment plans. The fourth change regarding the Task Force removes the requirement of six-team paired conferences or leagues with more than seven schools for non-football conference realignment solutions. Instead, the action makes six-team paired conferences or leagues with more than seven schools a recommendation. 

In other action taken by the Board, two fast-track conference realignment plans received approval, including one that places University School of Milwaukee in the Woodland Conference from an independent status for girls’ golf only in the fall of 2024. The other moves Clear Lake into the Dunn-St. Croix Conference from the Lakeland Conference for all sports except football, effective in the fall of 2025.

The Board also approved a spending resolution to continue spending until the 2024-25 budget is approved, winter season sports financial statements, the 2024 Annual Meeting minutes, and the general fund financial statements and payments for May. 

Meeting topic discussions and reports included the recently completed spring sports tournaments; 2025 Annual Meeting dates and venue planning; newly approved constitutional amendments; June Jam and Summer Slam events; powers and duties of Board of Control and Advisory Council; and a reminder of the New Athletic Directors’ Workshop on July 22.

The Board also received liaison reports from Paul Manriquez of the Department of Public Instruction, Dan Rossmiller of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards 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 513 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the 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 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), inducted to the Richland Center High School Hall of Fame in 2023, and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

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