On Friday the WIAA staff released the final version of the large-scale Northeast Wisconsin conference realignment proposal that will go to the Board of Control for a vote on December 6th.
The latest plan is very similar to past versions, with the exception of a change to the Eastern Valley and Bay Conferences. In the latest proposal, for football only Waupaca would participate in the Bay Conference, meaning both leagues would have nine members. This would allow one non-conference game for each school in both conferences. Teams from the two leagues could play each other in those instances but it would not be required.
Waupaca would remain in the Eastern Valley for all other sports, making it a 10-team league, while the Bay would have 8 teams for all other sports.
All changes presented in the plan would be implemented for the 2015-16 school year.
The WIAA Board of Control will vote on the final proposal at its December 6th meeting, where they can approve it as is, reject it, or modify it. If approved during this first consideration, schools impacted by the realignment would have 40 days to file an appeal. After hearing any appeals, the Board would then vote on final approval, likely in February of 2014.
Full details of the plan can be found below.
From the WIAA --
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Board of Control reviewed and approved the 2013-14 general operating budget and a series of coaches’ recommendations that will impact spring sports at its October meeting today.
The Board approved four recommendations made by the softball coaches. The first shifts the dates of the Divisions 2, 3 and 4 regional tournament schedule to Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of Week 47 with Division 1 programs playing on Wednesday and Friday of that week beginning in 2015.
The second rule change in softball allows the identified host team to use alternate regulation fields if its primary field in unavailable or unplayable. If no field is available or playable, the opponent will host.
The third change mandates Sectional 1 in Division 1 be seeded as an entire sectional. In addition, Divisions 2, 3 and 4 will be originally posted with two separate groupings within a sectional, but schools within those groupings are required to vote in order to retain that configuration. If 60 percent of the schools in a group do not approve of the configuration, the group will be split into two separate regionals.
Lastly, in regular-season tournaments where multiple fields are used, regulation fence distances will now be recommended but not required.
Two changes were made to the track and field season regulations. The Board also accepted an administrative staff modification to a coaches’ recommendation to assign two officials to each regional meet with a third assigned by the WIAA if available. In addition, NFHS rules will be applied in all field events requiring a participant’s attempt in each round of competition.
The one baseball recommendation approved by the Board provides the option to play five-inning double-headers for non-varsity games with mutual agreement of school administration beginning in 2014.
The Board gave its approval to the 2013-14 zero-based, operations budget of approximately $8.4 million, which is an increase from recent years. The budget is largely Tournament Series driven and significantly influenced by weather and match-ups. The new budget reflects an increase in revenue from a rise in ticket prices at the sectional level and an increase in officials’ licensing fees. It also acknowledges an escalation in expenses with increases in compensation and travel reimbursements for tournament officials, officials background checks, a rise in host manager fees and an increase in tournament expense reimbursements to members schools exceeding $3.1 million.
Among the other topics discussed were potential Constitutional amendments, Area Meeting discussions, ongoing legislative matters, seasonal placements and coaches education.