Eligibility Rules & Forms

Eligibility Information

Amateur Status Still at the Heart of High School Sports

The popularity and interest in sports is the caveat for professional athletes to be widely targeted for product and service endorsements hoping to commercialize on an individual’s exploits and popularity.
Unfortunately, familiarity with the concept of these endorsements and those hoping to capitalize on the notoriety of high school athletes are all too frequently adopted by local or regional businesses and organizations.

School administrators, coaches, parents, student-athletes, businesses and organizations must all be aware of amateur status provisions and its impact on high school students' athletic eligibility.
The member schools of the WIAA have approved the amateur status provisions listed in its Rules of Eligibility, which are made available to schools in the membership Handbook and the Rules at a Glance information provided each year, as well as to anyone who has access to the Internet on the WIAA Web site (www.wiaawi.org).

The membership’s regulations state that a student shall be an amateur in all sports sponsored by the Association in order to compete in any sport. It also states all students shall become ineligible for all further participation in the school's interscholastic program for violation of any of the amateur status provisions. With high school career-ending ramifications, amateur status regulations must be understood and carefully monitored.  

Student-athletes are in violation of the members’ amateur status rules if they:     

   1) ...accept, receive and/or direct to another, reimbursement or award in any form of salary, cash, merchandise of any kind or amount, or share of game or season proceeds for achievement in athletics. A student may not receive such merchandise items as shirts, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, jerseys, warm-ups, equipment, balls, duffel bags, backpacks, watches, rings, billfolds, coupons, gift certificates, e.g., regardless of their value.
  2) ...sign a contract or agreement for services as a participating athlete.
  3) ...receive compensation or benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use of name, picture, and/or personal appearance as an athlete. This includes but is not limited to: receiving free and/or reduced rates on equipment, apparel, camps/clinics/instruction and competitive opportunities that are not identical for all other participants. In addition, student-athletes and parents must pay all costs associated with attending camps and/or clinics.
  4) ...are identified as an athlete, provides endorsement as an athlete, or appears as an athlete, in the promotion of a commercial/advertisement and/or profit-making event, item, plan or service.
  5) ...play in any contest (school or nonschool) under a name other than his/her own name.

Amateur status penalties may be reduced upon request of a school on the basis of documented extenuating circumstances, when accompanied by evidence of complete restitution made by the athlete if the circumstance is applicable.

Student-athletes, as well as parents, are required to read and sign the Athletic Eligibility Information Bulletin, acknowledging their familiarity with the membership’s rules and regulations.
The consent of the student-athlete and the student-athlete’s parents should be required before any third party (recruiters, club teams, fitness centers, businesses and organizations) uses a student-athlete in any form of publicity.  

There have been instances whereby a business or organization--without knowledge or permission of the school or individual--uses the likeness of student-athletes in order to capitalize on the student-athlete’s popularity, which creates a violation.  The most heart-wrenching application of the member’s rules and subsequent sanctions on the school or individual for a violation occurs when a business or organization exploits a student-athlete without the student-athlete, parent or school having knowledge of the action.

The three most common considerations of a student having been identified as a student-athlete are by text or spoken word, by apparel and by props. Apparel does not necessarily apply to just the school’s uniform to convey the student is an athlete. The advice and best practice the Executive Staff can offer is to use young adults such as recent graduates who have no high school eligibility remaining.

    A second option, but less preferred, is to use younger/pre-high school students who may not yet be subject to WIAA membership provisions.

    Another best practice recommendation is to simply use actors; students who are not athletes at all. That provides far greater liberties. It is considered best practice because of the numerous experiences the membership has encountered where one promotion stimulates another with a neighboring business that does not consider the precautions nor does it understand or have knowledge of the membership’s amateur status regulations.

    Compliance and familiarization of amateur status rules--and the consequences of violations-- requires continued efforts by the membership to educate student-athletes and their parents. 

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WIAA rules allow for one year of eligibility for foreign students participating in exchange programs. Eligibility is not automatic, however, and schools must fill out a request for foreign student eligibility. These students are required to meet existing WIAA rules in areas other than residence. All foreign students must have a physical conducted in the United States prior to participating in practice or competition at a member school.

Rules of Eligibility

Article II - Residence and Transfer

Section 4 – Foreign Exchange Students

A. This provision applies to students participating in foreign exchange programs. Foreign students attending a member school, but not participating in an exchange program, may receive consideration under Section 5, waivers and/or nonvarsity eligibility in accordance with Section 1B and 2B of this Article.

1) The residence requirement may be waived for one year, upon request, for students involved in foreign exchange programs that have received a ‘Full’ listing status by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). For students who are “directly placed” through an exchange program, students who are placed through an exchange program not affiliated with CSIET, or students who will not be in attendance for at least one complete semester from start to finish, eligibility will be limited to nonvarsity competition. 

Note 1: The foreign exchange program must assign students to host families by a method that ensures that no student, school or other interested party may influence the assignment for athletic or other purposes. The foreign exchange student may not be selected or placed on any basis related to his/her athletic interests or abilities.

Note 2: All foreign students must have a physical conducted in the United States prior to participating in practice or competition.

2) Foreign exchange students who transfer after attending one day of school and/or one athletic practice are ineligible for varsity competition at the new school unless approval is granted by the Board of Control in accordance with the waiver provisions described in Section 5 of this Article.

3) Foreign students attending and residing at member residential schools are exempt from the residence requirements.

Note: Transfer provisions apply identically to all students, both foreign and domestic.

The WIAA approves eligibility for more than 900 foreign students each year. The majority of these students are in programs that are approved by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET); however, a small number of students come in non-CSIET approved programs. The WIAA is a member of CSIET and relies heavily on CSIET's evaluation of foreign exchange programs. The CSIET evaluation process, leading to a program being CSIET approved, helps to assure that foreign students are coming into member schools within acceptable guidelines. In order for foreign students to be granted varsity eligibility, they must come through a CSIET approved program with full listing status, which is updated yearly.

There are a limited number of foreign students that come into our schools without benefit of any exchange program. These students are treated the same as a domestic transfer without an accompanying move by parents. This means that these situations can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis; however, if there is no parental move in progress or no extenuating circumstances, the transfer rule will be applied.

Schools who host exchange students should note that students arriving through an exchange program that is not CSIET approved will be denied varsity eligibility. Questions regarding foreign student eligibility should be directed to the WIAA, 715-344-8580.

All Foreign Exchange students must have a U.S. conducted sports physical.  

Change is on the Way to Nonschool Participation


Q:  What change
d?
A:  A: In the rule, it will state:  "Subsequently, students may voluntarily assemble at any time without school and/or school coach involvement."   Students may now assemble out of season in any manner they choose during the school year and during the summer.   However, their high school coaches and high schools many not be involved.  The assembly must be open to any and all along with being voluntary.
Q:  What has not change
d?
A:  The fundamental rule with coaching contact.  Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children).  Coaches includes head coaches, assistant coaches, volunteer coaches, and coaches who may be coaching the next year.  Coach involvement does include organizing, determining nonschool rosters, providing instruction, coaching at the contest, etc.  
Also, the athlete may not participate in the same sport during the school season with a nonschool team.  A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in a nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school.
Q:  When does the rule take effec
t?
A: The Bulletin will be going out May 18 and the rule takes effect then.
Q:  I have already had an alumnus call about organizing training/practice sessions, led by him and other alumni for football players.  This would not involve the coaches in any way but they would be on our practice field. Would it matter if these guys assembled in a city park
?
A:  When looking at the involvement of school, it means the school cannot schedule, provide funds, or resources for the non-school assembly.   The rule: “an acceptable nonschool program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status.”  It is open to any and all interested students in your community and other communities.  Use of school facilities must be done in the same manner as any other non-school group such as 4-H, boy scouts, or local rotary.  So they may check out your football field, but must do so as any other group would do.  A city park would work as well.
Q:  With the new rule it states cannot involve head coaches, but can assistant coaches and others associated with the particular program work with the student-athlete
s?
A:  No.  The rule states "school coaches" which includes head coaches, assistant coaches, volunteer coaches, and coaches who may be coaching the next year.
Q:  Is the school in possible violation if the football player is playing in a non-school basketball league during the football season run by an assistant school basketball coac
h?
 A:  The football player may participate in a non-school basketball league during the football season.   Keep in mind, the basketball player may not participate in a basketball league during the basket ball season.  But the school's basketball coach may not work with the school's athletes during the school year outside the basketball season or outside the five contact days during the summer.
Q:  Can parents coach the team out of season during the school yea
r?
A:  Maybe.  Be clear on the role of the parent with the high school team.  If the parent is not a coach of the high school team or not going to be a coach next season of the high school team, then no problem.  However, if the parent is also a coach of the high school team, they may only coach their child out of season during the school year and summer (except the five unrestricted days) and not members of the high school team the coach will work with next season.
Q:  Looking for clarification on the new change to this that was passed at the annual meeting.  Article VI Non-school participation, Section 2 – Out of season.  Am I reading this correctly.  Frosh and JV coaches can coach varsity teams while varsity coachers can coach frosh and JV teams outside of the season?  Any coach, paid or volunteer assistant, can coach another “team” as long as that “team” is not the same “team/level” he/she will be coaching “in season
”?
A: The coaching contact rules have not changed.  The only change was that the kids could assemble in any manner they choose voluntarily without any school and/or school coach involvement.  "Subsequently, students may voluntarily assemble at any time without school and/or school coach involvement."  Varsity/JV coaches are considered the same.   There is no distinction between varsity and J.V. coaches, i.e., J.V. coaches cannot coach varsity athletes during restricted times, and vice-versa, nor any distinction between paid and nonpaid (volunteer) coaches. Technically, you could have the 9th grade coach work with the JV and/or varsity.  But then during the regular season, that coach would have to have zero interaction with those athletes.  He/she could not be present during try-outs, practices, scrimmages, contests, or sit on the bench with those athletes.

NONSCHOOL PARTICIPATION - OUT OF SEAS
ON
The WIAA membership has placed several rules in the Rules of Eligibility which affect the non-school participation of WIAA member athletes during the school year. The first, during the season of the sport:  It is the philosophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in a nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school.  (ROE, page 37, Art VI, Sect 1, Par A)
A second rule, which has just been changed, during the school year is the preseason assembly rule:  It is the philosophy of this Association that athletes should not be unreasonably restricted. Subsequently, students may voluntarily assemble at any time without school and/or school coach involvement. (ROE, page 37, Art VI, Sect 1, Par A)    
The third part of the rule is the All-Star competition rule: A student becomes ineligible in a sport for a maximum of one year from date of last offense for participating in an all-star game or similar activity. (ROE, Page 38, Art VI, Sect 3, Par B)
NONSCHOOL PARTICIPATION - INSEASO
N
Th
e WIAA Rules at a Glance (III - Students - D)
Rules indicate athletes may not participate in non-school competition during the school season, in the same respective sport. WIAA rules do not prevent athletes from practicing with non-school teams or from receiving private skills instruction during the school season. However, they may not participate in any nonschool competitions or races, including scrimmages, against other teams. This restriction applies to normal non-school games as well as “gimmicks,” such as reduced numbers competition (3-on-3 basketball, 6 player soccer, 3-on-3 soccer, 7-on-7 football, etc.), specific skill contests (punt, pass, and kick, shooting contests e.g., free throws, 3 point), fun runs (including “banditing”), etc. Additionally, a student who was a member of a school team during the previous year may not delay reporting for the school team beyond the school's official opening day of practice in order to continue non-school training or competition. (RE – Art. VI) 

WIAA athletes, and professional photographers, should adhere to these guidelines, relative to individual pictures. WIAA rules allow professional photographers to:

  1. Display pictures of students in athletic wear (letter jackets, jerseys, uniforms, etc.) in their studio windows, on premises of studio and in connection with other photographic displays and exhibits. 
  2. Use pictures of students in athletic wear (as indicated above) in advertising brochures, postal cards, sample boards, collages, direct mailings, and similar situations. 
  3. Use pictures of students in athletic wear in advertising form in a publication (newspaper, magazine, etc.) or for television advertising, or names of students (not identified as athletes) in radio advertising.

WIAA rules continue to prohibit athletes from:
  1. Receiving the equivalent of cash or merchandise in the form of discounts in cost of pictures, waivers of sitting fees, free wallet-size photos, and similar inducements, if identified as an athlete or selected because of being an athlete. 
  2. Providing an endorsement, as an athlete, in any promotional event.
  3. Being identified with their name associated with the picture in athletic wear.

The Amateur Statue rule:  A student shall be determined to be in violation if he/she:  Is identified as an athlete, provides endorsement as an athlete, or appears as an athlete, in the promotion of a commercial/advertisement and/or profit-making event, item, plan or service.  (ROE:  IV-1-B4)

WIAA rules prevent the recruitment of students for athletic reasons. The specific rule in question states: “No eligibility will be granted for a student whose residence within a school’s attendance boundaries, with or without parents, or whose attendance at a school has been the result of undue influence (special consideration due to athletic ability or potential) on the part of any person, whether or not connected with the school.”

It’s important to note that persons not connected with the school can violate this rule, resulting in a loss of eligibility. Schools are ultimately responsible for the eligibility of all of their students and the school needs to communicate rules and pay close attention to the circumstances that bring students to the school. Obviously, public schools and private schools encourage students to enroll and this certainly can be done without violating the undue influence rule. The following gives some examples of acceptable and unacceptable practices. This list cannot be considered allinclusive, but should be helpful as an example.

Acceptable

• High school personnel visiting a middle school/elementary school to explain programs and encourage all interested students to attend.
• Inviting all interested students from a middle school/elementary school to visit.
• Providing game tickets to all interested students and/or team members from a middle school/elementary school or area youth teams.
• Providing informational pamphlets which describe the high school to all interested students at a middle level/elementary school.
• Providing tuition reduction to prospective students, based on need and/or scholastic achievement.

Unacceptable

• High school personnel visiting a middle school/elementary school sport team to encourage players to attend.
• Inviting selected students, because of athletic potential or ability, to visit.
• Providing game tickets to selected students, based on athletic potential or ability.
• Providing promotional pamphlets to selected students, based on athletic potential or ability.
• Providing tuition reduction to selected students, based wholly or in part on athletic potential or ability.
• Community or booster club member(s) contacting a potential student, because of athletic ability or potential, and encouraging attendance.
• Providing items of apparel and/or other incentives to students.

Additional Examples

• Interpretation of this provision now allows youth athletic teams to receive invitation/complimentary admission to high school sporting events and to be acknowledged or introduced at those events.
• Teams may also perform and/or scrimmage in connection with a high school event.
• Under no circumstances may a youth team be introduced, etc., at more than one contest per season.
• This interpretation provides for admission, acknowledgment and performance and/or scrimmage opportunity.
• These events may not extend or prolong the contest or periods beyond the limits provided by rule.
• Participating in the high school team’s game preparations is not permitted (e.g. pregame, half-time, sidelines, locker room).
• Under no circumstances will it be considered acceptable to single out any individual youth/middle level student athlete separate from or disproportionate to the remainder of the team. 

It is the responsibility of schools to contact other schools and report any possible violations of WIAA rules. The WIAA is always willing to provide rules clarifications and, where necessary, will impose sanctions on schools and programs. It is far better for schools to provide leadership and control to prevent problems than to have to deal with these issues after the fact. 

All sport coaches have five days of unrestricted school coaching contact opportunity during the summer, between the end of school and July 31; the days do not need to be consecutive. Unrestricted opportunities allow you to use school support and facilities  as you would during the season.  Unrestricted means teams can assemble with coaches, school monies and resources can be applied, schools can sponsor the events/activities. The 5 contact days must be the same for all levels within a sport program.  Unrestricted contact days are open to any interested student in your school.  They are not allowed during the school year.
 
NOTE:   In 2014, football which begins on August 4 (equipment/fitness testing) & 5 (practice) unrestricted coaching contact must end on July 26 in order to meet the dead week rule.  Football must follow the acclimatization plan if school resources are used.

In the sports of baseball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling, unlimited “non-school” contact may used by coaches during the summertime.  

The summertime being defined as when school is not in normal session, provided such non-school programs are not limited to students on the basis of school or team affiliation.  

An 'acceptable non-school program' is one which is not limited based on school and/or team status and no school monies or resources can be applied.  No school monies and resources can be applied, schools cannot sponsor the events/activities.  Use of school support and facilities must be done in the same manner as any other non-school group such as 4-H, boy scouts, or local rotary.

Unlimited contact is open to any and all interested students in your community and other communities along with being voluntary.   

During the summer and school year out of season, athletes may assemble in amy manner they wish without school or coach involvement (other than the five contact days). The Booster club is considered non-school.

What Types of Contact Allowances are Provided to Coaches in the Summer?

Unrestricted Contact

Students on your school teams can assemble with coaches, school monies and resources can be used, schools can sponsor the events/activities.

•    Contact is limited to 5 days from the last day of school until July 31.
•    Days do not need to be consecutive but must be the same for all levels within a program.

•    Football must follow fall acclimatization if school resources are used.


Unlimited Non-School Contact (limited to certain sports)

Open to any and all interested students in your community and other communities. NO school monies and resources can be used, schools cannot sponsor the events/activities.  School facilities must be contracted for in accordance with your school district policies.

•    Contact may occur from the end of school (including the last day of school) until the first day of school in the fall.
 
What Type of Contact Can Coaches Have With Their Athletes?

All Sport Coaches

•    Unrestricted Contact (see definition above)

Baseball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer , softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling coaches. 

•    Unrestricted Contact (see definition above)
•    Unlimited Non-School Contact (see definition above)

How Can Athletes Assemble on Their Own?

Summer (Last day of school until first day of school in the fall)


•   During the summer, athletes may assemble in any manner they wish.  There are no restrictions as to the number of athletes from the same school allowed on a given team.
•   During the summer, captain’s practices are allowed.  
 
School Year (First day of school until last day of school)

•   During the school year, students may voluntarily assemble at any time without school and/or school coach involvement.
•    During the school year, captain’s practices are allowed provided the opportunity is voluntary and there is no school and/or school coach involvement.


Using Athletes As Clinicians

During the school year, you may only use your athletes as clinicians during the sport season.  In the summertime, a school may conduct a clinic for students in grade 8 and below, where high school varsity and junior varsity coaches may use some or all of their athletes as clinicians.  Individual students may be used as clinicians a maximum of 6 days during the summer (when school is not in session).  Using students as clinicians in such a manner must conclude no later than July 31.


Eligibility Q&A

(updated 3-12-14)

3-12-14

Q:  I was reading the WIAA Bulletin and it said for open gyms that the coach can recreate w/ students.  For baseball, does that mean a coach can throw bp as long he doesn't coach or advise or anything like that?

A:  Absolutely not.  Baseball coaches may throw with players, but not catch the pitcher from a catcher's stance. Baseball coaches may hit in the batting cage, but may not pitch batting practice or drop balls into the pitching machine. Baseball coaches may field ground balls, but may not hit ground balls. If it looks like a baseball drill, the coach may not do it. Recreate is not doing drills.  Recreate is playing.  See the examples below from 3-15-10 and 10-27-07.

4-24-10
Q.: I have a question about accepting prize money from cycling races I compete in over the summer. I was wondering if it would be permissible that if I were to win any cash prize, that I could accept only the amount of entry for the race?
A.: Our amateur status rules which the member schools have put into effect limit student-athletes from receiving benefits from athletic achievements in WIAA recognized sports. ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be an amateur in ALL WIAA recognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus, since the Association does not presently sponsor interscholastic cycling amateur status restrictions do not apply to your cycling achievements. Current WIAA recognized sports are: Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, hockey, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling for boys, and basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball for girls.

3-15-10
Q.: I am the association manager of our local bowling association, and I have a young gentleman that will be going out for the high school golf team and wants to bowl in a USBC sanctioned league. There will be prize money at the end of the bowling season which will be the second week of April. What is his eligibility or penalty if he participates up to the beginning of the season, or during the season? He is under 18 and his parents have signed a USBC waiver?
A.: ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be an amateur in ALL WIAA recognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus, since the Association does not presently sponsor interscholastic bowling amateur status restrictions do not apply.

2-5-10
Q.: I represent a free publication in the Madison area. We would like to highlight two area high school athletes. There will obviously be no compensation, just an interview and photos. Do you foresee any problems or violations?
A.: Articles published by news gathering publications have been acceptable by our member's rules. In addition, articles may celebrate a student-athlete and/or and their team/school accomplishments. Your concerns may revolve around amateur status. Athletes may not appear in ads promoting a publication, product, or service whether they receive compensation or not.

1-15-10
Q.: I own a local running store, and we are going to be doing a team building event for the store at a fun run on February 13, 2010. I have two students athletes that work for me, and I don't want it to affect their track eligibility. They both own jerseys with our store name on them already, so they will not be receiving any prizes or benefit from running on the team. Please let me know if they can run on the store team for this event without making them ineligible for the 2010 track season.
A.: The students may run since it will be during the off season for both cross country and track. They may compete on the team, but cannot receive any benefits other than a trophy, etc. They could wear the t-shirts, but you would want to refrain from using any photos with them in any advertising.

Q.: Can a club volleyball organization, not associated with the school, give a scholarship to a 9th grade student to pay her fees for the club? The club wanted to ask to make sure that if they scholarship her fees, that she does not lose amateur status.
A.: Yes. So long as any student who wants to have fees paid for the opportunity can also get reimbursed. This opportunity may not be a "benefit" based on performance, e.g., making the varsity. See III-F of the Rules At A Glance. Keep in mind that camps and clinics must be paid in full (100 percent) by the student and/or parents.

Q.: My varsity girls basketball team has asked if it is legal for a private party to purchase pink shoes for them to wear in a game for cancer fundraiser. My response is that if the private party wants to purchase them for any girl in our school who would be interested in them it would be ok. Just for the varsity girls basketball team would not be allowed. Am I correct? Then they said what if the private party donated the money to the basketball booster club and the club purchased the shoes for the team? My response was that I would not allow it because I viewed it as a way of skirting the rule. Am I correct there as well?
A.: You are correct. If the private group (the booster club is not considered school) wanted to purchase the shoes and gift them to the school, the school could issue them as part of the uniform. At the end of the season, the school could sell them to the players for a reasonable (not outrageous) price or the school should keep them.

Q.: We are having a conference showcase on January 16. All conference girls teams will play that day. I was going to have a couple of players from the corresponding boys teams compete in a 3 pt. shooting contest at half-time with coupons given from a local sub shop. Is that ok?
 A.: As you have described the contest, this would not meet our membership rules. Our Rules of Eligibility (page 37 of the WIAA Handbook) state a student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice or competition established by the school (ROE, VI-1-A). In addition, our membership rules of amateur status state: Accepts, receives and/or directs to another, reimbursement or award in any form of (a) salary, (b) cash, (c) merchandise of any kind or amount or (d) share of game or season proceeds, for achievement in athletics (ROE, IV-1-B-1, page 35 of the WIAA Handbook). A student may receive an award which is symbolic (nonmerchandise) in nature such as badges, certificates, cups, trophies, medals, banners, ribbons, pictures, event t-shirts, event hats, game balls, unattached emblems, letters, season highlight DVD or video, or other items of no intrinsic/utilitarian value. A student may not receive such merchandise items as shirts, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, jerseys, warm-ups, equipment, balls, duffel bags, backpacks, watches, rings, billfolds, coupons, gift certificates, e.g., regardless of their value. (See Bylaws, Article XI – Awards) (ROE, IV-1-b, page 35 of the WIAA Handbook).

12-18-09
Q.: Question on awards for representatives for our school for Wendy's High School Heisman. The two representatives from each high school receive a patch, a certificate, and a $10 gift certificate to Wendy's. I believe every school that has students fill out the forms receives one boys winner and one girls winner. Can the students accept the $10 gift certificate to Wendy's? Article IV, Section 1, B. 1.b reads that a student cannot receive such merchandise items as coupons, gift certificates, e.g., regardless of their value. Just wondering if I am taking this too literally.
A.: No. For a HS athlete who has remaining eligibility – accepting, receiving and/or directing to another – any sort of cash and/or merchandise award – will be career ending. A student could participate in the contest – but is not able to accept or direct to school or any other person or place, the various cash awards which are mentioned.

Q.: Our FBLA (school group) is offering a 50/50 raffle which involves a basketball toss at halftime. My question is can a student athlete direct his/her parent to accept any awards on their behalf? My guess is no as this would essentially be the same as the student athlete accepting the cash award.
A.: The answer to your question is that a student athlete may NOT direct to another, reimbursement or award in any form (a) salary, (b) cash, merchandise of any kind or amount or (d) share of game or season proceeds, for achievement in athletics. If the 50/50 raffle is a random draw, the student-athlete may accept the prize. Some additional detail for random draw based contests: 1) You are always most wise to take a "wide berth" around amateur status concerns. 2) With respect to the "lucky ticket holder" and random draws - the rules say an athlete may not receive benefit as a result of "being an athlete." On their ability, potential or performance as an athlete. Thus, you must always see the person whose name is drawn is the person that "performs" the skill. 3) When there is a legitimate contest where a student athlete's name is drawn by "luck of the draw/serendipity"... they did not receive opportunity or benefit because they were a talented player...but rather just by luck of the draw...and if they make the field goal or half-court shot e.g., they may keep the prize.

Q.: This year, our team wore a small helmet sticker on the back of our helmets honoring a classmate of our seniors who had passed away in elementary school. In honor of that, the mother of the former classmate we had honored approached me about the possibility of her purchasing from our school the jerseys of our seniors, who were the classmates of her late son. She wanted to give them (as a gift) their home game jerseys that they had worn this year. I was wondering if this was acceptable. Would she have to wait and give it to them after they graduated from high school? She would like to give them to them for Christmas. I didn't want to do anything to hurt their eligibility.
A.: Our membership rules pertaining to amateur status allow students to purchase uniforms from schools according to the procedures in place by the administration and board of education. If your school has a practice of allowing anyone and everyone the opportunity to purchase used uniforms, then the situation as you describe it may be done. If your school does not have a practice in place of allowing anyone and everyone the opportunity to purchase used uniforms, I suggest that you go to your administration and board of education to establish such a program in order to satisfy the amateur status rule.

Q.: I looked under the "awards" information in the Handbook and it says that an athlete cannot receive clothing/goods for achievement. As far as a team goes, however, can a sport teams' fund-raised money be used to supplement all players purchase of something like polo shirts or warm-ups?
A.: Reimbursement may only be for transportation, lodging, and food for competition from an outside group or school. A t-shirt is allowed, but polo shirts or warm ups are not.

Q.: The owner of a pizza parlor has shown interested in making a donation to the program in return for advertising in the form of a half-court shot contest. For each home game, we would randomly select one fan in attendance and give them a chance at the "X half court super shot" (or something similar). Anyone who makes the shot wins a gift certificate to the restaurant, with the certificate being provided by the pizza parlor. If they have a banner, I would offer to place that in the gym, and a few announcements would be made during the game to plug the contest and the pizza parlor. Before I return the call and start talking about anything substantial like donation size, I want to make sure I have the green light here. Are there defined rules about how these donations/ads are handled? Can I be directly involved as a coach or is this something parents/boosters usually handle?
A.: As described – this is OK provided everyone has the opportunity through random draw. For fundraisers and/or promotions associated with schools and school programs - if it is going to involve/include student athletes in scenarios where cash/merchandise can be won for performance of sport and/or skill of sport performance - the opportunity to do so must be associated with random draw/serendipitous opportunity. If everyone who buys a ticket gets the opportunity: 1) don't allow athletes to participate. 2) change the prizes to those items which a student can receive without amateur status peril (Bylaws Art. XI, Rules of Eligibility Art. IV). When looking at random draws: Be sure your number is broad and not skewed ('by just the JV players sitting in the bleacher's when lucky ticket's drawn'...e.g.); Have a good pool; be sure the person whose name is drawn – must be the person who shoots – or draw another name; do not allow for passing opportunity to another! (Opportunity is then no longer, random.) This may only be done during regular season games and not WIAA tournament games.

Q.: Is it a violation for a booster club to pay for a Tri-State All-Star game fee (out-of-season) for a senior athlete?
A.: No. So long as any student who wants to have fees paid for the opportunity can also get reimbursed. This opportunity may not be a "benefit" based on performance, e.g. making the varsity. See III-F of the Rules At A Glance. A student may be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competing. This may include transportation, food, lodging, and entry fees.

Q.: I have a niece that races go-carts in the summer and receives trophies, ribbons, etc. She also receives a payout at the end of the season. She is a freshman this year, and I am wondering if this will affect her amateur status. Will she be able to participate in school athletics?
A.: What ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be an amateur in ALL WIAA recognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus – since the Association does not presently sponsor interscholastic go-carting, amateur status restrictions do not apply. Same as we do not sponsor lumberjack events, bass fishing, snowmobiling, motocross, BMX or rodeo, e.g., there are a number of school aged student athletes who do well in these non-WIAA recognized sporting events and suffer no peril when playing any WIAA offered interscholastic opportunity. Important: On the other hand however - even though student plays school football, basketball and baseball – and then while golfing with dad or buddy in summer event hits closest to the pin and wins a sleeve of balls, or sandwich at the club house, or a new driver, e.g., BIG PROBLEM/Amateur status violation! Even though the student does not take part in school golf program our members rule requires amateur adherence in ALL WIAA sports in order to be eligible in ANY WIAA sports.

Q.: I am the site director for a hockey training facility. We are looking to sponsor a player of the week for one of the Web sites that covers hockey and already awards a player of the week. I was hoping that you could verify that this is not a violation of any rules and we will not get any players into trouble by sponsoring the player of the week. I was also wondering if it would be legal for us to give a free team or individual training session to each player that is honored with the player of the week award?
A.: Sponsors can be used for a player of the week if done properly. We would be happy to review your plan to ensure no violations to amateur status for the athletes. As for an award or benefit, athletes may not receive discounts for merchandise or services unless offered to ALL students. Please refer to our rules on our Web site.

10-23-09 Q.: Is there a way that a club can legally provide financial assistance to a family of an athlete who can not afford the full club program?
A.: If a club wishes to reimburse, they may do so provided: ANY student who wants to have fees paid for the opportunity can also get reimbursed. This opportunity may not be a "benefit" based on performance,e.g. making the varsity. Athletes may be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competition. So the answer to your question is yes - so long as the same opportunity to have club fees paid are available to any/all kids interested in playing club (an athlete may not receive benefit that is not available to all students). III-F and III-C of the Rules At A Glance relate to your question.

Q.: I am the boys basketball coach at a member school. We are playing in a holiday tournament over Christmas break this year and are thinking about staying overnight in a hotel. I was wondering if it would be legal for our booster club to help pay some of the cost of the hotels or if the school would have to pick up the entire bill. I just want to make sure that we handle this correctly so we're not violating any rules.
A.: This can get done – in either of a couple ways. Both "work" within our member's rules. Since our Bylaws and Amateur status rules provide that "costs associated with competition" can be reimbursed, the boosters could either pay the hotel bill directly or they could "gift the school" the necessary amount and the school could cut the check. There might even be some tax exempt benefit to the second way. But either way will work within the rules.

9-18-09 Q.: Our volleyball team would like to go see another team play as a team. Can our coach pay for them to get into the game? Can they use money they raised though fundraisers? Or do they each have to pay their own way into the game?
A.: As a form of entertainment, this is acceptable. It is viewed as "group entertainment" and permitted by the Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility. In addition, the payment can be from any source provided it is offered to everyone.

Q.: Wanted to clear with you any potential conflict we could avoid with Web site video we are planning to shoot in September for our clinic. We are doing a 60 second video, and some 30 second clips of our clinic to describe who we are and what we do. We will be getting consents of any minors (see attached form) and they will not receive any type of financial reimbursement or remuneration. In addition, they will not have on any team logo gear. Is there anything else they or we should or would need to be cautious of as the last thing we would ever want to do is risk or even question ANY eligibility?
A.: Thanks for checking in advance. III C of the Rules At A Glance addresses our member's amateur status rule. Being paid is only a portion of the member's provision. It also talks about "being identified as an athlete". There are three ways most common in considering a student having been identified – by text or spoken word, by apparel and by props. Apparel does not necessarily need to be just the school's uniform to convey the student is an athlete. Best advice, best practice is to use young adults – recent graduates – who have no high school eligibility remaining. A second (slightly less good recommendation) is to use younger/pre-high school students who may not yet be subject to WIAA membership provisions. Another best practice recommendation is to simply use actors – students who are not athletes at all – then you have far greater liberties. When I say it's best practice, it's because of our many experiences where one promotion stimulates another in a neighboring business and that business owner does not take the precautions you have contemplated, does not contact us as you have – and does harm to another member's students. Since we try to help all of our members we must maintain that awareness of the connection of all that goes on. If you would like us to preview your idea before you launch it we will be happy to do so. Otherwise, it is not possible for us to interpret compliance on something of this nature, sight/unseen.

Q.: Can a business put a high school team logo(s) in their ads in support of their local team(s)?
A.: With permission of the school due to licensing issues, you may do so. When athletes are involved, the rules are more strict.

8-21-09 Q.: We own a hockey pro shop and would like to give a 10 percent discount to all high school hockey players in the area. Example: Player comes in to purchase a piece of equipment and they say they are on the ABC team, and we make sure they are on the roster that we received from their coach and then we give them the 10 percent. Is this okay to do?
A.: Our membership rules require the athletes who participate in WIAA athletics be amateur athletes. In the situation which you stated, would be a violation of our rules. An athlete may not receive "compensation or benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use of name, picture, and/or personal appearance, as an athlete. This includes but is not limited to: receiving free and/or reduced rates on equipment, aparel, camps/clinics/instruction and competitive opportunities that are not identical for all other participants." On another note, if the discount is offered to all students without the athlete performance, you could do this promotion.

Q.: I have a couple returning starters who will be seniors that would like their jersey from last year to take senior pictures that are scheduled before the start of try-outs. Is this legal per WIAA?
A.: As long as your school allows uniforms to be issued in the summertime and your athletes comply with the amateur status rules, this would not be a problem. There are times when photographers may wish to display pictures of students in athletic wear in their studio, etc. The students should not receive any cash or merchandise in the form of discounts in the cost of the picture, waiver of sitting fees, free wallet-size photos, and similar inducements if identified as an athlete or selected because of being an athlete. The athlete may not provide an endorsement in any promotional event for the photographer.

Q.: Below you will find the text of an offer extended to our school that would use some of our athletes in a commercial. Would this be a problem regarding amateur status? "I am part owner of a few food companies, one of which is called Al's Pizza. It is a newer product on the frozen pizza market. We are putting together a T.V. media campaign through three television stations. I would like the opportunity to talk with you about the chance of using some of your players in the commercial. In turn, I would donate some food for fund raising for the walking the path drive. We have the thought of running a football theme commercial as well as having weekly drawings for pep rallies at local high schools. If you could let me know if this is of interest to you I would like to sit down and work out the details and schedule for taping."
A.: This is absolutely a problem. A violation of the amateur status would be career ending. You may wish to review the Rules at a Glance and the Amateur Status article from the Senior High Handbook.

7-10-09
Q.: Our radio stations are planning to create an Athlete of the Week award presented to a senior student beginning this fall and we would like to partner with a business in presenting a scholarship to an Athlete of the Year selected from all the weekly winners at the end of the school year. Is there any problem with this proposal?
A.: Our member's amateur status provisions are outline in Art. III-C of the Rules At A Glance. To begin, WIAA rules do not prevent a student from receiving a college scholarship. We recommend the funds be paid directly to the student's school at the start of their second semester of college; but what you decide to do for a senior who has graduated - is really up to you. One of the most common perils we encounter in some promotions is the student "appearing" to be endorsing a business, service, product or plan. This often happens unintentionally. We think it's a good idea to have the school's AD preview and approve of any promotional materials that might include the student and/or announcement of the student's selection.If we receive copies of the piece, we are also glad to work with businesses to try to help avoid any negatives from arising from what you are intending to be a good thing.

5-26-09
Q.: Our local recreation department is starting a men's softball league this summer and the director contacted me with a question. He was wondering if high school athletes are allowed to participate? There will be a cash payout to the winning team, but nothing to individuals.
A.: Student athletes could enter the league and play. They may not, however, accept, receive or direct to another cash or merchandise awards. There are a number of HS athletes who enter pro-am events – with potentials for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes, but they make it clear they are playing for fun/the experience...and will not accept, receive or direct to another – money for playing or winning.

4-10-09
Q.: I read Article IV Amateur Status, Section 1B, 1) b. My question is this: I have some track t-shirts that I received at no cost. I thought of giving them away to track athletes, one at a time per week. (i.e., an athlete who never misses practice, or an athlete who demonstrates a wonderful attitude during practice). My AD suggested that I better check to see if this is OK.
A.: No Problem. Both in the Bylaws, Art. XI (p. 29) and in the Rules of Eligibility – as you have identified; our members have determined a T-shirt to be an acceptable award for athletes to receive.

3-27-09
Q.: Where do students stand regarding the Wendy's Heisman award (recognizing athletic, academic and citizenship) and "amateur status?" Judging according to the Wendy's Web site is: Students are judged based on their academic achievements, community service involvement, and athletic accomplishments. Up until last year, schools identified a male and female nominee, much like we do with the WIAA scholar athlete. Last year, Wendy's changed the nomination process to allow any student to "nominate themselves" online. Wendy's then selects one male/one female to continue on to the state and then national levels…at least this is how I understand it. The male/female selected is sent a $10 gift card. I'm going to go with "not acceptable" as this is in effect a cash award to be used at Wendy's with at least 1/3 of the criteria based on athletic achievement.
A.: Amateur status is addressed in both Rules at a Glance and AEIB. For a HS athlete who has remaining eligibility – accepting, receiving and/or directing to another – any sort of cash and/or merchandise award – will be career ending. A student could participate in the contest – but is not able to accept or direct to school or any other person or place, the various cash awards which are mentioned.

Q.: Our physicians of the Bone & Joint Clinic provide volunteer sideline coverage for various sports in the area. Is it acceptable for us to take photos of physicians rendering care to student athletes and then displaying such photos in our clinic office as artwork? I understand we would need to get a photo consent from the minor athlete's parent, but I need to ensure we would not violate WIAA regulations.
A.: What you are proposing could hold the potential for a student to lose their high school eligibility for the balance of their school career. WIAA amateur status rules are described in III-C of the Rules At A Glance. There is one strategy by which you could accomplish this promotion yet not adversely affect the students you photographed – if you developed a "calendar file" of photos and always used this spring's graduates in next year's promotions. When a student has completed their HS eligibility, there is no WIAA recourse. Though there is no peril for graduated athletes, I will caution you that there is still potential peril for our members - if/when other businesses copy your idea - but fail to check in advance and don't recognize you are only using graduate students - and they use underclassmen.

Q.: I am the head boy's soccer coach at a member high school. I have some 8th graders coming up next year who are Hmong and are said to be good players. I don't know yet if they play in Hmong leagues, but my concern is if they plan on playing in any Hmong soccer tournaments, which as far as I can tell, all offer cash prizes to the winners. It is my impression that under Article IV-1-B, there is no way they can participate in such a tournament without permanently forfeiting their amateur status. Is there any circumstance where they could?
A.: Yes. The biggest challenge is to reach out and educate the students and the ELDERS! The amateur status rule does not prevent a student from competing in events where cash/merchandise prizes might be offered - after all, many summer softball, golf and other events have cash/merchandise prizes. The rule simply provides that a WIAA student athlete may not "accept, receive or direct to another any cash or merchandise award." So the key is to educate the appropriate individuals so that the students and event hosts understand - how it is the kids can play - as well as what must be done and under what conditions in order to protect their eligibility. They must understand that if they accept/receive - even indirectly - or direct to another (cash or merchandise) and then play the season for you and it is discovered later, all the games they played in would be as an ineligible player and those contests would be forfeited. In addition to the amateur status, be sure to talk with your students about the nonschool competition rules.

2-13-09
Q.: As part of a promotional brochure we have put together for a local business, we have included a picture of one of our employees playing "soft toss." He is a high school athlete. He was not paid any money for the use of the picture. Have we violated any WIAA rules?
A.: Sight unseen difficult to say with certainty - but potentially, yes. See III-C of the Rules At A Glance. If student is an undergraduate and has hopes of playing any more WIAA sports during this school year - Do not use this photo until you have brought it past the school's AD. An athlete can be identified as an athlete – by text, by apparel, by props. An amateur status violation is career ending for a high school student. If you're looking for a marketing plan, keep a calendar file of photos and always use this spring's graduates/seniors, in next year's promotions. Lastly, you should always consult with the local athletic director on matters that could affect school sport eligibility.

Q.: Our basketball club is interested in sponsoring an all-star game for players in our conference. The game would only involve seniors that have finished playing their high school basketball career. The club asked me to check into a few things for them so I am forwarding this info on to you. If they want to play the game sometime after the State Tournament, is there a deadline as to when they can play the game during the school year? I believe seniors are OK to play even if they are spring sport athletes, correct? They also gave me a copy of a "Q and A" from sometime past concerning all-star games. The Q and A references Art. IV, a question concerning this article is the following: Can a high school coach only coach a team if none of the players on either team are out for a spring sport?
A.: Yes. This is very clear from the Bylaws Art. IV which stems from our members fundamental opposition to all-star events; which they had viewed as exploitive of students. There is not a deadline for seniors to participate in the game as you have proposed.

12-12-08
Q.: I've got a couple questions that are somewhat similar. 1) A local committee coordinates our city field. They've requested pictures of our team playing there so that they can put them on their field website. Is this OK? My impression so far is that they want to have a photo section that shows various pictures of the many teams that use the field. Not sure if they are selling advertising on this site to outside businesses. Would that be a factor in determining acceptability? 2) We're doing a fundraiser where our team sells cards full of coupons to local businesses. Is it OK to put pictures of our athletes on such a card?
A.: 1) Can't say with any certainty. What's on the site, how the photos are used is essential to know and see before being able to say. Selling advertising is only one of the concerns in this type of idea. If they wish to do a mock up/prototype, we will be glad to proof. 2) ABSOLUTELY not. Team logo and/or schedule would not be a problem.

Q.: Can a booster club at a school help pay a fee that an athlete has to pay to be on a club volleyball team?
A.: Athletes may be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competition. So the answer to your question is yes - so long as the same opportunity to have club fees paid are available to any/all kids interested in playing club (an athlete may not receive benefit that is not available to all students). III-F and III-C of the Rules At A Glance relate to your question.

Q.: You mentioned something about a sport team losing eligibility over an endorsement for a pizza parlor at the AD meeting, could I get some more information in terms of what happened that caused them to lose their eligibility.
A.: To begin, a player of the week, team of the week, e.g., do not need to be troublesome. The recognition may be afforded without peril. But school administration and coaches must have oversight. The sponsoring business should have some moral/ethical perspectives as well. In the case I referred to at WADA, an area TV station and an area pizza vendor - under the guise of selecting a "team of the week" picked several area HS's over the course of the fall season and when the team was notified they were team of the week and would receive a pizza dinner for the team (which can be allowed – Bylaws Art. XI, Sect 2A). The pizza arrived but so did a video camera which was given to the students. The students were asked to shoot several minutes of video which was then placed on the internet. The videos we reviewed were ripe with product placement and with what could only be seen as product promotion/endorsement and NOT seen as the businesses purely/simply endorsing, promoting the students. What appeared on the internet was seen only as an advertisement for the pizza co. and an exploitation of kids. With some education of students, oversight by coaches and AD's and the business promotions staff a lot of distress and a year of probation could have been avoided.

Q.: A local restaurant has offered to feed our football team free of charge this Wednesday. I looked at the Handbook to make sure this was not an amateur status violation and was not sure after reading it over a few times. Could you please clarify? We have some kids that are involved in wrestling and basketball. The last thing I want to do is jeopardize those seasons.
A.: So long as it's voluntary, not attached to some other "promotion" and is available to any on the team interested in attending - you can allow this. See Sr. High Handbook, Art. XI, Sect, 2A (p. 29).

Q.: I have an athlete that will be participating at the AAU national CC race in Virginia and the USATF national CC race in Alabama. Her mother would like to solicit sponsors to help defray the costs of these trips. Does that endanger the runner, a junior, of her amateur status?
A.: On something like this I recommend caution. A student can be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competition. That might be achieved without peril through solicitation. Be certain then that the eligibility is not compromised by the student turning around and promoting/endorsing the sponsors and contributors. Of course, the school may also have policy and/or opinion on whether you wish to permit private student solicitation of area business. See Rules At A Glance: Art. III-F and III-C.

Q.: We have a group that would like to run some halftime contests where gift certificates could be awarded. Are there any restrictions outlined by the WIAA? Does the WIAA have any statements regarding advertising at games?
A.: Halftime contests is a broad description. They can take on many forms. Some may be specific skill of sport performance, others like an egg or water balloon toss - having nothing to do with skill of sport performance. Depending on how a student is provided access to the opportunity - whether by random draw, or by simply purchase a ticket and everyone gets a chance to play, as well as what a student will be doing in the contest will determine what a student athlete might be allowed to receive for winning. Of course for adults and non- students, WIAA rules and amateur status provisions have no bearing. In addition, what you choose to do during your own school's regular season will otherwise be largely up to you. WIAA tournament procedures identify that gimmicks and fundraisers are not allowed as part of WIAA tournament events. Here is some discussion about random draw based contests for some additional detail. 1. You are always most wise to take a "wide berth" around amateur status concerns. 2. With respect to the "lucky ticket holder" and random draws - the rules say an athlete may not receive benefit as a result of "being an athlete"... on their ability, potential or performance as an athlete. Thus, you must always see the person whose name is drawn is the person that "performs" the skill. 3. Then there is a legitimate contest where a student athlete's name is drawn by "luck of the draw/serendipity"... they did not receive opportunity or benefit because they were a talented player...but rather just buy luck of the draw...and if they make the field goal or half court shot e.g., they may keep the prize.

Q.: I have a question regarding the distribution of t-shirts and sweatshirts at a basketball league in which non-basketball players play in the winter. The league consists of teams from three communities. None of these players play basketball at the high school, but most participate in other WIAA sponsored sports. They simply join this winter league and play at church gyms within the communities. Is it acceptable for the winning team and second place team in the tournament at the end of the season to receive a sweatshirt (first place) and a t-shirt (second place)? I have read the "Amateur Status" requirements and stipulations, but am still uncertain.
A.: T-shirts have been identified by the members as acceptable for a student to receive. Sweatshirts have not been approved. See Bylaws, Art. XI, Sect. 1A and Sect. 3 for specific text and references. (HB p. 29) Also: What ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be an amateur in ALL WIAA recognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus, since the Association does not presently sponsor interscholastic bowling amateur status restrictions do not apply. Same as we do not sponsor lumberjack events, bass fishing, snowmobiling, motocross, BMX or rodeo, e.g., - there are a number of school-aged student athletes who do right well for themselves in these non-WIAA recognized sporting events and suffer no peril when playing any WIAA offered interscholastic opportunity. Important: On the other hand, however, even though student plays school football, basketball and baseball – golfing with dad or buddy in summer event – hits closest to the pin and wins a sleeve of balls, or sandwich at the club house, or a new drive, e.g. – BIG PROBLEM/Amateur status violation! Because even though the student does not take part in school golf program our members rule requires amateur adherence in ALL WIAA sports in order to be eligible in ANY WIAA sports.

10-24-08
Q.: We will be hosting a varsity volleyball tournament and may need to use JV players as line judges. My question is, is it allowable to pay them as we would an adult line judge?
A.: Yes. A student may be employed and you may compensate them. The only potential for assertion of inappropriateness comes when student is picked because they are the 'best' jv player(s). Opportunity for the job should be available to any interested, and selected based on knowledge and ability to perform the work, not based on athletic abilities.

9-19-08
Q.: We have a girl who is an incoming freshmen that participated in the Hershey track meet this summer and qualified for their national meet. She attended the meet, but her trip was paid for by Hershey. Is this a violation of amateur status?
A.: No, not a violation – provided the student did not accept or receive any other unacceptable awards. ROE, Art. IV (Amateur Status) provides in section B-1a. " Actual and necessary reimbursement for transportation, food and lodging paid in connection with playing a contest shall not be regarded as a violation."

Q.: As students begin registering for school and sports, three questions have come up that we would like some feed back on. We have a couple students who are not able to afford our sports fees ($60 per sport). They do meet the criteria for free and reduced lunches. The questions are: 1) Can the sport booster club cover their fees for them or would this take away their amateur status? 2) Can the school waive the fees for those that qualify for free and reduced lunches without the athlete losing eligibility? 3) If students do not meet the qualifications for free and reduced programs, can their fees be waived or paid by a booster club?
A.: 1) Yes, so long as the same opportunity is provided to all students who qualify and are interested in participating. We view this as costs associated with competition. The boosters should gift the school the necessary dollars that would meet this need. 2) Yes, same caveat as #1. Some schools have this policy. 3) Would advise extreme caution in that direction and discourage consideration unless all students are to have fees waived.

Q.: I work for a television station that covers the Duluth/Superior area. We do an athlete of the week segment on Sundays, and my news director wants to change the format of that segment to include giving the student a plaque/trophy. Will this affect that student's amateur status? There will be no other prizes/incentives, just a plaque recognizing that student athlete as the Fox 21 Northern Star.
A.: Our members identify a trophy and/or a plaque to be an acceptable award which a Wisconsin HS student athlete may receive. Please See III-C of the Rules At A Glance.

8-15-08
Q.: A local business wants to donate the t-shirts I intended to purchase for the 15-year old summer baseball coach winning the Teen League State Tournament. Is there a violation there? The t-shirts would not mention the name of the business. Also, can a parent buy those same players a key chain celebrating their win of the same tournament?
 A.: A t-shirt is an acceptable/allowable award. At present, a key chain is not. See III-C of the Rules At A Glance.

Q.: My daughter is going to be a senior this fall and she and two other HS girls have been asked to play on a co-ed slow pitch softball team that is going to be in a tournament in two weeks. They are the only players on the team that are still in high school. I have been told that they may play on this team as long as they DO NOT accept any prize money that may be given out at the end of the tournament even if the other members of the team accept the money. Is this correct?
A.: Essentially, yes. That's correct information. See III-C of the Rules At A Glance. A student may not accept, receive or direct to another - cash or merchandise award. Would recommend you also discuss this with your school's AD.

Q.: I am from a large city, and I am a senior in high school. I was emancipated from my parents and now I live on my own. However, life in the city is hard, and I decided that I am going to move to a small-town school. Before I actually do this, I just wanted to know if I would be able to play basketball in the new school if I make the team?
A.: Answer to your question is "no." The rules our members have put in place provide that whether an adult or not, a student is eligible in the district where his or her parents reside, full-time in their primary residence.

7-18-08
Q.: We have a question regarding a job that my son was offered. He was given a position through the Park and Rec Dept. that involves giving 4-6 year-olds tennis lessons as part of a park program. He plays on a varsity high school tennis team in the spring. Is there any conflict?
A.: No Problem. Students can be employed in this manner – by rec depts. YMCA, country clubs, aquatic centers, etc. They just can not be self-employed in giving sport skills instruction.

Q.: Our football team would like to take a picture during the first week of practice in the fall and make a poster of the picture. I know there is not a problem with this, but can they put advertisements on the posters to help pay for the cost of the posters? If they were to make a profit from the sale of posters, would this be a violation of the WIAA policies?
A.: It's a little difficult to say with certainty on this one – sight unseen. Fundamentally when you look at a poster – what's it conveying? So long as it's crystal clear that the local businesses are supporting team, school program – it's generally not been seen as a problem. If/when the poster imagery is less distinct – and seems to leave the suggestion the athletes are endorsing product or business – that is a problem. Speaking generally, it has not been seen as a problem when the local businesses who support the team and the poster are identified – with thanks and gratitude from the QB Club, and those businesses typically are identified by name or logo on the bottom/around the margins of the poster. If, however, the promotion and endorsements were seen as to be gratuitous, the line of business "endorsing/promoting" the school the team the kids was no longer clear and it appeared as much that the athletes were endorsing the product, the business or service that is a problem. If the posters are sold and proceeds placed in a booster or school account as a fund raising initiative – that has not presented amateur status concerns for the athletes. We have a few examples of posters on file that created problems for the athletes appearing in them. If you wish us to preview your poster in advance of it going to print – will do so gladly – if provided enough time.

Q.: One of our baseball parents called me today with a question regarding them being contacted by a sports management firm. The letter to them indicated that their son may be considered for the baseball draft next week. Is it OK for them to contact this firm to get more information?
A.: There is absolutely no problem with a student and his parents speaking to a sports agent or firm - or a lawyer of their own choosing. Certainly, advise the student to not sign any contract with an agent or professional sport team until they're done with school sports.

Q.: If a high school player plays baseball for an amateur baseball team in the summer, and the team he plays for receives prize money for playing in a tournament, does this take away the player's amateur status? He is the only player of high school age and does not directly receive the money.
A.: See III-C of the Rules At A Glance. Playing a game / event where cash or merchandise prizes were offered - in/of itself would not make a student ineligible. There are a number of HS student golfers, e.g., who play in pro-am events where significant prize money is offered. The student can compete - but just for competition's sake. The student and parents might wish to take some added measures to educate and create awareness that the student is an amateur and may not accept, receive or direct to another, cash or merchandise awards.

5-1-08
Q.: I'm on the organizing committee for a 5K/10K run in early August (Aug. 9 this year). In the past, we've given ribbons and trophies to the top finishers - this year we're considering gift certificates to athletic/running specialty stores in the area. If a high school athlete were given such an award, would that jeopardize their WIAA eligibility?
A.: Answer to your question is "yes" - for a student athlete to receive cash or merchandise awards for achievement, performance and/or potential as an athlete would by rule, be a career ending violation. (Obviously, since your event is held Aug. 9 and cross country season does not begin until the 18th, students who will be joining their school's team could otherwise take part in your event without peril.)

Q.: Is there any issue with one of our high school junior ball players getting paid to work a basketball camp that we host for kids in grade school and middle school?
A.: 1) Students can be employed – just not self-employed in the area of private sport skill instruction. 2) About the only peril (amateur status related) would be if the one ball player was given preferential treatment/access to the opportunity; one not available to other interested students to be aware of and to apply to. 3) Remember; schools are only able to sponsor camps/clinics in the summer.

Q.: Couple of questions for you: 1) We are hosting a cross country meet next fall and would like to open it up for a middle school race prior to the JV and varsity races. Is there anything that would prohibit us from doing that considering that we are only a 9-12 private school? 2) Is there a form that needs to be completed for participation in a 4-team basketball tournament held in Winona, MN for our participation? I was unable to locate one on the website. If not, what is the process?
A.: I am not able to see any obvious peril if your school provided a non-varsity and/or middle school race opportunity to those schools whose varsity teams will be taking part in your invite. With respect to interstate competition; there is no form. Forward the following to the event sponsor/host and get rsvp back to me (these are the fundamental elements governing interstate competition as outlined on p. 27 Sr. High Handbook, Bylaw Art. II, Sect. 5G). Will simplify and summarize: Does this event require NFHS sanctions? If so, has the event received sanctioning? Are participating schools 9-12 high schools? (no post secondary/prep academies). Are all schools members of their state association? (In this case, with only four schools involved, disregard the first two points – the event would NOT require sanctioning.) Also, include the dates the event will be held.

Q.: If a softball team plays out-of-state (non-bordering state) and plays two games in two days is this in violation of 6f of the softball spring season regulations? Would we consider this an event rather than two competitions?
A.: No, this would not violate season regulations if it was your school's only out-of-state event. Played on consecutive days of the same/single trip, we would consider this all part of the 'one event' – much like playing several contests over 'spring break.'

4-11-08
Q.: I am getting the odd request for donations for raffles, silent auctions, etc., for signed stuff from the players, such as a signed t-shirt from the state champions. Is this a violation? I would like clarification.
A.: Kids signing a t-shirt. signing a stick etc., if YOU (the SCHOOL) wishes to make such available - that is your prerogative. We do not presume such to be an endorsement or promotion in/of itself. It's names on a t-shirt. Watch out for requests to have team and/or athletes make personal appearances at such fund raising events/promotions - regardless the cause.

Q.: There are parents of middle/elementary students in our community that would like to pay a varsity basketball player to provide one-on-one instruction on a weekly basis this summer....any violation here?
A.: Yes. Violates amateur status provisions. Career ending. See Sr. High Handbook, p. 34, Rules of Eligibility, Art. IV, Section B. To paraphrase; a student can be employed - but not self-employed in sport skills instruction.

3-28-08
Q.: We have two junior high volleyball coaching positions in the district. The only interest is from a junior volleyball player and a graduating senior player. Is there a high school eligibility problem for the junior if she is paid the coaching amount of $350. Or for the graduating senior if she is paid as well?
A.: A student can be employed. Provided these job opportunities were posted/made known and available to all interested students - if the two students you've identified rose to the surface through what may be described as a normal search process and you offered them the job - we are not able to see any obvious peril for the students being employed by your district in this manner.

2-8-08
Q.: Can a student-athlete receive cash for participation in a bowling tournament? I have read through the amateur status section and am still unclear as it says they may not accept any cash or merchandise for achievement in athletics.
A.: In a word, "yes". What ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be in amateur in ALL WIAA recognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus – since the Association does not presently sponsor interscholastic bowling amateur status restrictions do not apply. Same as we do not sponsor lumberjack events, bass fishing, snowmobiling, motocross, bmx or rodeo, e.g., there are a number of school aged student athletes who do well in these non-WIAA recognized sporting events and suffer no peril when playing any WIAA offered interscholastic opportunity. Important: On the other hand however - Even though student plays school football, basketball and baseball – and then while golfing with dad or buddy in summer event hits closest to the pin and wins a sleeve of balls, or sandwich at the club house, or a new driver, e.g., BIG PROBLEM / Amateur status violation! Even though the student does not take part in school golf program our members rule requires amateur adherence in ALL WIAA sports in order to be eligible in ANY WIAA sports.

1-18-08
Q.: Our marketing department has just released some new commercials for our health care facility. They have a picture of a football player with a WIAA high school jersey with a number in the commercial. This individual is actually a university student (non-athlete, non-paid actor). Are we violating any WIAA rules using the WIAA HS jersey in the commercial?
A.: Answer is no. Whether paid or unpaid - A college student has no high school eligibility. He is not a full-time student at a member school and subsequently, is not subject to WIAA rules of eligibility. You were wise to use an actor – we are happy for that – but I am confused and question only the timing of seeking clarification as evidently the commercials have already been aired?

Q.: A parent attended our WIAA eligibility presentation a few weeks back. His son is interested in participating in video game tournaments. Tournaments are large and small, individual and team with varying cash and material prizes. I am not sure this is considered a sport or even falls under WIAA rules. He has the potential to be sponsored by various companies as he progresses. He is working on local and national sponsorship right now. Or is it like modeling or working a job. Are there restrictions on his competition? What prizes can he accept and maintain his WIAA eligibility?
A.: To paraphrase; WIAA amateur status text provides that 'A student must be an amateur in all WIAA sanctioned athletics in order to be eligible in any WIAA sanctioned interscholastic athletic competition.' Since we do not create and/or sponsor tournament opportunity, create season regulation and etc., for video gaming, our amateur status provision does not apply – even to NBA JAM or Madden football. This same interpretation is provided and applicable when asked about bowling, motocross, BMX, snowmobile racing, lumberjack olympics, rodeo and bass pro, etc. The amateur status rule would be enforced in an event such as an iron man triathlon! We do sponsor swim and running competition.

Q.: I have a young lady from our school who qualified as a Wendy' s Heisman Candidate from our school. She did not receive state level recognition. Wendy's sent her a $10 gift card for being the recognized school candidate. Can she accept the $10 gift card?
A.: No. Must be returned – if student is intending to participate in interscholastic athletics now or in the future. If not returned, student will be ineligible for the remainder of her HS career. Advise student to bring to you – you return, along with note and request response from Wendy's confirming they've received returned prize.

12-21-07
Q.: Is it acceptable for several students to accept monetary support from local businesses to pay some of or all of the costs associated with a club sport (club soccer) during the off-season? Or does this threaten their amateur status? Apparently, three or four students want to play in a club soccer league in Milwaukee (I am assuming during the winter) which costs $900. They are wondering if local businesses or individuals can assist in paying some of or all of this fee. Does this threaten their amateur status?
A.: Simple answer is no, not automatically a violation. This has unsavory potentials; e.g., when your kid gets money, because he's 'pretty good,' but when my kid asks is denied...arguably in that scenario this becomes amateur status rooted – benefit/perk, based on your success/celebrity as athlete. Do you really wish to promote local business being hit yet again for personal interests of this kind? Help get kids a job. But the essence remains, 'no, not a violation out of hand.'

Q.: On page 34 of the Senior High Handbook (Article IV, Section I of the rules of eligibility it lists those items that are permitted and those which are prohibited. One of the items that is prohibited is "balls". Then it refers to Bylaws Article XI-Awards. On page 29, (Article XI-awards, section 1A of the Bylaws) it lists "game balls" as a permitted award. So that I can clarify this to my committee members, is there a distinction between "balls" and "game balls" or is this a typo?
A.: A 'game ball' is typically 'awarded' post game for 'special' performance/achievement/extra-special contributions. Made to team for "tonight's victory," sometimes signed by all team mates and coaches. Most typically ends up on a shelf or case, POWERFUL when presented by team/coaches. Game balls awarded in this manner, are seen the same as trophy only more special. But nonetheless - a 'symbolic' award when given in this manner. Obviously, there are times when my skill and/or celebrity as an athlete could see me presented with a ball or balls as product and/or perk and/or benefit, e.g., "since winning regional golf/tennis last spring, now every time I go to the club I get a free bucket or bin of balls." This would be a big problem. Hitting closest to the pin or longest drive, I won a summer long supply of golf balls. Again, nothing symbolic in this. It's product/merchandise based, won for performance/achievement as an athlete. For making the winning basket, the local dealer gave me a brand new basketball of my own, just to shoot around with.

Q.: Someone wants to buy basketball shoes for our three boys teams. Is this legal? Red flags just went up when they told me.
A.: Shoes – just given to athletes - would be an amateur status violation. If the benefactor wished to 'gift' the school district and in turn you wished to issue shoes to your teams, you could do that. They then become school property issued just like shoulder pads and should be collected and reissued or collected and discarded following the season in accordance with school board policy. Also see Art. IV, Rules of Eligibility p. 34, Section 1B-1c. I would also recommend there be administrative discussion on the topic from a gender equity perspective – is there anyone who will provide the same for the girls?

12-06-07
Q.: My 10th grade advisor is running a John Madden Play Station football tournament. Can he give cash away to athletes as a prize?
A.: Technically and so long as the event is open/available to any/every student, 'sure' – a video game is not performance/achievement in athletics. We would not regard it as a "best practice" by any stretch, however.

10-27-07
Q.: I have a question concerning shoe discounts for students and teams. Am I correct to assume that the following is allowable and not an amateur status violation: A vendor wishes to provide a team discount to players if so many pairs of shoes are purchased by a team. In this case the school buys the shoes, pays the vendor and collects the money from the players that make the team. Otherwise any discount from the vendor would have to be available to any student in the school population.
A.: I do not like this model – I prefer the model where every kid who goes out - gets the discount just for going out. Or better yet, every kid and teacher in school can show up in the cafeteria Thurs. from 4-6 ... and will get XX percent school/student discount. In years past, schools used to provide basketball shoes to teams. Just like providing shoulder pads/helmets. As I understand the question – this is not that model. You/the school is not purchasing to own - and then issue the shoes and collect at end of season. You will re-sell at a reduced price – a price not available to any/every interested student – just to those who make the team. From that perspective then at least – the discount in the model IS performance based...a benefit afforded only for those making the team. Would not advise could not support.

Q.: We would like to recognize students that participate in three sports by giving them a t-shirt. The only requirement would be that they were out for three sports the previous year. Is this legal?
A.: Yes - no problem. HB p. 29 - Bylaws Art. XI-1A.

9-21-07
Q.: Can students who receive free or reduced lunch have participation fees waived without risking eligibility?
A.: Yes – Amateur status provisions allow students to be "reimbursed" for costs directly associated with competition. When a school 100 percent and uniformly waives fees for students on free/reduced – and with no bearing on grade or team level..or not based on athletic ability/potential/performance, we consider it from the perspective that they are costs associated with the school's competition season.

Q.: We had a senior high school girl get a hole in one at our Booster Hockey Golf Outing. Can she accept the prize, a two-year lease of a car, or would that impact her high school eligibility this year?
A.: Answer's "no." Student may not accept, receive or direct to another....a cash or merchandise award ... Would end her high school career. See Rules At A Glance 2C.

Q.: I am a member of the largest running organization in Wisconsin with about 1500 members. We have an interest in starting a program to help disadvantaged high school athletes who are involved in cross-country or track and are in need of shoes/equipment. My initial thought is to run the program through the high school coaches and the local shoe/sport equipment stores; perhaps giving the coaches forms that they could fill out and give to the athletes to use at local stores to purchase the needed equipment. Our organization already has a working relationship with many of the shoe stores in southeastern Wisconsin so I don't believe it would take much convincing to get their participation. The stores could collect the forms and "cash" them in through our organization. Am certainly open to other suggestions but I believe the heart of this program would need to be the coaches themselves because they would need to identify those in need and provide them with the necessary forms.
A.: There may be a way to achieve your interests and ends without peril to a student athlete. It is not the course you've initially identified. But an alternate path might deliver the results you hope to achieve, nonetheless. WIAA Amateur status provisions prohibit a student from accepting/receiving cash and/or merchandise. Simple plan you might consider, is to contact member school ADMINISTRATION. Have them identify those students who receive free/reduced lunch and if you wish to GIFT THE SCHOOL with cash or coupon – for them to use/administer in providing for there students as they then determine, your desired result might be achieved without peril to student, member school, school coach and with no unintended backlash toward your organization's intended generosity. Always remember – these are the school's programs, not any one coaches.

8-20-07
Q.: I received an email from a minor league baseball club. They are hosting a "Hometown Champions" night and are wondering if our athletes would participate. Athletes would be encouraged to wear their uniforms and school apparel to the game that night and would be announced on the field during pregame over the PA system. All individuals affiliated with our championship winning teams would receive a discounted two for one ticket deal. It appears to me that this would violate WIAA rules of eligibility, since the athletes would be receiving a discount based upon athletic achievement. [Article IV - Amateur Status - sections 1, 3, & 4] Is this interpretation correct?
A.: It is the two for one promotion that prompts me to say 'NO can do" on this one as it is presently outlined. If the club wished to provide complimentary admission to your team/coaches and the school wished to say yes to that, it would be OK. As per Bylaws (p. 29) Art. XI, Section 2B: When a team is honored/recognized and/or go to an event of this kind, as a group, it is viewed as "group entertainment' and permitted by the Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility. When the business uses the students with two for one promotions to try to get business in the door, students are not able to take part in that.

Q.: Our local hospital/athletic trainer wants to give each athlete their own water bottle. If I understand the rules correctly, they cannot, unless, they offer one to EVERY student in school. Correct? Can the hospital donate the bottles to the school, and then the school distributes as they deem appropriate (give to athletes only)? Can the hospital donate the bottles to the booster club, who then donates to athletes?
A.: Best direction is for hospital to 'gift the school'- then you can provide to teams as you determine need by 'team/program'. Or - 'every student who goes out for a sport' should receive a water bottle. Is also acceptable - thereby it IS a benefit available to any/every student - so long as the student goes out for a sport.

Q.: Can we have player awards that are sponsored? For instance can we have a "Culvers Player of the Week?" The student would only receive recognition on our site and possibly a certificate of recognition. No gift or anything like that.
A.: Player of the game, the week, ... team of the week sorts of recognition has 'always' been allowed. As you describe - there would be no peril for student. Students can receive certificates of achievement/of recognition (never cash or merchandise, or coupons for such). So long as when we look and see the business, product, service is 100 percent 'endorsing' student, team, school...seldom is there a problem.

7-13-07
Q.: I am an athletic trainer – at my facility we have a training program and would like to roll the program out at a reduced price to employees and their immediate family members. There is some hesitation that if a WIAA athlete enrolls at the reduced price, that athlete may violate WIAA rules. We are offering the program to all employees, so all students would be eligible for the same discount, whether an athlete or not. If I could get something in writing either supporting or denying this proposal, it would greatly help.
A.: An 'employee/family discount' would not ordinarily be viewed as an amateur status violation – should one of the children in an employee's family also be a HS student athlete. At least not if is as straight forward as described; i.e., available to every employee and all of the children/spouses etc. The 'benefit' of the discount was not/did not come as a result of the student 'being an athlete' or due to performance or potential as an athlete...but rather, simply because "mom or dad works there."

Q.: I have a potential donor that is interested in setting up a need based scholarship for students returning to our private high school, but they would like to base one of the criteria for awarding the scholarship on athletic participation during the previous year. My concern is that while we may be able to award a scholarship to a student coming into our school based on music or art or science interest, if we start to allow scholarships to be awarded based on interest in athletics, will that fall under the recruitment ruling?
A.: Your assessment and concerns are right on the mark. Financial aid that has anything to do with athletic interests, potential, ability or performance - would render the student ineligible for their entire HS career and place your school in a status of severe non-compliance. You may identify a wide range of requirements/qualifications to consider - but none of the criteria may relate to WIAA interscholastic athletics. BE EXTREMELY VIGILANT OF THIS. We have had experience in this area where zealous booster members have caused great distress for members on occasion.

5-4-07
Q.: I would like to approach a local photographer to ask them to donate a complimentary photo for each of our honored student-athletes. Would we run into a problem giving each recipient a 5x7 photo? Right now those are priced at $10. Can you approve this, or would it violate the amateur standing rule and the rule regarding gifts?
A.: In concert with and as part of the recognition/event, we would ordinarily consider a photo to be in the vein of a plaque/certificate - symbolic in nature and acceptable. Bylaws, Article XI and ROE, Article IV.

Q: We have a player that did not dress because of grades last nighty in our 1st tournament game. Does he remain ineligible for the remainder of the WIAA BB tournament. At mid term our code states they become eligible as soon as they correct the grade. At the end of the quarter or semester we follow the 1 week or 15 day scenario. Can't find this in the book and want to make sure we follow procedure - I believe they are ineligible for the remainder of the tournament. Please confirm.
A: There are three types of rules: NFHS & Season Regulations, Academic, and Code of Conduct. 1) If an athlete is ineligible for behavior (p. 39, Article VII, Section 3), the athlete is out of the entire tournament (p. 39, VII-3-D). 2) If an athlete is ineligible because of an ejection, it is the result of an NFHS rule and Season Regulation and he/she may return to the tournament once the ejection penalty is served. 3) If an athlete is academically ineligible and your code of conduct allows return, the athlete may return on the 16th scheduled school day if two or more F's (p. 36, V-2-A-1) or when your code of conduct allows if less than two F's.
Keep in mind that athletes who are ineligible during the WIAA tournament (for any reason) may not appear in uniform, participate in warm-ups, and may not participate in the awards ceremony at the WIAA tournament (p. 39, VII-3-E). In this question and situation, the athlete may return when they become academically eligible. Always apply your code as written.

Q: Just a quick question on 15 day ineligibility. I am sure I am right on this one, but I know the parent is going to be asking questions and I want to be prepared. A wrestler's 15 day ineligibility ends today because it is the 15th day. He is not eligible for regionals tomorrow because it is not a scheduled school day correct? His eligibility would resume on Monday.
A: You are correct. He becomes eligible on the 16th scheduled school day: Monday.

Q.: Our district recently passed a policy that students be required to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in order to be involved in extracurricular activities (sports, etc.). The question that has been brought up is, what happens to the special ed students who try as they might, can't make this new GPA requirement. Is there anything that can be written in the IEP to allow them to participate in these activities and "outrank" the school policy? Some have said that if it's written in the IEP than it should be followed. But, this really doesn't relate to FAPE does it? I don't know if others have experience with this and if there has been any court cases that have set a precedence for something like this.
A.: I completely agree with the basic premise I read in your comments... regarding FAPE vs IEP and sports participation. "Requiring" sports participation in an IEP is not appropriate any more then it would be expected for the IEP to also prescribe what position a student ought to play or how much playing time the student should receive! Your district may want to address the 2.0 gpa requirement in light of students identified as having special needs and/or students who may not meet specific definitions to be afforded an IEP, but still have some diminished capacity or extraordinary need. It may be done either, individually, based on identified and specific needs (in the IEP). It may be done as broad policy. Either way, it ought to be "spelled out" (keep in mind that if you put a different standard then 2.0 in the IEP, the student must still meet that standard, and meeting an alternative GPA standard or requirement is far different then putting sport participation as a requirement in the IEP). In my former role as an AD, we developed an academic standard which had both, a no-F policy and a GPA requirement. We developed a relief mechanism/policy/plan in anticipation of the possibility that a student might not be able to meet the GPA requirement. In effect, the simplest/most effective means we came up with was a teacher "sign-off" sheet. We would NOT set aside the "no F" component. We would not accept failure for a student. But if each/every teacher "signed off" that the student was current and doing everything reasonably possible to succeed in the class, I could waive the gpa requirement. As I recall, our expectations for waiving the gpa, included: 100% class attendance; 100% up to date on assignments; participates in positive manner in class; seeks out the teacher for extra help outside the class. We designed the model for weekly or bi-weekly feedback from teachers. The student was responsible to initiate all contacts between teachers, AD and coaches. We designed it to promote teacher/student interface...and student accountability/ownership.

Q.: We have one varsity soccer team, a red JV soccer team and a white JV soccer team, and a red freshman team and a white freshman team. I understand that academic ineligibility stemming from a fourth quarter failing grade shall result in the lesser of 21 calendar days beginning with the date of earliest competition (September 14) or one third of the maximum games allowed in a sport. Is one third of the games allowed based solely on the varsity season schedule, or each schedule for each level? As an example, one third of the JV season is a different "date" for eligibility than one third of a varsity season. In turn, one third of the season in the JV red schedule is different than one third for the white schedule. Is it possible to have, five different dates of eligibility based on what one-third of a season is? Or is the one-third of the season based on the varsity schedule and, therefore, soccer has one "date" for eligibility. Understood is the lesser of 21 days or one-third.
A.: The 21 calendar days would be the same "count" for all, i.e. the earliest allowed date for competing would be no earlier then what the scheduled varsity is, since the days are counted from the earliest date that practice can begin. In so far as JV and varsity, the max number of games that can be scheduled is the same for all sports, (e.g. varsity 24 games for soccer/24 for JV) thus one third the max allowed would be identical for varsity and for JV. You are correct to adjust figure for frosh. The max they are allowed is 16. Thus one third is 5.3, rounded up to six games. Whether you've filled the frosh or varsity/JV schedule ornot, the suspension is based on max allowed.

Q.: We have a student who competed in wrestling during grades 9-11. The family moved to Florida, while the wrestler moved to live and work with grandparents in Puerto Rico for one year. The wrestler did not receive any education for the year. The wrestler returned to our school, established residency with parents, and plans to complete his senior year. Is the wrestler eligible to compete as a "fifth year senior" having only completed six semesters of education? The wrestler will turn 18 during the upcoming school year.
A.: No. Not without a consecutive semester waiver. A student has the potential for up to eight consecutive semesters of eligibility beginning with grade nine. His consecutive semester "clock" or count begins when he began 9th grade. That he or the family chose to take a year off does not stop that count.

Q.: Referring to page 35, Section 2 - Academic Eligibility, part A in the WIAA 2004-2005 Handbook, "A student must meet.... In the most recent grade-reporting period." Our school is in a four period block schedule. Grades go on transcripts at the end of each nine week term. But every three weeks we make available "progress reports." In the past, these reports did not give out specific grades, but rather statements of progress like, "acceptable, currently failing," etc. Now we have a new computer network grading program that does not allow these phrases to be used. For progress reports, we will have to give out actual letter grades now. Our code of conduct refers to grades at the end of each nine week term - the progress reports had no impact on eligibility. May we continue to consider the most recent grade reporting period to be the ones that occur at every nine weeks?
A.: Absolutely. Your dilemma is not unique. For added awareness and clarification, you might find a way to document that: "Even though we are providing a letter grade at this time in this progress report, it's important to note that the final quarter grade could change and may rise or fall depending on work submitted between the time of this report and the end of the nine week grading term. NOTE: Academic eligibility for all extra curricular activities shall be based on the actual nine week grade which is the grade that will appear on the student's permanent record of this term. (This is just an idea.) Bottom line, the "progress report" is not the "final" grade...for the grading term, only an indication/a snap shot of where the student is at present and does not need to be used for determining eligibility in this application.

Q.: In the Handbook under Rules of Eligibility - Article V, section 2A 7 a.(page 36), it states minimum of 21 days beginning with the date of earliest allowed competition in sport. Does competition mean when practice starts, or when games start. I used the start of the season, and was questioned on it. We have the same wording in our code as the WIAA for fall sports.
A.: Earliest date of competition is the date of first game. Not the date practice may begin. See Handbook pgs. 9-10; the earliest date of each "first game" for each sport is identified. That "earliest date you may "compete"/play a game, is "ONE" - the first day of your 21 calendar day count. There is also a matrix for fall sport eligibility on the web and on p. 5 of the June Bulletin. Penalties for use of ineligible players is outline on p. 31 of the Handbook.

Q.: I would like your input on the following situation. A student this summer transferred from our school to School X and wants to play football. In looking at his academic record for last semester, he received two failing grades from us. However, the student took two sessions of science in summer school at X High School and received a passing grade for both classes. The student failed both physical science and world cultures at our school. In looking at the bylaws it states a student may become eligible through summer school provided the courses made up are equivalent. The School X coach is asking me to determine whether or not the student would be eligible. How does one determine if the classes are equivalent in this case? My feeling is that the student would be eligible at X. Is this correct? (Please note I am not sure how the science classes compare).
A.: You are correct. The use of "equivalent" in this text speaks to the number of F/Classes made up; i.e., if the student failed two classes and you were a "WIAA minimum code requirement school" (not morethen one failing grade), the student would have to make up one class to restore eligibility. If he failed three classes he'd need to make up at least two, etc. (That's the "equivalent" number of F's that made him not eligible.) If you were a "No F" policy, then the equivalent is two classes made up...or the exact same number as he may have failed. Under no circumstance could a student erase multiple failures with less then the same number of classes completed in summer. Also, it has not been interpreted to mean that if the student failed geometry, they must re-take geometry in the summer (or even another math class for that matter). We are addressing number of failures and classes...not course content.

Q.: We have several students that have not done well in regular education classes that will be in an on-site GED program during the 2004-2005 school year. In your opinion, are these students eligible to compete in extra-curricular activities?
A.: Provided these students are enrolled as full-time students, same as every other student, make the necessary grades (not more then one F, etc.), are within the eight consecutive semester allowance and age rule and follow your participation code, there is little reason to deny them the opportunity to participate. You can find the added definition for full-time student on p. 34 of the new handbook.

Q.: I have a question regarding academic eligibility of a transfer student. The student transferring to our school passed all of his classes for the second semester, but had failing grades for two of the classes in the fourth quarter. Which grades take precedence for academic eligibility, the second semester grades or the fourth quarter grades?
A.: The WIAA does not determine whether a school must count the quarter or semester grade. That's the school's "call". Our only stipulation is that whatever you use to determine academic eligibility it is the "standard" and is used all of the time and by all sport participants. (Not using the quarter grades for "this student or team" and the semester grade for the other student or team.) If there is a trend, it might be to look at the quarter grades for sport eligibility. If eligibility is a "privilege" then some feel that maintaining that privilege is an earn as you go proposition, and that the quarter grade is the most accurate reflection of what the "student's doing now" in order to preserve the privilege of access to sport competition. In this situation the discussion revolves around whether to use semester grades or quarter grades, when a student is transferring, the "receiving school's" academic policy is applied regarding semester or quarter grade usage.  But always apply the sending code for the determination of ineligibility.  If the sending school is one failing grade and one quarter of ineligibility while your code is two failing grades and 15 scheduled school days of ineligibility, use the sending school's one failing grade and one quarter of ineligibility.  In cases where there is a code of conduct issue lingering, the sending school's code applies. That's the code the student knew and "signed on to."

Q.: Last year, we had foreign exchange students who were sophomores. They were members of a program and WIAA eligible. This year as juniors they returned and were not part of a program and, therefore, not WIAA eligible. If they return next year as seniors would they be eligible to participate? I am reading the rule stating that after one year of ineligibility students become eligible if attendance is continuous.
A.: You are correct. Handbook, p. 33/Section 5 A-1.

3-6-12


Q:  What is the rule on a club paying for part of a high school student's summer wrestling camp. 


A:  Athletes must pay 100% of training costs.  See the Rules at a Glance.




F. EXPENSES – TRAINING AND COMPETING 
1. The WIAA recognizes a distinction between training and competing. Students must pay their own expenses, including transportation, to any nonschool (out-of-season) camps, clinics, or specialized training. Schools may pay expenses and provide transportation to similar in-season activities in that sport and during unrestricted contact days in the summer. 
2. A student may be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competing. This may include transportation, food, lodging and entry fees. 
3. A school may not become involved financially, through transportation or any other way in a student's nonschool participation outside the sport season and the five Board of Control approved unrestricted contact days in the summer. (BL – Art. II, RE – Art. IV and Art. VI) Note: Funds kept in school activity accounts are considered school funds. 




The only time camps may be paid for athletes is during the five unrestricted contact days and it must be available to any and all interested students.
 
 


1-17-12


Q:  If our school coaches host a youth (8th grade and younger) baseball clinic/camp in the winter or spring at school, can high school players serve as unpaid assistants?


A: Coaches may not coach their athletes outside of the season.  If your coaches work a non-school camp during the school year, their athletes could not work the same camp.  Note, schools may not conduct camps during the school year out of season.  See the following on the Rules at a Glance:


C. CLINICS AND SCHOOL FACILITIES
Schools may not be involved in conducting clinics outside the season, with the following exceptions. So long as participation is voluntary and available to all interested students:
1. There shall be no restrictions upon schools, school teams and school coaches (grades 9-12) relative to assembling in the summertime, for up to 5 days, which do not need to be consecutive. Unrestricted contact days must conclude no later than July 31.
2. A school may conduct a clinic for students in grades 8 and below, where high school varsity and junior varsity coaches may use some or all of their high school athletes as clinicians. This may be done for a maximum of six days during the summer (when school is not in session) and must conclude no later than July 31. Clinics not utilizing athletes as clinicians may be conducted throughout the summer up to the start of school.
3. School facilities may be used for nonschool programs, according to board of education policy, which can result in clinics being conducted, outside the season, by nonschool groups. The nonschool group must request the facilities from the board of education or governing board, through normal procedures and are encouraged to provide their own insurance protection. (BL – Art. II and RE – Art. VI, Sect. 2) 
4-24-10




Q.: I am aware that students from another district cannot participate in our open gyms during the summer, but what about camps. Can a girl from the neighboring district participate in a volleyball camp sponsored by our coach and intended for our district girls? Can our coach restrict it to only our girls, or can she promote it with other schools if she wants? How would any of these scenarios affect the contact days allowed for our coach?


A.: Here are some summer camp thoughts. The camp must be open to any and all interested boys and/or girls. It must be voluntary and not mandatory. Camps may not be used for official and/or unofficial "try- outs" for the upcoming season. Coaching restrictions apply. Camps during the five unrestricted days may take place after the last day of school and before July 31. Schools may provide transportation, instruction, etc. Outside of the five unrestricted days, coaches may not coach athletes they will coach the next season. Schools may not conduct camps during the school year. Students/families must pay 100 percent of the costs. If a reduced price is offered it must be provided to all participants. The only way for booster club funds to be used is to gift them to the school and the school to use booster gifts during the five unrestricted days. High school students may work a lower level camp as a clinician, but the camps may not be longer than six days and must be completed before July 31. A student can be "employed" and be paid for work- ing a camp as a clinician/coach. But, a student may not be "self-employed" in marketing their sport skill/expertise. Students may assemble in any manner during the summer without school and/or coach
involvement (Captain's practices). However, Captains' practices are not allowed during the school year.




 


 


Q.: I am wondering if a booster club can cover the cost of a hotel room when players go to a team camp in the summer time? I am thinking of having my team attend a team camp in Green Bay, and while I know I cannot pay for their entry fee to the team camp, I am wondering if I can pay for the lodging at a hotel.


A.: In order to provide an accurate answer, I would need to know if the camp is part of your five unrestricted contact days or is not a part of the five unrestricted contact days. If camp were to be part of/counted within, your unrestricted contact days – then booster's could gift the school. Then that and other school funds could be used to provide camp opportunity for - ALL - interested students. Must be part of unrestricted days otherwise, camps/clinics are 100 percent responsibility of student and family. If the camp were not part of your unrestricted contact days, the answer would be "No." See III-F of Rules At A Glance. Students must pay their own expenses, including transportation to any non-school (out-of-season) camps. Logistics could be accommodated by having students cover their own cost for the bus transportation. If they wished to ride bus. All interested students could travel by bus if they desired, but would need to cover their own bus ticket costs to camp in this scenario. For camps and clinics, student/parents must pay 100 percent of the costs.




 


Q.: I am writing as the president on behalf of our wrestling club which is not associated with our school. We are a non-profit association organized to promote the sport of wrestling for ages pre-K - high school. Are we able to reimburse the athlete for their expenses to attend a summer camp held off-site from school? Actually to be held at another school district... I've read under summer reminders at the Web site... "students must pay their own way to any camp, clinic, or specialized training." but then it goes on to say that "nonschool groups can pay expenses related to actual competition, such as entry fees into summer leagues, etc." Can you please clarify for me so that we don't have any violations? Also, what if the club is hosting a fundraiser event such as a car wash or brat fry - are the athletes able to split those profits and pay for their camp fees with that money?




A.: Our member schools have allowed reimbursement for some costs associated with competition and not camps or clinics. Competition would include meets or tournaments. Training would include practice, camps, or clinics. EXPENSES – TRAINING AND COMPETING – 1) The WIAA recognizes a distinction between training and competing. Students must pay their own expenses, including transportation, to any nonschool (out-of-season) camps, clinics, or specialized training. Schools may pay expenses and provide transportation to similar in-season activities in that sport and during unrestricted contact days in the sum- mer. 2) A student may be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competing. This may include transportation, food, lodging and entry fees. 3) A school may not become involved financially, through transportation or any other way in a student's nonschool participation outside the sport season and the four or five Board of Control approved unrestricted contact days in the summer. (BL – Art. II, RE – Art. IV and Art. VI) Note: Funds kept in school activity accounts are considered school funds. The WIAA members have stated in the Rules of Eligibility (page 38) Article VI, Section 2, #5, that any fees for entrance to the clinic must be paid for by the students or parents in order to not affect the amateur status of any participants. Students/families must pay 100 percent of costs associated with camps or clinics. This includes receiving free and/or reduced rates on equipment, apparel, camps/clinics/instruction and com- petitive opportunities that are not identical for all other participants.




 


 


12-18-09




Q.: I read over the Handbook, the eligibility section, and could not find specific language for paying for entry fees to camps over the summer. We have a few parents that would like to do a fundraiser to raise some money to offset the cost of the camp. There are nine girls that are looking to go to a camp this summer and it is quite
expensive. A few of the parents thought that if they were to do a fundraiser, they could help offset the cost for some of the families. Would this be a violation of amateur status?


A.: During the summer, if the fund-raised money is kept in a nonschool account and the fundraisers wished to cover the costs for all students interested in summer league play, they could cover costs associated with competition. However, when it comes to camps, clinics, special training and/or instruction – student and parents must cover 100 percent of associated costs. If it is during your unrestricted five days, then the money could be gifted to the school and used during that time.




 


 


5-8-09




Q.: Can our booster club give a student-athlete money to go to a summer camp (such as a scholarship)? Also, we do a fundraiser every year, can I use some of that money so a kid could go to a camp?


A.: Simple answer is no. See III- F of attached. If camp were to be part of/counted within, your unrestricted contact days – then booster's could gift the school. Then that and other school funds could be used to provide camp opportunity for - ALL - interested students. Must be part of unrestricted days otherwise, camps/clinics are 100 per cent responsibility of student and family.




 


 


3-27-09




Q.: Can the girl's soccer coach pay for a team camp with the girl's activity account. Similarly, if my softball coach wants to send her team to a clinic is this something she can pay for out of her activities account? The girls fundraise through working concession stands and I just wanted to double check to make sure that this is an appropriate way to pay for this team clinic.


A.: To begin, ALWAYS remember, once money is placed in a school account – it is – school money; regardless how it got there or who put it in. Then, so long as the camp/clinic was a part of the five unrestricted summer contact days, then – yes. School monies can be used. If not a part of the unrestricted days, then – no; kids would need to pay their own way. Lastly, opportunity to have camp paid for must be available to any/all interested girls. It may not be a "performance based" benefit/opportunity and it must be a voluntary thing on the part of the girls.




 


 


9-19-08




Q.: Can hockey players be used to help coach a youth camp by demonstrating drills to the kids and working with lower level kids on skill development. This camp would be held before the start of the high school season and would be for players in elementary and middle school.


A.: The simple answer is yes. There are a number of caveats. Schools may not sponsor camps or clinics except in the summer. Students could be present and – volunteer - to assist parents – so long as school coaches were not present. School coaches could assist parents – but not when their HS team players are present.




 


 


5-1-08




Q.: My volleyball coach would like to set up a camp for high school students during the week of August 4-8. She knows she can not coach in the camp and another person would be in charge of the camp. Is there any restrictions with this request?


A.: The end result of this can be achieved within Association rules, fairly easily. There are caveats. Keep in mind that the time period your coach has identified as a desirable period for a camp is both outside the actual school season and outside the unrestricted contact dates. So then, coach needs to find a camp/clinic during those desired dates owned and sponsored by a non-school provider (see Bylaws Art. II, Sect. 2,
p. 26). Bylaws do identify that school facilities can be used by non-school groups in accordance with school district policies (Art. II, Sect. 4). Additionally, the Rules of Eligibility (Art. VI, Sect. 2C-1, p. 38) provides that: " An acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status." This means that the non-school sponsored camp may not simply be/become "the school's team practicing/competing outside the season" (Bylaws, Art. II and ROE Art. VI, Sect. 2A) - or your school's team will be vulnerable. Some of the previous response can also be found at least partially addressed in the Rules At A Glance, Art. II, C and A, especially. Lastly, topics such as hold-harmless agreements, liability insurance/protection held by the non-school provider, acknowledgement of IRS tax requirements and the like will need to be considered. Final word of "best practice" advice – be certain the camp is not in anyway able to be described as a "mandatory" thing, and/or the official or unofficial 'try- out' opportunity for the upcoming school season.




 


 


3-28-08




Q.: Is there a WIAA policy or rule that would impact a high school student attending a camp/clinic during the academic year and prior to their participation in a particular sport that academic year? For example, our women's hockey coach is considering running a fall camp in September/October for high school students prior to the start of the high school girls' practice. Will high school girls be in any kind of violation if they choose to attend such a camp?




A.: The simple answer is 'No.' If a student covered their own expenses and individually sought out a hockey camp or school – there would be no WIAA eligibility peril. There were two significant caveats contained in my response: First, students must cover their own expenses to camps and clinics at this time of year..and second, a 'team camp' format could pose peril for our member school – due to "the school's team assembling out side of the season." The member's rules allow kids to assemble in the summertime without school and/or coach involvement (e.g, captains practices). II-A and III-F & G might also be helpful.




 


 


Q.: I am a varsity girl's basketball coach and I was just wondering what the regulations are if our booster club wanted to pay for athletic teams to go to a team camp? I know that I as a coach nor the school is allowed to pay but are there any restrictions from an outside source such as a booster club paying for players to go to camp? (I haven't asked ours yet - I wanted to get a ruling from the WIAA first.) Or does this infringe on a "sponsor" so to speak in that it would look like someone is sponsoring players to attend camp?




A.: To begin, see the text of II-F in the Rules At A Glance. It is also important to note that 'a school' can provide camp/training/clinic opportunities – for all interested students during the actual school season AND during the unrestricted contact days in the summer. What the boosters or others could do is to 'GIFT' the school (if your school board allows earmarked gifts of this kind) the school could then cover costs for any/all students interested in attending a team camp. The school would typically make an announcement to notify all interested 'girls' who might want to have access to a camp opportunity.




 


 


12-21-07




Q.: Can a high school, public or private, entertain a sports team or group of middle school students from another school at the high school and conduct either a sports related clinic or open house? Does it have to be the whole grade invited, or can a select group of students be targeted? Or in other words, do the rules prohibiting the singling out of high school students for school enrollment apply to middle school students? Example 1: A parochial middle school volleyball team is invited to the local public high school to observe and participate in a session with the high school volleyball team? Example 2: An entire 8th grade from a parochial middle school is invited to an open house during the school day at the private high school?




A.: Your school can legitimately provide a variety of opportunities to let middle school students know about you. (But at this time of year – a member school can not sponsor a 'clinic".)




 


 


12-06-07




Q.: Would it be against WIAA rules, for a club to pay for a camp for it's high school wrestlers?


A.: The yes or no to this depends a bit on when the camp is going to be held. If this camp is held prior to the start of the school season, then the answer would be no. The member's require that only the student/parents cover 100 percent of all costs associated with camps, specialized training and the like (III-F of Rules At A Glance). However – in the Handbook the complete text and related notes go on to provide that if this were a camp that was taking place once the official school season was underway, then – the parents could "gift" the school the $$. The school, then in turn – could "send their whole team to camp" if they chose. Rules of Eligibility text; Art. VI, Section 2C-5note (Sr. High Handbook p.38). Note: This pro- vision shall not prevent a school from covering the costs of team participation in a clinic or similar activity during the season of a sport – and/or unrestricted summer contact days.




 


 


7-13-07




Q.: Can our basketball coach use fundraising money, raised by the basketball players, to pay an entrance fee into a summer basketball league and an AAU tournament? The money is located in a school activity account.


A.: Once placed in a school account – it is 'school' money and can/should only be used as approved – for 'school' purpose. Within WIAA membership provisions, the only time 'school' can sponsor/fund' sport programming is during the actual school season – and on/during the four or five unrestricted contact days permitted between end of school and July 31. If tournament and/or league and/or 'team camp' coincide with five days designated as unrestricted contact days – then, answer's 'yes' - school funds could be used. For days outside those designated, 'no.' BUT – non-school funds might be found..and league play and/or tournament entry fees are viewed as costs associated with 'competition,' and so long as opportunity is vol- untary and available for any/all kids interested, no problem with amateur status (see III-F, in Rules At A Glance).




 


Q.: I am a varsity head coach and want to hold a youth football camp at the school this summer. Do I need to do this prior to Aug. 1, and if so, am I allowed to have some of the high school players help out at the camp, or would this cut into my allotted contact days? Lastly, if I can utilize the high schoolers at the camp, can I do this after Aug. 1, or not?




A.: Schools are allowed to provide/create summertime clinic/instructional opportunities for students that have just completed 8th grade or below. You can use your HS athletes as clinicians...BUT - if you wish to use your athletes as clinicians the camp must conclude no later then July 31.




 


 


5-25-07




Q.: There are colleges that offer "team camps" in which you can coach your team and participate against other teams. Is there anything in the WIAA Handbook that prohibits a high school team from practicing with another high school team during those contact days?


A.: In a word - 'No,' provided the the team camp are part of/within the allowed unrestricted contact pro- visions and within the allowed 'window' i.e., between the end of school to July 31. And so long as involve-
ment is voluntary and available to any interested students, you could work with another school.




 


 


Q.: My high school team is going to a team camp this summer. Can the school provide transportation?


A.: If the camp is included in your five 'unrestricted contact days,' yes. If not a part of those contact days, no. See: Article I and III-F in Rules At A Glance.




 


 


Q.: Our football booster group would like to sponsor a bus to transport players to a football camp. Is this legal?


A.: If within your allowed contact days, yes. If not within the allowed contact days the students would need to buy a ticket.




 


 


5-4-07




Q.: I am the head basketball coach at X. This summer, one of our volunteer coaches is thinking about holding a basketball camp for grades 8-12 in his hometown of Y. He asked if I wanted to help out. The camp would be open to all of the surrounding schools. My question is, if I work the camp and players from my team attend, am I and/or our volunteer coach committing a contact violation?




A.: There are a couple dimensions to your question that should be addressed and clarified. First, "JV and varsity coaches are allowed to have contact with students until they actually enter 9th grade." (See: Rules At A Glance, Art. I) Second, if your camp took place between the end of school and July 31, AND you counted the camp as part of your five unrestricted contact days, you could coach your own players. If NOT part of your unrestricted days, neither you or the volunteer could have coaching contact with players you will coach next season. You can find a volume of this on our website: Under the Regulations icon, click on Eligibility Q/A.




 


Q.: Our football booster group would like to sponsor a bus to transport players to a football camp. We have about 30 kids going for a four-day camp. This is not part of our schools approved contact days. The boosters felt this would help solve logistics for a lot of parents having to transport kids. Is this legal?


A.: As described answer would be "No." See III-F of Rules At A Glance. Students must pay their own expenses, including transportation to any non-school (out-of-season) camps. Logistics could be accommo- dated by having students cover their own cost for the bus transportation..if they wished to ride bus. All interested students could travel by bus if they desired, but would need to cover their own bus ticket costs to camp in this scenario.
3-30-07
Q.: UWGB has a softball camp that was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24. Due to the weather it was postponed until March 24. Since the HS softball season has already begun can our players still attend the camp? A.: Yes - and the school could even cover the costs - and your school's coaches could have contact, and school could transport, since it's in-season. (ROE Art. VI, Sect. 2-C-5note) About the only precaution I can think of .. might be to remind attendees that the style/nature of camp - be truly instructional..and not evolve into something which could be construed as club and/or non school competition - during the school season.




 


 


Q.: Once the softball season begins on March 12 can our coaches and players be used to run a free softball camp for 5th through 8th graders? Coaches would instruct with the players helping with various drills.


A.: This could be possible and accomplished within the rules - but would need to find a non-school sponsor.




 


 


Q.: The local youth baseball program is planning a camp for 5th through 12th graders (spring training). They are planning to use the high school gyms. As the varsity coach, can I work this camp? Are there any other things at I should be aware of?


A.: You're going about it the proper way. As you will see in Article I of the Rules At A Glance "JV and varsity coaches are able to have contact with students until they actually enter 9th grade." Thus, you could assist the youth baseball group and be involved in coaching/instructing at their camps - for all students from grades 5-8. However, during the school year, you are not able to have any coaching contact with stu- dents who are already in 9th-12th grade - except during the actual school season (Mar. 19).




 


 


Q.: Two scenarios regarding money for kids who can't afford camps. 1. The local tribal council wanting to give money for camps to tribal member athletes (open to any tribal member). 2. Character Ed. grant money - also available to any student who shows need. Would either of these be allowed? What if money was given to family and parent wrote the check? 3. Also, one more clarification please, what about outside people/sources buying equipment for kids who can't afford it such as padding, helmets, shoes, etc., that the school does not provide?


A.: 1 & 2. Not allowed. There is always the peril - when something comes to light later on and is painted in most evil of descriptions - that what seemed to be 'creative' compliance' is actually considered to be circumvention and not compliance at all. This sort of tidbit usually creeps up the 'morning of the tournament contest', unfortunately. Two, more legitimate solutions: Put on a camp/clinic free to everyone..interested in attending. If a student can't afford the camp, find them a legitimate job and pay them..then if they want to go to a camp, the student can write his/her check and go. 3. As described, an amateur status violation; career ending. Acceptable alternative: Donate what's needed to the school. School then owns and issues.




 


 


Q.: Our football coach is taking his freshmen son to a Jeff Trickey camp. Can he transport other kids that are going? A.: No. Not if HS kids. See Rules at a Glance, Art. I.
Q.: I have a question regarding summer volleyball camps. I would like to have an outside organization conduct the camp this summer for my girls. We are not the most affluent of towns and money is short for most of my players. Having a camp run here of this nature would get a bit expensive for the majority of my players. I was approached by a member of our booster club with an offer to donate some money towards the camp to offset the cost for the athletes attending. The camp is open to all girls in our school so it would be a gender specific camp. Is this a permissible donation that would not violate any rules. The money that they would donate would go directly to the camp coaches and then the cost for the athletes would be figured out after that depending on the number attending. Please advise on this situation and ask any questions you may have of me as soon as you can.


A.: As described, this would not be a problem. The cost of the camp will (as understood) be uniformly less- ened for any/all interested in attending. Each student still covers their own costs of the camp, what ever they turn out to be. Be certain it is the same cost for all who attend.
1-19-07




 


 


Q.: The local youth baseball program is planning a camp for 5th through 12th graders (spring training). They are planning to use the high school gyms. As the varsity coach can I work this camp? Are there any other things at I should be aware of?


A.: Glad to see the spring training model is being planned/sponsored by your youth baseball group. I get a lot of questions about this. You're going about it the proper way. As you will see in Article I of the Rules At A Glance "JV and varsity coaches are able to have contact with students until they actually enter 9th
grade." Thus, you could assist the youth baseball group and be involved in coaching/instructing at their camps - for all students from grades 5-8. However, during the school year, you are not able to have any coaching contact with students who are already in 9th-12th grade - except during the actual school season (Mar. 19).




 


 


12-22-06




Q.: I have a question concerning open gyms. Is it OK for a soccer team to gather players for open gym prior to the regular season and have "captains practices" during the open gym? My understanding is that the coaches are only supervising, but the team captains for the upcoming season are running their teammates through drills and activities? Is it acceptable to have players running practices at open gyms if the coaches are only supervising?


A.: No. Captain's practices are permitted in the summer; not during the school year. Please see II-A and D of attached. Also See: Senior High Handbook - Bylaws, Article II, Sect. 1 and 2.
Q.: A X baseball club has been formed and our head baseball coach wants to conduct two to three clinics for students in grades 1-8 during the winter sports season. These clinics would be conducted by members of the X high school baseball coaching staff. No high school athletes will be involved in coaching these students. Is there any problem with our coaches conducting this clinic?
A.: The end result of this could be achieved within existing Bylaws – however, it may not be a 'school spon- sored' event. Bylaws Article II (p. 26) provides that "schools" may conduct camps/clinics – in the summer. Not during school year. Booster's can rent/reserve school facilities like anyone else, and advertise their event. School coaches may be involved, but may not include HS athletes when school coaches are pres- ent/instructing – unless the event is held during the school baseball season.




 


 


7-7-06




Q.: Our boys soccer coach has asked if a clinic can be conducted by a professional soccer player the week of Aug. 7 at our school. I have told him that none of the boys' soccer coaches (contracted or volunteer) can do any coaching at this camp if it is allowable because the clinic/camp is being conducted after July 31. Can this clinic/camp be conducted at the high school open to any potential soccer player for the 2006 season? Am I correct in telling our coaches they can't be a part of the clinic? Can our coach set up the camp? (Registration, facility usage, etc)




A.: The camp/clinic could be held w/in a school's facility - in accordance with district policies. An accept- able non-school program may not be limited based on school and/or team status. The opportunity - like when any other non-school provider like the YMCA creates programming - ought to be made known and available to any age appropriate students in the area interested in attending. To limit it to your school's prospective soccer players - is simply beginning the soccer season a week early. See Handbook, p. 26. Art. II, Sect. 4. Also see: Handbook, p. 37-38, Article VI, Section 2, A and C, 1, 3 specifically. Regarding your coaches, they may not be involved, at least in so far as having any coaching contact with your school's soccer players. The fundamental rule is that outside of the five unrestricted days - coaches may not have coaching contact with students they will be coaching in the next school season. JV and varsity coaches can have contact with students until they actually enter 9th grade. One of the better ways of doing this sort of thing w/in the rules, is to make it available to students at A, B, C, D high schools. Then, utilize recent grads and other 'summer' coaches (who will not be coaching during the school season)....and coaches getting together, 'cross coaching' each other and being organized. Coaches from A work with students from B, C, D. Coaches from B work with students from A, C, D, and etc. It would not be altogether unusual for a school coach who is "familiar" to assist/facilitate a nonschool provider in getting facility use forms. etc. Be clear - at this time of year, it is/must be a non-school program. School resources, personnel, mail, staff, etc.,
should not be used. This is a 'private' business enterprise at this juncture - a "school" may not be involved in running high school camps/clinics at this time of year.




 


 


Q.: Could you please answer the following question: 1. High school A's soccer team has arranged for a July camp (voluntary basis) with a noncoach camp director. 2. High school B from another city is using the same camp director for its camp. 3. A and B would like to scrimmage each other as part of the camp scheduled activities. 4. High school C would also like a scrimmage opportunity with A and/or B during the camp scheduled activities. In all schools, there will be no high school coach involved in either camp training or scrimmages. Is this structure acceptable under WIAA guidelines?




A.: As you've described, this all could take place in July. Coaches from each school could be involved... IF... all of this was coordinated within all the participating school's (ABC) five unrestricted contact days. Outside of those days, and/or after July 31 - what you describe could "not" take place if it was "school team" A v. ST-B, and ST-B v. ST-C, etc., due to the fact that our members prohibit a "non school" oppor- tunity from "resembling the school's team practicing and competing outside the season." There would need to be more diversity to the "grouping" in order to comply with the member's provisions in this area.




 


 


Q.: Please help me with the following scenario: A student has participated in volleyball for the past two seasons. While she has a valid physical for the upcoming school year, she is academically ineligible for the upcoming season until the student has met the required days of ineligibility. The student is not at a school where ineligibility can be erased through summer school grades. Is she eligible for summer contact sessions with the coach? The practice sessions are occurring at the school under the direct supervision of the coach.




A.: So far as the five unrestricted summer contact days and once the actual school season begins our rules would not prevent this. A student who is academically not eligible to compete may be allowed to practice.




 


 


Q.: After reading the WIAA handbook and Rules at a Glance, I would like to check with you to see if my interpretation is correct on the following issue: .... an athlete who wishes to participate in (a) a summer volleyball tournament with her high school volleyball team and (b) participate in a summer volleyball camp with her high school team and receives payment from a local booster group ... It is my understanding that a high school ath- lete cannot receive reimbursement or have paid for them by a booster group [or anyone other than themselves / family member] their camp fee for attending a specialize camp [either as an individual or as a part of their high school team]. However, an athlete may receive reimbursement or have paid for them by a booster group their entry fee into a summer league or team tournament. It is my understanding that a tournament and/or summer league is not considered specialize instruction. However, a team camp where the team and/or individual would receive specialized instruction in that particular sport would be a violation of WIAA rules. Am I correct in my interpretation and understanding? Also, would the discipline action be any different if it was an individual as opposed to a team that incurred an infraction?




A.: Great research and application. Your understanding and interpretations are RIGHT on the mark. There is nothing incorrect w/in your summary. There are two/three additional perspectives / caveats I'd offer - 1. The unrestricted days in the summer can be looked upon almost as a "mini-school season." Since the recent changes approved by the membership now allow schools to engage in summer programming for students in grades 9-12. So, if a summer team camp opportunity was part of /counted in the 4 or 5 "unrestricted summer contact days"... Then the "school" could cover the costs for a camp opportunity - so long as it was available to every kid in school who wished to attend. (Same as no student may be denied access to your other school based offerings.) 2. Even though competition/league/tournament fees may be paid by a sponsor (costs associated with competing) a) always encourage the sponsor to pay the necessary expenses directly to the "source" or sponsor. I always discourage - ever giving cash or a check to a stu- dent. Not that it would be a violation when it's reimbursement for competition expenses...just a best prac- tice thing, in my opinion. b) Keep in mind that amateur status interpretations also state a student may not receive 'benefit' - for being an athlete. If "just the varsity" kids get sponsored by the booster, it could be easily argued, this is a performance/potential based benefit. Who's going to pay for "my daughter's" sum-
mer league fees?




 


 


Q.: I am running a speed and agility camp this summer geared toward high school athletes and Affinity is want- ing to give two "scholarships" or free camps to each of our high schools for athletes that are financially chal- lenge and in no other way could they go to a camp. Is this a violation of their eligibility?


A.: Yes – Don't go there. On camps and specialized training/instruction - if there is a fee for anyone, there's the same fee for all. See III-F of the Rules At A Glance for further clarification.




 


 


Q.: Our football coach has some questions as a result of a parent of one of his football players inquiring as to whether high school players are allowed to attend a Donald Driver Football Camp that is held on our grounds in June. All of the players are being allowed to attend free of charge complements of a company, as I understand it, owned by either a parent or grandparent of an incoming freshmen player. Two of our football staff coaches are being asked by the Donald Driver people to work the camp. Thank you for any help you can give me to clar- ify whether this is a legal possibility for our football players.




A.: So long as it is an acceptable non-school opportunity, i.e., available to any/all interested students, not restricted based on school or team affiliation, is voluntary and does not resemble a schools team practic- ing and/or competing out-of-season. If school is still in-session, coach contact restrictions must be observed. Use caution with the camp fees - A "free camp" opportunity would be acceptable so long as it is advertised as a "free camp" and so long as it is a free camp to all kids who come from all over your region (not just free for your students). Otherwise, with respect to "camps, clinics, special training"...if there is a cost connected, only a student and their family are able to "cover" 100 percent of any such cost. See ROE , Art. VI, Sect. 2C-5 (p. 38) and III-F of Rules At A Glance. Coaching restrictions are in effect during the school year. If you are still in school and your coaches work, be certain they understand they can not work with your own student athletes. If you are completely done with your school year and you wish to use this as your unrestricted contact days, your coaches may be involved.




 


 


Q.: Can a parent or company pay the entry fee to sponsor a team in activities – for example a three on three basketball tournament?


A.: Simplest answer is "yes." See III-F of Rules At A Glance. Tournament and/or league entry is permit- ted under amateur status as "costs associated w/ competition." There have been "team sponsors" for years. Consider city rec league softball and how many times you've seen "Smokey's B&G"... it does not need to be a problem. *There is some/small potential that a "sideways" sort of amateur status argument could be made by a disgruntled parent - if the opportunity to have one kid's fees "covered" - because they're pretty good players (benefit based on ability/performance/potential) when the same opportunity is not available to "my child." Caution players on other dimensions of amateur status - with respect to cash / merchandise awards for winning. Can be the biggest problem in summer and non-school competition.




 


 


5-5-06




Q.: Can the wrestling booster club pay for individual wrestlers and/or a team of wrestlers to attend a wrestling camp in the summer?


A.: No. If the camp is part of the five unrestricted days (which can be school sponsored) - the "school" may sponsor the opportunity (for all interested students). Boosters can always "gift" the school...but all inter- ested students must have same access opportunities - to all school sponsored programs, all have fees paid and etc. If not a part of school program / not within the five unrestricted days (end of school to July 31) only student and family can pay and are responsible for 100 percent of fees. Ref: HB, ROE, Art. VI, Sect. 2C-5 and "note" (p. 38). Also: III-F of RAAG.
3-29-06




 


 


Q.: I am a high school baseball coach who runs youth camps in our community on March 11 and 18. We want to ask our players to help out at the camp(s) which are for 1st-8th graders. Even though the camps start before our season, we feel it is important for our older players to bond with the younger kids in the community and be mentors. High school students at our school are asked to perform 40 hours of community service during their high school stay. Working these camps would allow them to earn community service hours. Is this permissible? We run the camps through Community Education.




A.: Simplest answer is "No." During the school year, players may not be assembled, you may not have coaching contact until the start of the HS season - and during the summer. That's when you may use your athletes as clinicians. Community Ed - is the "school" (district) and "schools" may provide camps/clinics in the summer only. Bylaws, Article II, Section 1 and 2 - most relevant. Handbook, p. 26. I have addressed this question numbers of times in the WIAA Bulletin. You can probably find it on our website, too. Under the Regulations icon - camps and clinics. The two most recent ones were in the Dec. and Feb. Bulletins.




 


 


Q.: Can you confirm for me that my baseball player candidates can work at our camps without compensation without breaking any rules. Camp dates are out-of-season 3/5, 3/12, and 4/22.


A.: There's not much information to go on here. Who is sponsoring the camps in March? Who are they for?
Who is coaching? Remember, a "school" can sponsor camps/clinics - in the summertime only. If a boost- er, parent or civic organization is sponsoring a "youth" league camp outside the school season, then cer- tainly your school's coaches can volunteer to assist the sponsoring group. So can high school students and players. However, outside of the season, players and their coaches ought not to be present at the same time that instruction is taking place. They will be exceedingly vulnerable. Best time for non school interests to provide these sorts of opportunities for youth teams is early in the HS season. Then, even though a mem- ber school still can't sponsor, at least the coaching contact issue does not need to be a concern.




 


 


Q.: After reading the WIAA Rules at a Glance I have a few questions regarding youth clinics (for students in 8th grade and below). 1. Can school teams sponsor these types of youth clinics during the high school season or is it limited to the summer? 2. If an outside group (Kiwanis, Rotary) would like to sponsor a clinic during the high school season for students in grade 8 and below, can a school team (players and coaches) serve as instructors at the clinic? 3. Can registration fees be "gifted" back to the school program by the sponsor? 4. Would school team members be able to instruct at a clinic held on a "day off" after six consecutive days of practice/competition with the school team?




A.: 1) Schools may sponsor these opportunities in the summertime only...according to present Bylaws. 2) Yes - perfect. Best time for this is sometime during the school season - when players might volunteer to help and coaches can have coaching contact with their players. 3) Yes. 4) Yes, players could volunteer their time.




 


 


2-10-06




Q.: I am the varsity softball coach. My staff and I are running several softball clinics in February for our local youth league as a fundraiser. We are having three different age group clinics and are expecting over 100 girls total. Can my high school players be present at the youth clinics?


A.: Not if school coaches are present and providing instruction. A couple things to keep in mind: First, a "school" may not sponsor a camp/clinic, etc., except in the summer time. The sort of opportunity you are planning can be accomplished within WIAA rules quite easily - when the boosters, Lions or other nonschool organization sponsor this sort of opportunity ... during the actual HS softball season. When
conducted during the school season, obviously coaches are allowed to have coaching contact with their athletes and all of the ways you outline for involvement of your players could be done w/in the rules and without risk of allegations arising. Otherwise, if the dates are inflexible, the safest thing to do is if/when school coaches are present use former players and parents to assist. And, when current school players might be involved, keep school coaches out of the immediate picture. I will reiterate, the best time for this sort of thing is early in the school season.




 


 


12-16-05




Q.: We are going to have a two-day youth winter baseball camp, grades K-8. Can our high school players vol- unteer to work it?


A.: Simple answer would be "yes/sure", students could get involved in something like this. But, In order to accomplish this within the rules, the opportunity must be sponsored by a nonschool entity. (Member schools may only sponsor camp/clinic opportunities in the summer.) So, assuming the activity is sponsored by city rec. or the boosters, students who are athletes can volunteer to help out. Best friendly advice: 1) If the players are present, school coaches should not be. 2) If school coaches are present, school players should not be. 3) If you wish to be able to have school coaches and players present at the same time, you can do this thing early/at the start of your school season, indoors. It's still well ahead of when most youth teams are able to get on the outside fields.




 


 


10-7-05




Q.: I have a question that I'm hoping you can answer for me. It's in regards to a team volleyball camp that I run in the summer. This year I am running a team challenge camp that is both instructional and has different types of challenges included in the four days they are here on campus. Asics has agreed to provide uniforms to the team that wins the team challenge. Here's the question.....Is this legal to do from the WIAA perspective? I think there is a dollar amount that each student athlete can receive in camps but I'm not sure what that amount is. Also, is the amount based on retail cost or what the actually cost of the item is to the company? The camp would be a challenge camp that included physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. The athlete would only receive a medal; the school receives from Asics a set of uniforms.




A.: You may be confusing what I will presume/recall NCAA rules of amateur status with the WIAA's - or perhaps a neighboring state high school associations. Our membership does not have a "dollar amount" allowance. Our rule simply provides that a student may accept/receive only awards which are symbolic, e.g., medal, ribbon, trophy., plaque certificate of achievement. Awards which have a cash/merchandise value/quality will end a student's HS career under present rules. A video rental coupon and a liter of soda and a slice of pizza....for athletic performance/achievement, etc., and it's a real mess. A member school can certainly accept gifts. The best way to direct the uniforms would be to have a random draw of names of all the schools represented by attendees. Picking the name out of the hat is not connected in any way to performance/achievement as/of an athlete. Our member's present rules do not allow for athletes to accept, receive or "direct" cash or merchandise prizes for performance/achievement/potential as an athlete. For example, we do not allow the 100 dollar scholarship given to the school, etc., based on "performance." Find a way to do the give away which does not connect to athletic performance and which would not cre- ate an element of "required attendance" on the part of students. The random draw is fairly well estab- lished in precedent for something like this. You may find a synopsis of WIAA rules, including amateur sta- tus in the Rules At A Glance, Article III/C.




 


 


9-15-05




Q.: I was wondering if it is ok to post a guideline for shooting, (basketball) for basketball players to follow dur- ing the fall. It would address the number of shots and where. Example: Make 10 elbow jump shots then 5 FT, 10 bank shots followed by 5 FT. and go on like that.


A.: As described, this holds the potential of being seen as "organized" drill...a "requirement" for attend- ing and inconsistent with the approved objectives and philosophy of open gym. I could envision a variety of other informational materials, again the nature of which would be entirely appropriate on gym walls or available to students as resources in the library, which might accomplish your objectives and not raise an eyebrow. The rules for Open Gym are included in the Rules At A Glance. I consider them to be among the most clear text we have. It is not altogether uncommon for locker rooms and gym walls to include a vari- ety of posters, charts, graphs/guides.. and information wide-ranging in nature - yet appropriate and fit- ting for a gymnasium/physical education environment.




 


4-14-05




Q.: Two nearby schools and I are planning a team camp for our five days of contact. Do we need to run it through an organization? We will charge 20 dollars or so for t-shirts and go for about four or five days in June.


A.: As rules are presently interpreted - YES - a nonschool sponsor's still required for camps/leagues/clin- ics involving students in high school. The Bylaws allow a member school to sponsor/provide a camp/clin- ic opportunity for students who have just completed 8th grade and below.




 


 


Q.: Our foundation would like to offer scholarships for such activities to needy youth but the question came up about whether the WIAA would consider that payment for play and whether it would object to such scholarships. Is it appropriate to offer scholarships to those who need help to take indoor tennis lessons, to attend a summer camp, to travel to participate in a tournament?




A.: A succinct answer to your questions can be found in the WIAA's Rules At A Glance document: Please go to our website (www.wiaawi.org). Under Regulations choose WIAA Rules Overview. For Expenses - Training and Competing, see Article III/F. When it comes to specialized training, camps, clinics, etc., the student and their family must cover 100 percent of all costs associated with the opportunity. When it comes to competition, playing a game, competing in a tournament, a student can be reimbursed actual and necessary costs, including entry fees, travel, lodging, food. To provide clinic/learning opportunities to dis- advantaged students, some sport enthusiasts in our urban communities put the "machinery" in place to provide 100 percent free camp/clinics - available to any/all students interested in attending. If there are no costs associated with the opportunity and it is available to any/all who might be interested regardless of school and/or team status, then even the disadvantaged can cover 100 percent of that.




 


 


3-25-05




Q.: Can coaches at the middle school level raise money and use some of that money to send their play- ers to camps? What are the rules here?


A.: If you are a WIAA member at the middle level, the rules in this regard are the same as at the senior high level. Simple answer is "no." When it comes to camps/clinics, specialized training or instruction, a student and their family must cover 100 percent of all costs.




 


 


Q.: A local sports medicine facility runs a speed camp at our school in the summer. The cost to students is pretty steep, over $100. Would it be legal to subsidize the program as a whole with either sports camp funds or an all school walkathon?


A.: In general, camps, clinics, specialized training/instruction are 100 percent the responsibility of student and/or family – that's the best way. Speed/conditioning camps are "camps." The
simplest answer is "no," but it would not be totally correct. There is an acceptable perspective, that so long as the "camp" is the "same" for all interested, that's ok, too. Either everyone inter- ested in attending can attend for free, or everyone interested in attending may attend at a reduced fee. We see a number of examples of this in parts of the state where free camps/clinics are offered to every student wishing to attend. If there is a local source/benefactor in your area that wishes to underwrite "half the cost" (for example) of any student/every student in your area/region who might wish to attend, so that the host needs only to charge $50 that sort of reduced fee for every- one also works. That can be acceptable provided the opportunity is made known to and accessi- ble to students regardless of school and/or team status. Lastly, You mention "sport camps funds." At present, a member school is not able to be involved financially or in any other way with a stu- dent's nonschool pursuits (Bylaws).
12-13-04




 


 


Q.: Can Booster Clubs and/or Gridiron Clubs pay for athletes to participate in passing leagues that schools (often state college football programs) put on in the summer? For example; some of our football players will be par- ticipating in a UW summer passing league. The cost is usually around $300 - $400. Do the student athletes pay for this or can our Gridiron Club/Booster Club pay for this?




A.: Amateur Status rules allow a student to be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with com- petition. Summer passing leagues have been viewed in much the same light as summer basketball leagues, i.e., as a summer competition opportunity and as such, entry fees being paid by someone other then the athlete has been allowed. There is another dimension of this to keep in mind however. Amateur status pro- visions do not allow an athlete to receive "benefit" as a result of their athletic achievement, potential or performance. Thus, if the boosters wish to pay for summer league, they need to pay for summer league for any student interested in attending. It's not a problem to pay the summer league fees. It only becomes a problem if/when the funds are only made available, fees are paid only for just select individuals or groups. When this sort of selection occurs, the benefit becomes based on athletic potential/performance...i.e., being a varsity level performer. It's when this happens that amateur status concerns arise. Lastly keep in mind that students still need cover 100 percent of costs associated with camps, clinics specialized training.




 


 


12-1-04




Q.: Can I use high school gymnasts to be demonstrators for our clinic this weekend? They would not be work- ing with high school coaches, theirs or other teams.


A.: Not a problem. School athletes and other students could volunteer to demonstrate in this sort of clin- ic but could not be coached by the person who will be coaching them in the upcoming school season.




 


9-16-04




Q.: Our community has a fall league hockey clinic in September. Can our high school kids come and help out and get community service hours? Are they allowed to be on the ice with us if we are teaching mites and squirts how to skate? I would say no, but we have a service leadership clause where every student needs to do 20 hours service during each year.




A.: This is a restricted time. Coaches and players are not allowed to have coaching contact, except during the season. "No" is the correct answer. This would not be a good community service event for your stu- dents, unless your school coaches had no presence or part of the youth hockey clinic while school players were present.
8-23-04




 


Q.: We host summer basketball camps for grade school students. Some of the players in our program volunteer
to assist at these camps. Is it a violation of any rule to pay these players for their time? They are players from all three levels. I know it is a violation to offer any incentive for summer participation for their teams. Would pay- ing the players for helping out at grade school camps be an incentive to participate? I have always been under the impression that we could not pay the players.




A.: A student athlete may be employed, just not self-employed in the delivery of sport skill instruction or training. They may be compensated for working as a camp clinician. When desiring to pay student ath- letes who may be employed/working as camp/clinic employees, best friendly advice is to create some level of "sunshine", awareness, documentation/record keeping and/or administrative approval for whatever the salary you might decide upon. Any of these sorts of strategies will help prevent the blind allegations of inappropriate or excessive pay or inducement.




 


 


Q.: Is there a cut off day for athletes attending camp this summer? I have a bunch of girls attending a hitter/set- ter volleyball camp, one day, on Aug. 9th, one week before preseason starts. Is this ok? Are we, as coaches able to watch the camp off to the side without talking with the girls?


A.: There is no cut off day for athletes attending camps. There are no restrictions on students voluntarily assembling in the summer time, without school or coach involvement. Your school coaches could not have coaching contact with them at the camp, under any circumstances, after July 31 and before the start of the actual school season. Coaches can watch off to the side if they choose. (It can sometimes lead to assert- ing that's how a coach "required" the kids to attend., how the coach took "attendance"). But, rules would not prevent a coach from going to observe.




 


Q.: We used our contact days to run a football camp on July 30 and 31. We had grades 6-12 participate and did not limit our athletes to just our school's students but that is the only students that attended. My concern or prob- lem is how to sponsor the camp for liability reason without involving the school district? It is my understand- ing that the school cannot sponsor the camp in any way? Can it be sponsored by a student activity club so that the campers are covered by the district's liability insurance?




A.: A school/student group is still "the school". Either a nonschool group like the village fire dept., the Lion's, Elks, etc., or the Boosters need to sponsor. Some of these organizations will already have their own insurance. Otherwise the campers need to be charged a modest fee in order to allow the sponsor to pur- chase short term liability protection for the camp, if that's required by the district. At present, a "mem- ber school" may not sponsor a camp for high school aged athletes or be involved "financially or in any other way" (Bylaws, Handbook p. 26 Section 3). It's not uncommon for the Boosters to sponsor and come up with a way to insure their camp (which is the wise thing to do).
5-21-04




 


Q.: We have tentative plans to host a camp Aug. 2, 3, and 4 of this year for grades K-12 sponsored by the UW- XYZ wrestlers the same as in the past just different dates. After coaches forum this morning, is this OK with the dates? Article VI Nonschool participation Section 2 Out-of-Season A. 3, c: Coaches are allowed to use some or all of their athletes, as clinicians, when conducting a clinic for youngsters who have just completed 8th grade on down. This may be done for a maximum of six days, during the summer (when school is not in session), and must conclude no later than the last Saturday in July. I guess as long as your not using your wrestlers as clini- cians you can run your camp Aug 2, 3, and 4.




A.: This interpretation is essentially, "right on." A camp can be held for 8th graders and below virtually anytime during the summer (when school's not in session). Only if HS players are going to be used as cli- nicians does it need to take place before the last Saturday in July. A member school is able to sponsor this camp. Camps, clinics, competition for high school aged athletes may not be sponsored by the school. (Schools may only "sponsor" during the scheduled school season) and as a result must be sponsored by a nonschool source, such as your booster club.




 


Q.: A local wrestling club would like to pay $750 per day for a two-day camp at our high school during the first
two days over summer break. Can the club pay the full amount thereby allowing interested wrestlers to attend for free? Can the club have the student athletes pay $50 each and the club pays for the balance remaining (if there is one)?


A.: The club may cover all costs associated with creating this opportunity and thereby making it free to anyone/everyone interested (they certainly might set a limit/the max number they believe the camp can accommodate) then advertise it as first ''75" who sign up, e.g. The club may also charge any/all who attend the same amount of fee. The key is in the uniformity of the opportunity. Can't charge one set of attendees $100 so "my players" get the "benefit" of a lesser/reduced rate.




 


Q.: Is it illegal for organizations and booster clubs to contribute money to our volleyball players who will attend a university summer volleyball camp? I'm not sure if it is legal because it involves contributions/funds.


A.: When it comes to camps, clinics, specialized training/instruction...the student and/or their family must cover 100 percent of all costs associated with the opportunity. Please refer to our publication entitled Rules At A Glance. See Article III–Students, letter F.

2-19-14

Q: My coach has asked me if he can coach kids out of season if they are wrestling in tournaments other that Folk Style Wrestling, such as greco-roman or free style?

A: Coaches may only coach their athletes during the season and five days during the summer with unrestricted coaching contact.  Wrestling coaches have unlimited nonschool coaching contact during the summertime.  Summertime is defined as last day of school to the first day of school. Greco-roman and free style are considered wrestling just as folk style is considered wrestling.  So the restrictions above apply.  They may not work with their athletes out of season during the school year in folk sytle, free style or Greco-Roman.

4-9-12
Q: Our Varsity basketball coach would like to work with our current 7th and 8th graders during the Spring (before school is out).  Does he need to wait until school has concluded or can he coach the 7th and 8th graders in tournaments prior to school concluding for the summer.
A:  The following text is contained in the WIAA Rules at a Glance: "Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children). There is no distinction between varsity and J.V. coaches, i.e., J.V. coaches cannot coach varsity athletes during restricted times, and vice-versa, nor any distinction between paid and nonpaid (volunteer) coaches. An exception is that varsity and J.V. coaches can have coaching contact with students who have just completed 8th grade or any preceding grade up until these 8th graders actually start their 9th grade year."  The simple answer is JV and varsity coaches are allowed to have contact with students until they actually enter 9th grade. (See Art. I of the WIAA Rules at a Glance.) That being said, must caution about the sponsors/creators of such programming opportunities. (then read article II A and D) If that contact is taking place during the school year but outside of the actual school season – the opportunity needs to be created/provided by an entity other then the school.
 
2-8-12
Q:  Can a boy's high school soccer coach now coach club competitive teams during the summer that can include players from the high school team they coach in the fall?
A: Fall soccer coaches may have non-school (club) coaching contact during the summertime (last day of school to July 28, 2012).  There is a dead week of contact for boys soccer of July 29-August 4, 2012. 
 
Q:  I was wondering if you could pinpoint where the rules are on coaches meeting with a football team out of season.  I'm just talking about a meeting, say in April/May, to discuss the summer plans, etc.
A:  The rule you are referring to is located in your Season Regulations:


1. PRESEASON AND OUT-OF-SEASON 
a. Organizational meetings may be conducted outside the season provided no instruction or practice is included and the meeting(s) has been approved by school administration. 
 
 
5-21-10
Q.: I have a player on my summer club team that is being told by her high school coach that she has to play for a different summer team. Can a high school coach dictate to a player who they play for during the off season? Can he hold it against her if she doesn't do what he wants during the off season?
A.: You will find our Rules at a Glance on our website. The portion which may apply is contained in Section I. Coaches may not: 1) Mandate athletes participate in nonschool competition, or determine who may or may not participate in nonschool activity. 2) Require involvement in out-of-season activities as part of the requirements for making a school team, earning a school letter award, etc. Since there are times when we hear from parents and/or others who would hope to ambush a coach or a member school rather then help them to address or fix a problem if there is one, we ask that they contact the local athletic direc- tor to be a part of the solution.


Q.: Just clarifying my understanding of the out-of-season rule for current 8th graders involved in basketball. A varsity or JV coach could coach these current 8th graders throughout the summer an unlimited number of days. However, this would limit these incoming freshmen (current 8th graders) to be able to play only on the fresh- man team this coming winter season as that varsity/JV coach had already coached them during the summer months beyond the five days. The same scenario would hold true for a school with a sophomore team in addition to a JV team. If the sophomore coach has more than five days contact with incoming freshmen then those freshmen are not able to play the coming season on that sophomore team. Is this correct?
A.: During the summertime, varsity and JV coaches can have coaching contact with students who have just completed 8th grade or any preceding grade up until these 8th graders actually start their 9th grade year. This does not limit them to the 9th grade team, hence, the 9th grade coach is limited to the five days. Keep in mind, some schools do not have 9th grade teams. This is the one exception.


Q.: Can a current player of a coach's high school team assist the coach with AAA youth hockey practices dur- ing the summer prior to July 31?
A.: Hockey coaches are restricted in their contact with students they will coach to the sport season and five days during the summer before July 31. Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children).
 
4-24-10
Q.: What is the rule for the coach having the kids in the weight room, getting ready for next year? It's like he pushes them to come in the morning or even on the weekend. He also has said it depends if you play next year or not. This is not good for these young bodies to be pushed like this to work out all the time like he wants them to.
A.: If you have concerns, my recommendation is to talk to your athletic director. Our member schools have created WIAA rules which provide limits that are quite rigorous if followed. A member school is per- mitted to supervise conditioning programs under the open gym provisions, which may include weight lift- ing, speed, agility, fitness. The program must be limited to non-sport and non-sport-skill-specific instruc- tion. Basic "instruction" e.g., safe lifting, safe spotting, training regimen and rationale, are permitted. No sport implements and/or sport specific movement/drills should be part of the open gym or weight room. These conditioning programs must be made known and accessible to all interested students and must be voluntary. Coaches may not: 1) Mandate athletes participate in nonschool competition, or determine who may or may not participate in nonschool activity. 2) Require involvement in out-of-season activities as part
of the requirements for making a school team, earning a school letter award, etc. 3) Provide incentives such as T-shirts, etc., for participation in the off-season. Weight rooms are considered open gyms and the open gym rules state: Coaches and schools cannot be involved in out-of-season practice for athletes. However open gyms do not violate WIAA rules if they are conducted according to the following guidelines: 1) The open gym is made known and available to all students in the designated population of that school that are interested in attending. Open gyms may be gender specific. It is also acceptable to include people from the community. Schools may conduct "open gyms" in any activity. It is not acceptable to include ath- letes from another school, public or nonpublic. 2) There is no instruction during the open gym by a coach or anyone else. 3) Coaches may supervise open gyms, but they may not instruct, organize drills, etc. Coaches can also recreate with students in school sponsored, open gym settings that are purely recre- ational in nature, ie., there is no instruction, sport skill demonstration, organized drills or resemblance of a practice being conducted. 4) There is no organized competition, such as established teams participating in round-robin competition, etc. "Open Gym" is not a code word for out-of-season practice. The philoso- phy of the open gym is students from that school may attend, for wholesome recreation, or for purposes of improving their skills, but it's something they do on their own. It would be a violation of WIAA rules to mandate attendance at open gyms, or to provide incentives for athletes to attend open gyms, or to limit participation based on athletic status, or to allow athletes from other schools to come and work out or com- pete against the host school's athletes. (BL – Art. II and RE – Art. VI, Sect. 2)


3-15-10
Q.: I would like to know if someone can work with their set track athletes before the season starts. Example: Working with the hurdlers on tech. over hurdles and so on. Also taking/meeting the hurdlers at a indoor track complex and practicing. This coach will be coaching the hurdles during the season. What about the weight room and instruction in lifting techniques and lifting program.
A.: Coaches may only have contact with their athletes during the sport season during the school year. Track begins March 8. Before that date, coaches of the track team could not teach technique or provide any instruction to track athletes. Weight rooms are considered open gyms. Therefore, a weight room has limitations. A member school is permitted to supervise conditioning programs under the open gym provi- sions, which may include weight lifting, speed, agility, fitness. Basic "instruction" e.g., safe lifting, safe spotting, training regimen and rationale, are permitted. No sports implements and/or sport specific move- ment/drills should be part of the open gym or weight room. These conditioning programs must be made known and accessible to all interested students and must be voluntary. Please also review the relevant areas of the Rules at a Glance handout.


Q.: We are in the process of hiring for a JV baseball position. Our Legion coach has applied for the job. My assumption is he cannot hold both nor can we consider him a candidate because of his off-season involvement with our athletes. Am I correct? Also, if we have a community member who works with our softball team in the off-season, can he be a volunteer coach for us this spring? Again, as I read the rules the answer is no.
A.: Might want to check when the contact occurred. Normally, a coach who has contact during restricted times cannot be a candidate to coach athletes they will coach the next season. However, baseball is allowed unlimited non-school contact during the summer. If the contact was during the school year, then he would not be a candidate. The key in both situations is that baseball and softball have unlimited non-school con- tact during the summer. If the contact was during the school year, then no (paid or unpaid).


2-5-10
Q.: There is a baseball center in our city that provides instruction to many of the high school players in Wisconsin. One of the instructors is interested in becoming an assistant coach at our school. He works with sev- eral of our players along with many other kids who are not at this hitting center. Is he eligible to coach for me? Would I be eligible to work at this hitting center during the winter months?
A.: Our coaching contact does not allow coaches to have contact with people who have worked with stu- dents they would coach the next season. Therefore, if an instructor wishes to coach for a school, he could not work with that school's student athletes which the school coach would work with. Otherwise, he could not be a candidate. In addition, WIAA rules prohibit coaches from having contact with the school athletes during the school year outside the designated season for that sport. As a school coach, you would not be able to work with your school's athletes at the hitting center.


1-15-10
Q.: I have a former athlete who coached our JV team in summer league. She wants to come in and scrimmage with our varsity players over break. She had no contact with any varsity players over the summer. Is that legal?
A.: The fundamental portion of this rule is: Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children). There is no distinction varsity and JV coaches, i.e., JV coaches cannot coach varsity athletes during restricted times, and vice-versa, nor any distinction between paid and nonpaid (volunteer) coaches. Therefore, she could not have coaching contact during the season.


12-18-09
Q.: We had a situation crop up that I need to handle in gymnastics. Please confirm that a coach is not allowed to coach athletes from two different schools during the season without a waiver. I am not going to request the waiver but want to confirm the rule before informing a coach that he can not work with our program. We had someone interested in volunteering with our team but they are giving private lessons with members of another team this winter.
A.: Our rules do not prevent coaches from coaching a school team and tutoring other students. An exam- ple would be a golf or tennis pro.


Q.: I am the head volleyball coach for varsity volleyball. I have been asked to play in a co-ed quad volleyball tournament by some girls that are current and former players at our school. The tournament is taking place to raise money for a trip to Washington D.C. Am I allowed to play with students in the tournament that will be on my team next year or is that a violation of WIAA rules?
A.: Membership rules would not allow you to play or participate with players who you will be coaching next year during the school year (or summer unless it is part of your five unrestricted contact days).


Q.: We have lined up a very knowledgeable person to run skills clinic for club volleyball in December. He has mentioned that he might be interested in applying for the high school freshman volleyball coaching position in the fall of 2010. If he runs a three hour basic skills clinic for our club in December 2009 for girls currently in 7th, 8th and 9th year would he be in any WIAA violation if he applied for the high school freshman volleyball coaching position for the 2010 school season? Most of the girls who will be on the club teams and at the clinic will be from that school and will also be playing volleyball during the 2010 school season. He won't be coach- ing any club team just running a basic skills clinic.
A.: Individuals who coach athletes may not coach their athletes out-of-season which they will work with the next sport season. An individual who worked with students out-of-season after the fall sports have
completed would not be an acceptable candidate for the next fall sports season. All camps or clinics must be nonschool programs without school or coach involvement open to all interested people.


Q.: We had a spring graduate work with the girls basketball team in a league this past summer. I believe it ended up being four contests and the head coach did not use any of his contact days. Just a few weeks ago, the district cut the C squad basketball position, but still allowing the C squad games with a volunteer individual. May the girl that worked with the girls team in the summer fill the volunteer position and coach our C squad games. The head coach does not think she can coach according to WIAA rules. According to the WIAA, may the student that graduated last spring that worked with the girls basketball team in league this past summer, volunteer coach the C squad this season?
A.: If a person has had out-of-season contact with athletes beyond the five days, they may not coach them in the next sport season. Please provide the documentation of the days and when your district will apply them for the contact. Were they all before July 31? What grades were the athletes that she will work with? If she worked with the upperclassmen and will have zero interaction with them during the sport season, she could work with 9th graders.


Q.: I am a parent of a student athlete and was asked to coach summer basketball league this summer 2009. Now I am being asked to be an assistant on the team for this upcoming season. Can I take the position without break- ing any rules?
A.: Our coaching contact rules state: Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children). There is no distinction between varsity and JV coaches, i.e., JV coaches cannot coach varsity athletes during restrict- ed times, and vice-versa, nor any distinction between paid and non-paid (volunteer) coaches. An exception is that varsity and JV coaches can have coaching contact with students who have just completed 8th grade or any preceding grade up until these 8th graders actually start their 9th grade year. If someone has had contact with athletes which they will coach the following season, then they may not coach during the actual season.


Q.: In reading the latest Bulletin, it says coaches may recreate with athletes at open gyms if no instruction is given. My question is, how is "recreate" defined when applied to wrestling open gyms. Can a coach wrestle with an athlete there as long as they are not telling them moves to do (with the exception of what position to start in)? I just want to know what we as coaches are allowed to and not allowed to do. Language is not very specific for each sport, or if it is, I could not find it.
A.: Provided all of the open gym requirements are met, a coach may recreate with the students. He may wrestle, but must not organize any activity or provide any structure in competition. There is no instruc- tion, sport skill demonstration, organized drills or resemblance of a practice being conducted in open gym settings. Be sure coach understands that there is a definite line between compliance and circumvention. The philosophy of the open gym is students from that school may attend, for wholesome recreation, or for purposes of improving their skills, but it's something they do on their own.


10-23-09
Q.: I have a question about out-of-season contact. My own two sons, who also play on my high school team, are playing baseball in a fall league. Along with them, three other players from our team are also playing on the same fall team. I'm not coaching, but I'm wondering if I can take book or coach first base for the guy that is coaching.
A.: While coaches may have coaching contact with their own children, the rules are clear that a coach may not have coaching contact with their players. "Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children)."
Therefore, coaching first base would not be an option and there should be zero interaction with the team during the game or during a practice. If, as a parent, you are maintaining the scorebook in the stands, I would not see a problem. However, maintaining the scorebook in a dugout or the vicinity of the team bench would breach the zero interaction guideline.


9-18-09
Q.: 1) Am a retired teacher/coach but help as a volunteer coach for a high school softball team. During the school year, cannot work with any athletes in relation to softball, but during the summer, there are five days (before July 31) in which I could work with some individual softball players? 2) Can an assistant basketball, volleyball, or baseball coach take what will probably be the varsity team for the upcoming school year to a summer tourna- ment as long as it falls within the five days talked about in the article and before July 31?
A.: During the summer, softball has two opportunities once the school year is complete: Softball has five contact days of unrestricted contact where school resources and monies may be used. This must be done by July 31. Softball has unlimited contact from the last day of school to the first day of school where non- school resources may be used. The basketball coach only has unrestricted contact where school resources and monies may be used. They may use those days in any manner they wish. There are significant differ- ences between "unrestricted" and "unlimited." Unrestricted means teams can assemble with coaches, school monies and resources can be applied, schools can sponsor the events/activities. Unlimited contact provides that coaches like the country club pro can have summer contact with every golfer in the county while running the club's summer program including kids from his own school. Or, the school's baseball coach can also coach the Legion baseball team. Above and beyond the five unrestricted days any other approved summer contact MUST be non-school sponsored. Examples would be the legion baseball team or the recreation department or the aquatic center, etc. Sports which have unlimited contact are: baseball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Also keep in mind an "acceptable non-school program" is one which is not limited based on school and/or team status.


Q.: I coach a club softball team in the summer that includes girls who are from my high school where I coach, and it also includes players from other schools. Our season has finished, and the girls are now getting ready for tryouts for next year's club teams. The parents have asked me if I would run some practices to prepare the girls for their upcoming tryouts. Do "unrestricted" rules for softball apply, allowing me to continue practicing with these girls before the school calendar year begins?
A.: Keep in mind that summer contact for softball is "unlimited" meaning that as long as the contact is nonschool and voluntary, contact may happen until the first day of school. After the first day of school, the coach may not have contact with athletes they are going to coach. If a freshman coach worked with players during the summer, then they must have zero interaction with the players that they worked with earlier. This means that they could not be at practice, on the bench during games, at try-outs, combined practices, etc., during the sport season.


Q.: I am a parent, have never coached at the high school level. I keep kids of various age groups active through- out the year. Example, I had boys playing in an indoor league this summer. Long story/short, I had no intention of coaching this year at the high school level. Then the assistant coach went back to school recently which then left a position open. The position has not been filled, practices start tomorrow. Over the weekend I was informed by the head coach that I cannot be an assistant, whether paid or non paid, this fall because I had contact with some of these boys throughout the summer even though I've never coached at the high school level. Is this accurate?
A.: It is correct that a coach who has had contact out-of-season during restricted times with athletes may not coach those athletes during the school year.


8-21-09
Q.: Going to give two different situations: 1) Am a retired teacher/coach but help as a volunteer coach for a high school softball team. During the school year, cannot work with any athletes in relation to softball, but during the summer, there are five days [before July 31] in which I could work with some individual softball players? 2) Can an assistant basketball, volleyball, or baseball coach take what will probably be the varsity team for the upcom- ing school year to a summer tournament as long as it falls within the five days talked about in the article and before July 31?
A.: During the summer, softball has two opportunities once the school year is complete: Softball has five contact days of unrestricted contact where school resources and monies may be used. This must be done by July 31. Softball coaches may have unlimited contact from the last day of school to the first day of school where non-school resources may be used. The basketball coach only has unrestricted contact where school resources and monies may be used. They may use those days in any manner they wish. There are significant differences between 'unrestricted' and 'unlimited.' Unrestricted means teams can assemble with coaches, school monies and resources can be applied, schools can sponsor the events/activities. Unlimited contact provides that coaches like the country club pro – can have summer contact with every golfer in the county while running the club's summer program – including kids from his own school. Or, the school's baseball coach can also coach the Legion baseball team. Above and beyond the five unre- stricted days – any other approved summer contact MUST be non-school sponsored. Examples would be the Legion baseball team or the Recreation Department or the Aquatic Center, etc. Sports which have unlimited contact are: Baseball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Also keep in mind an 'acceptable non-school program' is one which is not limited based on school and/or team status.


Q.: If I coached high school girls through the YMCA swim club last school year (not knowing that there may be an opening this school year), am I eligible to coach this school year? I am in my final year of school and will be looking for a teaching job next year – do I really need to quit a job that I have now that helps pay my bills in order to "maybe" get a WIAA coaching job that may or may not even be available?
A.: Swim coaches at WIAA member schools are allowed to have contact with students in the summertime. Your contact during the school year is something the local AD might wish to document and establish a timeline on, should you be identified as a leading candidate in his search. This would establish a record that might be helpful later on if/when a coaching contact violation might be asserted. It is most typical that when one who desires to be a coaching candidate at a member school learns of a possible position – we see them disconnect from a coaching situation which might otherwise have them viewed as an ineligible can- didate. In this situation, summertime contact is permitted – it would be the coaching throughout the past school year/outside of the season that would most likely raise the questions/challenges if any were sum- moned. You will want to visit with the school's AD further – if he/she is in fact interested in you as a prospective candidate. In turn then, if he has questions he/she will be in touch with us.
Q.: Can our head coach organize and hold a girls basketball camp on Nov. 6, 7, 8 of 2009? It would be proposed for high school girls in the area and would be directed by other coaches and not coaches on the HS staff. Please verify. A.: A simple answer is no. Coaches are not allowed contact with their athletes during the school year out- side the season of practice and competition. Please refer to the Rules At A Glace and Senior High Handbook (pgs. 26, 37-38) for further details.


Q.: My daughter lives in WI and plays soccer in MN during the summer, which is okay according to WIAA rules. My question is, can the high school coach of her WI high school be the coach of the MN summer league?
A.: A coach may coach in a summer league, but contact with their student-athletes from their schools is limited according to the rules of our members. All sport coaches have five days of unrestricted coaching contact opportunity in the summer, between the end of school and July 31; the days do not need to be con- secutive. The five contact days must be the same for all levels within a sport program. Soccer coaches may not have contact in the summer beyond the five allowed days. You may wish to review the Rules At A Glance for further details.


Q.: Can you let me know the interpretation of contact days. My understanding is schools receive five contact days with the players and this even includes if they are transporting players to an instructional camp. I believe our volleyball coaches might be putting our program in situations that are violating the rules.
A.: Volleyball falls into the restricted category, but does have five days of unrestricted contact during the summer before July 31. I've provided a brief summary of our rules: There are significant differences between "unrestricted" and "unlimited." Unrestricted means teams can assemble with coaches, school monies and resources (this includes transportation) can be applied, schools can sponsor the events/activi- ties. Unlimited contact provides that coaches like the country club pro – can have summer contact with every golfer in the county while running the club's summer program – including kids from his own school. Or, the school's baseball coach can also coach the Legion baseball team. Above and beyond the five unre- stricted days – any other approved summer contact MUST be non-school sponsored. Examples would be the Legion baseball team or the Recreation Department or the Aquatic Center, etc. Sports which have unlimited contact are: baseball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling. Also keep in mind an "acceptable non-school program" is one which is not limited based on school and/or team status.


Q.: I'm writing for clarification regarding off-season contact days for boys basketball. Basically, here is what I would like to do and I want to be sure we are following the guidelines set by the WIAA: I would like to hold an off-season camp for the boys basketball program in late August or mid September. I fully understand that a var- sity coach must use their summer contact days by July 31. My two questions are: 1) May I, as the JV coach, hold a camp for any grade level (K-12) at any time during the off season? If so.... 2) May the varsity coach partici- pate in a camp held after the July 31 deadline if he is not coaching any of his own varsity players for the 2009- 10 season in that camp? Basically meaning he could participate in the camp if it were K-8.
A.: Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children). There is no distinction between varsity and JV coaches, i.e., JV coaches cannot coach varsity athletes during restricted times, and vice-versa, nor any dis- tinction between paid and non-paid (volunteer) coaches. An exception is that varsity and JV coaches can have coaching contact with students who have just completed 8th grade or any preceding grade up until these 8th graders actually start their 9th grade year. All sport coaches have five days of unrestricted coach- ing contact opportunity in the summer, between the end of school and July 31; the days do not need to be consecutive. If involved in a camp where your athletes are present after July 31, the varsity and JV coach may not have any contact with their players.


Q.: In the fall, we have a middle school softball league. Several coaches from our high schools coach various middle school teams. Last year, we were told we could not use our high school players as assistant coaches due to WIAA rules. Can you verify this for me? Secondly, if they cannot coach directly with us, can they be assistants for the coaches of our JV teams at these middle schools as long as they are not working directly with those of us who are high school coaches?
A.: Softball is a sport which has both the five days of "unrestricted contact" and the "unlimited contact" available. There is no distinction between varsity and JV coaches, i.e., JV coaches cannot coach varsity athletes during restricted times, and vice-versa, nor any distinction between paid and unpaid (volunteer)
coaches. Therefore, JV coaches may not coach with their athletes after the school year begins. A 9th grade coach may, but I would urge the same cautions.


Q.: My wrestling coach would like to have a guest speaker/clinician speak to any interested students in grades 5-12 on Friday, November 13. This would likely be opened up to other areas schools/students as well. As part of his presentation, he would like to demonstrate a few drills and techniques to those in attendance. Can one of our high school wrestlers be on the mat as his demonstration partner? Wrestling practice does not start until the fol- lowing Monday, November 16, so I wanted to be certain this was OK.
A.: A clinic which is open to anyone by a non-school program (a local wrestling club or booster club for example) may be held and a student may volunteer to be a demonstration partner. However, your coach- es (and school) may not be involved with the clinic out-of-season during the school year when your high school athletes are present. Coaching contact restrictions are to be observed. Some of the Bylaws and Regulations are listed below. In the Bylaws, Article II, Section 4 (page 26 in the Handbook) states school facilities may be used for non-school programs, according to board of education policy, which can result in clinics being conducted, outside the season, by non-school groups. The non-school group must request the facilities from the board of education or governing board, through normal procedures and are encour- aged to provide their own insurance protection. In the Rules of Eligibility (pages 37-38), Article VI, Section 2 (out-of-season) Paragraph A states no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season. Paragraph C, #1, states the activity may not be limited to students on the basis of school affiliation, athletic experience, team status, etc. Also keep in mind: the Rules of Eligibility (page 38) Article VI, Section 2, #5, states any fees for entrance to the clinic must be paid for by the students or parents in order to not affect the amateur status of of any participants.


Q.: I am a HS head varsity volleyball coach. I am interested in having some after school clinics with 3rd thru 8th graders in the spring time. We do not host any other sports for those ages during that time of the year. I under- stand I may not have contact with the high school athletes except for my five contact days. Is this OK to do with the younger students? My athletic director had heard that this may be illegal but wasn't sure.
A.: Schools may not conduct clinics during the school year - this type of opportunity must be organized by a nonschool group. You may have contact with students that are not your athletes or athletes who you will be coaching the following year, but it must be non-school, a volleyball club or recreation department. It must also be voluntary. Coaches may not have coaching contact with any athletes they will be coaching the following school season during restricted times (except their own children). Coaching restrictions apply to all sports during the school year, except during the respective sport season. Other then during the actual school season and as specifically approved in the summer, coaches may not have coaching contact with their athletes. A clinic or camp which is open to anyone by a non-school program (a local wrestling club or booster club for example) may be held and a student may volunteer to be a demonstration part- ner. However, coaches (and school) may not be involved with the clinic or camp out-of-season during the school year when your high school athletes are present. Coaching contact restrictions are to be observed. In the Bylaws, Article II, Section 4 (page 26 in the handbook) states school facilities may be used for non- school programs, according to board of education policy, which can result in clinics being conducted, out- side the season, by non-school groups. The non-school group must request the facilities from the board of education or governing board, through normal procedures and are encouraged to provide their own insur- ance protection.


7-10-09
Q.: We have a former student-athlete that has now graduated from college and has moved back into the area to seek employment. At this time this person has not found employment and has inquired about being a volunteer
coach this fall in our volleyball program. There is a volleyball camp scheduled at our facility the first week in August. Can this person run this camp at this time? Will this have any affect on her status to volunteer with our volleyball program in the fall?
A.: YES. Since it is August, the camp is obviously not able to be a part of your unrestricted contact days. Subsequently if this person coached kids "outside the season" they would then be seen as an ineligible coaching candidate for helping out in the fall school season. Whether paid or volunteer, a coach is a coach, is a coach, is a... This person could be included in your unrestricted contact days – and still be allowed to help out in the fall season.


Q.: Understanding the five contact days. If we have four high school coaches two for JV and two for varsity, and one of them has contact with the player for two days, does this count for all the coaches? Other words does this only leave three contact days left for the rest of the coaches?
A.: Yes to both questions. The entire program now has three days left. The five contact days should be identified by the head coach, for the entire program/system – all coaches/all levels/same five days.


Q.: I have a question on summer contact and want to make sure that I understand the rule properly. If I'm read- ing the rules correctly, all sports have five days of unrestricted contact which are documented on the form; how- ever, wrestling can have contact beyond the five days, through the rest of the summer as long as school is not in session - is that correct? Do they need to document those additional days on the form?
A.: You are correct in that wrestling coaches are now among the sport coaches who are permitted to have contact with students above/beyond the unrestricted contact days. However, "unlimited contact" is not the same as unrestricted. Those days of contact above/beyond the five unrestricted days – can only occur in non-school provided opportunities. There are significant differences between "unrestricted" and "unlim- ited." Unrestricted means teams can assemble with coaches, school $$ and resources can be applied, schools can sponsor the events/activities. Unlimited contact provides that coaches like the country club pro – can have summer contact with every golfer in the county while running the club's summer program – including kids from his own school. Or, the school's baseball coach can also coach the Legion team. Above and beyond the five unrestricted days – any other approved summer contact MUST be non-school spon- sored – like the Legion or the Rec. Dept. or the Aquatic Center, etc. Always remember that an acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited or restricted based on school and/or team status. An acceptable non school opportunity must be known and accessible to all/any interested students.


Q.: Over the summer our school usually holds open gyms for anyone and everyone. I am the girls head basket- ball coach and I realize I get five days to work with my girls; however, am I allowed to supervise the open gyms during the summer?
A.: Yes. Coaches can supervise open gyms and may recreate along with students. Read II-D the Rules At A Glance carefully. It is most clearly written I think.


Q.: Would a lunch meeting with athletes after the spring sport season count as one of the five contact dates for soccer?
A.: If "lunch" is just a post season thank you and wrap up - a social thing for and between coach and play- ers, I would not consider that coaching contact and it would not need to be one of the five unrestricted days. It might even include information on summer opportunities, open gyms etc. (Season Regs allow unlimited organizational meetings so long as you approve them.) If the lunch meeting is something other, more instructionally focused - walk-throughs, skills demonstration/instruction of any kind – then yes indeed it should be one of the five contact days.


Q.: I have a question on a varsity coach being the select coach of an 8th grade team. While the rules state that this is okay, this coach plans on putting seven or eight of these kids on the varsity team their freshmen year, bumping several juniors and seniors. In effect, he has been coaching these kids since April. He is the coach of the U14 team (I think) and he is a varsity coach for an area HS. He is also having a contact day tomorrow, and school is not out yet. Is this legal?
A.: WIAA rules do not prohibit JV and varsity coaches from having contact with students up until the stu- dents actually enter 9th grade. The decisions a coach might make with respect to who they keep on their school team, who gets cut and who plays and how much - are coaches and local decisions - not WIAA matters. Your concerns should be shared with your own school administration. They determine policy and philosophy for the school's programs. See Article I of the Rules At A Glance. Unrestricted contact days are NOT able to be used - except in the summer (when school is not in session) between the end of school and July 31.
Q.: I am a high school JV softball coach. There is talk of starting a fall softball league in our area of high school girls to play each other on Sunday afternoons for about six weeks this fall. The process right now is getting an idea if girls would be willing to play. My question is: Am I correct in interpreting the rules that neither myself or my assistant coach can coach these girls because of WIAA rules governing contact during the school year and outside of the sport. I do not want to risk myself or my assistant to be ineligible to coach in the spring because we were stupid and didn't get an opinion from the WIAA on this.
A.: If this fall league takes place when the school year has gotten underway – you are correct. Coaching restrictions apply during the school year, except during the actual softball season. Second, remind athletes that during the school year no assembly may resemble a school's team practicing and competing outside of the season. Be sure they put teams together comprised of students from more then just your school.


Q.: I was called by the Timberwolves/Lynx to see if my team would want to play at the Target Center this sum- mer. We can play against another team or against ourselves. We play a few hours before the Lynx play and then we can attend a Lynx game. If I use a contact day, am I allowed to do this? I would coach my team and then sit with them at the Lynx game. It is a one day event. It would be an awesome experience for the girls to play on that floor.
A.: So long as this was able to take place between the end of school and July 31 and was included in/among your five unrestricted summer contact days – WIAA rules would not prevent this.


5-26-09
Q.: In terms of summer contact, may coaches have unlimited contact with incoming 9th graders?
A.: Article I of the Rules At A Glance provides that JV and varsity coaches may have contact with students until they actually enter 9th grade. That contact may be unlimited - but it is not unrestricted. There are significant differences between "unrestricted" and "unlimited." Unrestricted means teams can assemble with coaches, school funds and resources can be applied, schools can sponsor the events/activities. Unlimited contact provides that coaches like the school coach who is also the country club pro – can have summer contact with every golfer in the county while running the club's summer program – including kids from his/her own school. Or, the school's baseball coach can also coach the Legion team. Above and beyond the five unrestricted days – any other approved summer contact MUST be non-school sponsored. Like the Legion or the Rec. Dept. or the Aquatic Center, etc.


5-8-09
Q.: We have a youth coaches clinic on May 11 which our high school coaches sponsor and run. The goal of this clinic is to educate our youth coaches about the game of football. Can our staff use our football athletes to demonstrate drills at this clinic for those coaches to see first hand?
A.: The only football players they could use without peril are this year's seniors – who have no remaining football eligibility. During the school year coaches are not allowed coaching contact with their athletes except during the actual school season itself. If coaches wished, they could wait until the end of the school year and use one of their unrestricted contact days and then work with any interested football player in this clinic setting.


Q.: I am a high school soccer coach and also coach summer travel soccer. I was wondering if there were any rule changes made at the April WIAA meeting that would allow more contact with high school players during the summer.
A.: No. The status relating to soccer coaches summer contact remains unchanged. The proposal which would have afforded unlimited summer coaching contact – under certain circumstances – was defeated by membership vote, 173 no - 130 yes.


3-27-09
Q.: During the five summer basketball contact days, are teams allowed to use funds from school accounts to pay entry fees, transportation costs and hotel costs if a team is attending a weekend tournament away from their area?
A.: Yes. School funds can be used to provide and/or support opportunities during the actual school season and during the five unrestricted days of summer contact.
2-13-09


Q.: Can a college student be a volunteer assistant coach for a high school varsity girls team in one town and be a head coach to an out-of-season girls club volleyball team from another town? The coach is not paid anything for being an assistant coach for a high school varsity girls volleyball team during the high school season. Is there a WIAA violation to be an unpaid assistant coach and a club coach with both teams being in different towns?
A.: Whether paid or volunteer, with respect to our member's contact rules, a coach is a coach, is a coach, is a... A violation would occur if this individual was coaching students on the club team, outside the school season and then would coach any of those same students again in the next school season. If the two teams this coach works with are 100 percent different students, then there is no peril from a coaching contact standpoint.


Q.: One of my track coaches has asked me if he can work at one of the camps that are being offered at the uni- versity this winter. Is my coach able to work a camp if one or two of the kids he will be coaching this spring dur- ing track season attends the camp? This to me seems to breach the coach contact rule. Am I correct in thinking that?
A.: Your understanding and "alert" are correct - your coach may not have coaching contact with his ath- letes during the school year except during the designated season. Now having said that, it - might be - pos- sible for him to work the camp so long as he will have zero interface/coaching contact with any/all of your school's athletes. He could still coach athletes from other area schools, provided the camp's organization- al design model would accommodate that sort of configuration (which if the organizers are smart, it should). Also, neither the school or coach may transport students to camps or clinics out-of-season.


1-16-09
Q.: I believe I fully understand the coaching contact during the school year and out-of-season; however, I do have one question: If School 'A' has both boys and girls track programs and each has its own coaching staff, is it permissible for an event coach from the boys team to work with members of the girls team? Again, this is not within the respective sports season or in the summer, it's during the school year.
A.: While this sort of configuration might technically be possible in some school settings, if the boys and girls track programs practice at the same time, same site and/or there is any interface with the female ath- letes during practice and/or competition at anytime during the next school season, then the answer must be no. The key to this configuration being "technically" compliant centers around the requirement that there is – zero - interface with the athletes during the next school season. I would advise that even though in some sports where the seasons are split, swim for example – even though the arranged contact may tech- nically comply with our member's provisions, we always hear about those sorts of arrangements described with a tenor of suspicion. While technically conforming, it feels to most to be more circumvention rather than compliance.


12-12-08
Q.: I have a question regarding out-of-season contact. Our basketball coach was wondering if he could take stu- dents who signed-up for his team to watch a practice at the local college. It is not a clinic, just a practice of the college team. Could they attend this?
A.: Yes. So long as the opportunity is voluntary and available to any who wish to attend, we consider this sort of assembly as acceptable under the Bylaws Art. XI, Sect. 2 which allows for group entertainment.


Q.: I am a varsity girls soccer coach and we have an opening for our freshmen coach. We have a candidate who coaches in our club at the U17/18 age group. I have been trying to find the rules on this. Am I correct in that as long as she would not be coaching the players that she worked with in the summer that would be OK? I am having trouble finding the Article 1 rules on this topic.
A.: It may be possible to employ a coach to work with 9th graders, who has worked with, coached, "upper- classmen" out of the season. The caveat is that the coach would have ZERO interface and involvement with the JV and varsity teams. Coach does not participate in "try-outs" for those levels, the frosh do not scrimmage the JV or varsity teams, the coach is not on the sidelines or assist with those levels in games or scrimmages.


Q.: In past years, I've e-mailed you these questions about youth clinics...and after looking over the Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility, I'm fairly certain that policy has not changed...but I hate to assume things! Any info you can give me is appreciated. 1) In the past it's been OK for an outside group (Kiwanis, Rotary) to sponsor a clinic dur- ing the high school season for students in grade eight and below with HS players and coaches serving as instruc- tors. Is this still OK? (HS players and coaches would be asked to volunteer as clinicians). 2) Can registration fees still be donated or "gifted" back to the school program by the sponsor? 3) Would school team members be able to instruct at such a clinic held on a "day off" after six consecutive days of practice/competition with the school team?
A.: Yes to all three questions. Be certain that you document that the day is "off" and participation is vol- untary. There have been no changes in this rule.


Q.: I am an assistant JV girls volleyball coach. Where can I find the rules regarding what players I can coach during the volleyball club season?
A.: In a nutshell, club coaching, while also a JV level coach at a member school: you can coach your own children; you can coach students still in grade school and middle school; you can coach students from any school - except where you coach a school team (if you intend to continue to coach there next season). Whether paid or volunteer, a coach is a coach, is a coach, is a... You should review Article I for additional details.


Q.: I am the HS baseball coach, and I am wondering if it is OK for me to conduct a meeting during the school year for kids and parents concerning information relative to a nonschool club team (costs, schedule, start/end dates, travel, tournaments, etc.) even though the team members will in all likelihood be playing at our school this spring? The meeting would be off-site from our school and no instruction would occur...just organizational things to be communicated to the families so they can plan and budget for it.
A.: A club can hold organizational meetings as they wish and determine. Remember an acceptable non- school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status. (Sr. High HB- p. 38, C-1). The sponsors should see that the opportunity is made widely known and is available and acces- sible to any who are interested and of appropriate age/grade. There is no reason you could not attend such a meeting.


Q.: I am contacting you from a residential/boarding school. The question arises from the Article VI, Section 2 - Out-of-Season C. 3) c. "This provision shall not prevent a coach from having supervisory responsibilities out- side of the designated season of a sport. Supervisory involvement, however, does not include situations like club team coaching, driving (or accompanying) student to competition or training (clinics, camps, etc), conducting drills... or any other activity which could be regarded as coaching or instructing." This seems to imply that my soccer coach could not drive soccer players to a "club" game/practice outside of the soccer season. As residen- tial students, this often keeps our kids off of club/travel opportunities. Would it be within WIAA rules for our coach or other faculty member to drive players to a clinic/camp/club game or tourney?
A.: Residential schools, acting as the parent, can provide transportation to the sort of events/activities you describe, same as a parent might. Be sure opportunity is available to any interested student who resides full time with you and that participation is voluntary. Best advice/recommendation would be to find or contract a qualified driver – other then school's coach.


Q.: We had a parent who coached many of our girls this summer at camps. He has never been a coach for our HS teams. He coached the girls four days this summer. We have a young basketball coach - in my conversations with him, I suggested he find an older volunteer assistant to bounce ideas off. He would like the person who coached the girls those four days this summer. Our coach used his unrestricted contact days but this parent was not involved in that at all. Is this legal and okay with WIAA rules regarding summer contact and coaching?
A.: As described, we would consider this individual an ineligible coaching candidate. While there is prece- dent for waiving the coaching contact restrictions when school administration identifies a coaching emer- gency, we are not able to recognize an emergency within this situation. This individual could of course attend your games just like anyone else who purchases a ticket. If he and your coach wished to confer, nothing prevents that. Coaching contact with the same athletes during the upcoming school season as this person worked with out side of the season, above and beyond the unrestricted contact days, would not be in compliance with the member's provisions.


10-24-08
Q.: I am coaching my son's sixth grade basketball team, I am wondering if there is any WIAA restriction in hav- ing a varsity/JV/freshman basketball player helping out as a coach either now or during their season?
A.: So long as you are not a high school coach (other coaching contact restrictions would need to be observed) if there is a HS student who would volunteer to help out a youth team, there would be no eligi- bility peril in that for the student. In some communities HS athletes are doing that sort of thing to satisfy community service requirements. I would encourage you to continue this conversation with your school's AD, just so he/she isn't taken by surprise.


Q.: We are a parochial athletic program and are considering enlisting the assistance of a local private/parochial high school in running our interscholastic basketball league for fifth through eight grades. We are meeting some resistance from a principal from one of the grade schools. One of her reasons for resisting is that she believes a high school being involved in running our league could jeopardize a student's eligibility in high school. Based on what I understand, high school coaching contact regulations don't take effect until a student has entered ninth grade. Can you help clarify this for me?
A.: First, as you will see in Article I of Rules At A Glance, JV and varsity coaches are allowed to have contact with students until they actually enter ninth grade. So in part, you are right. However, the principal's concerns with respect to eligibility are not completely displaced, either. Our member's rules provide that a student will not be afforded eligibility if his/her attendance at a school comes as a result of recruitment and/or undue influence. What is most common and generally not seen or brought to us as a concern for recruiting is when the local HS coach works with his/her own "feeder" schools. For the public school, it is with those middle schools whose students most commonly matriculate to that coaches high school. For our private school member's, it is most common to be broke down along parish or synod lines, e.g. I am not at all certain of the configuration of your league; how many schools, what faiths, etc. Considering all those things and given the nature of things in/around your community, specifically, I would recommend some time be spent to consider the various "affiliations" of the schools involved in your league and solicit involvement, help – or at least create awareness with those associated high schools. In the long run, it might diminish the hard feelings and suspicions which otherwise will creep in.


Q.: I coach a third grade YMCA basketball team and am wondering what the "rule" is with high school helpers. I am also the high school JV girls' basketball coach. I'm thinking even though it would be "in-season" it's prob- ably not allowed, as Saturdays would be an extra contact day but want to check with you to be sure before I turn them away. I've had a few girls ask about helping down at the Y for community service opportunities and/or psych class hours for their volunteer requirement. Can they help other teams (if I'm not the coach)? I think being on their own is more than they're wanting to commit to this year, but helping out sounded good to them.
A.: There are more then a couple ways this would not be, or not need to be a problem, allowing the girls to help out in this league. If the Y league runs during the school season and the girls would only be help- ing out the coach's' team or other teams in the Y league – not a problem – because contact is allowed dur- ing the school season. If the league starts earlier, or runs beyond the school season, your girls could still help other teams if they wished. They can not assist their coach during the school year, outside of the school season, however.


Q.: Our boys and girls basketball coaches are presenting a clinic for our youth coaches in October. I was asked if high school players can be used to demonstrate drills. My inclination is NO – that this would be out-of-season contact – but I'm not sure! I can't find a specific reference in the Handbook.
A.: Simplest answer is "No." During the school year, players may not be assembled, you may not have coaching contact until the start of the HS season. Also, remember "schools" may not sponsor camps clin- ics except in the summer time. That's when you may use your athletes as clinicians, up to July 31.


Q.: Both of my high school softball coaches also coach softball at the middle school, which is a fall sport in our district. They would like to know if WIAA rules prevent their high school players from helping them coach at the middle school. I told them that I thought that they could not, but that I would check with you to be sure one way or the other.
A.: You are correct. HS athletes can only be used as "clinicians" and asst. coaches, if you will, 'in the sum- mer' between the end of school and July 31. Certainly, during the HS softball season, players can volun- teer to assist their coaches in any manner of youth and lower level instruction.


Q.: I have taken a full-time position at a new sports facility being built. Part of my responsibilities will be to help out with instruction at camps, clinics and private instruction sessions. Is this a problem if any of the kids from my school/team go to the facility?
A.: You will be vulnerable to allegation of violation if you are there when players from your school are there. If you coach any of your players during the school year outside of the season, it would be a contact violation. Best practice is for you to schedule your work times at times other then when your players are
there.


9-19-08
Q.: We have a parent-volunteer assistant on our soccer team. He coached a group of players this past summer in a U16 league in a nearby community, with kids from a couple different communities including ours. Is he legal to coach?
A.: First, whether paid or volunteer, a coach is a coach, is a coach, is a... Second, if this individual had con- tact with students outside of and/or above and beyond the five unrestricted days, then he is not an eligible coaching candidate. See Art. I of the Rules At A Glance. The fundamental rule is that the person who has coaching contact out side the season and outside the unrestricted contact days, may not also have any coaching contact during the school season. If this individual has been working with the team - a violation may already have occurred.


8-15-08
Q.: I am a volunteer coach for the girls varsity team this summer. What I am wondering is if I am allowed to coach in the winter during the season with either the varsity team or the junior varsity? I will always be a vol- unteer coach but didn't know what the rule is.
A.: The fundamentals to begin with include: Whether paid or volunteer - the contact rules apply the same. A coach is a coach, is a coach, is a... The second "fundamental rule" is as outlined in Art. I of the Rules At A Glance, i.e., except during the actual school season and in the unrestricted summer contact days, the person who will be coaching students in the next school season can not also coach them outside the sea- son. And that rule makes no distinction between JV and varsity. Thus, given who you worked with out of the seasons, the only group you could have coaching contact with (including practices, scrimmage, etc.) during the next school season would be 9th grade and below.


Q.: I've got a question in regard to an individual possibly coaching one of our volleyball teams this fall. He was involved with coaching a group of girls in "club volleyball" that will be sophomores this fall. I assume that he cannot coach the JV squad, but coaching the freshmen team would be OK? Other concerns: can he be on the bench assisting the varsity during matches (more than likely, there will be a sophomore or two on varsity that he coached)? NOTE: He did coach them outside the allowed summer contact time - can he be allowed in to take part in the evaluation of players for the cut-downs for each team?
A.: Assuming the coach has not coached any incoming frosh, he could be employed as 9th grade coach or middle level. He is not able to interface in any way, practice, scrimmage, try-outs or games with JV and varsity programs. Zero interface.
Q.: A local civic group sponsors a fall baseball league for kids in our city. The league starts mid-August and goes through the first week of October. The organizer of the league asked me to coach a team of 12-13 year olds. I have a couple questions: 1) As a high school coach, am I able to do this? None of the kids on the team will be current students at our school. I couldn't find anything about this in the rules. 2) Can one of my assistants at the high school help me coach this team? Can prospective players at our school help me coach this team (I'm guess- ing NO on this one since it's out-of-season)?
A.: JV and varsity coaches are able to have contact with students until they enter 9th grade. So if the play- ers are still in middle school - or students at a school other then your own HS - 1) Yes. 2) If the coach is your varsity assistant or your JV coach - Yes. 3) Prospective players - yes* up until school begins (baseball coaches are allowed to have contact in the summer). Once school begins coaching contact with current players must cease.


7-18-08
Q.: My wrestling coach had a question regarding summer contact days. During his five unrestricted days, can kids from a neighboring HS school come and wrestle with them as well? He's looking to try and find some other kids that are the same weight as our kids to change things up. He said it would be "nice to have different kids to wrestle against." The only issue I could see would be if the kids from the neighboring school were going to have contact days with their coach as well.
A.: Students from the other school could come in during the summer unrestricted contact days. They would not necessarily need to be the same contact days used by the other school - unless their coach was present and coaching.


Q.: Can I legally work at a basketball camp that my high school players are participating in? It is a reputable camp that is open to anyone from any school and is publically advertised.
A.: The answer to your question is - "yes." There are two possible ways in which this could happen and still remain in compliance. First, if the camp is in the summer prior to July 31, you can use your unre- stricted contact days which would allow you to work the camp without care and be able to coach your own school's players when those encounters would arise. The school could also assist in transport if they desired – or you could transport your players yourself – if you desired; all within the rules. The second: If you do not wish to use contact days for the camp, you could still work the camp but have zero coaching interaction with your own school's players. When they come to your "station" – you or they step out.


Q.: Can a football coach have classroom meetings with his future players going over plays, on the board, rules, expectations, etc., more than once in the spring?
A.: Technically - he can't have that kind of meeting - even once in the spring. "Organizational meetings" - do not include football instruction. None. They address camp opportunities - when the weight room's open, open gyms, fund-raisers, etc. Going over plays providing coaching instruction - will lead to a diffi- cult tenure. Those style meetings can only be held during the season and on the five unrestricted days in the summer.


Q.: I had sent you an email last week about a question my basketball coach had on contact days. Because of the snow, our exams were moved back one day. Our boys have a tournament that our coach is coaching in on the 13th-15th of June and he would like to use a contact day the 12th (snow make-up) to prepare for the tournament.
A.: YES. Under the circumstances you describe, coach contact may be allowed on the previously unsched- uled, make-up day. There is precedent in other areas for a similarly liberal perspective being taken when school is cancelled for snow and academic eligibility is involved also, with the re-scheduling of contests after tournament series have begun - when events previously scheduled were interrupted by weather and etc.


5-22-08
Q.: Can a spring head baseball coach a summer baseball legion team?
A.: Simple answer is yes - though it cannot be an opportunity limited in a manner which just recapitulates the schools team.


Q.: We have an individual that is thinking about coaching a club volleyball team, which would include a group of the high school's athletes. This individual is also interested in being an unpaid volunteer assistant next fall for the high school team which will have a few of the same girls on it. I am checking to make sure this will not be a violation of any WIAA rules.
A.: Whether paid or volunteer, a coach is a coach is a coach is a... This individual may not have coaching contact outside of the season and then come and coach the team in the fall (the exception is that they could always coach their own child, only, and they could coach a club on the five unrestricted contact days your head coach identifies in the summer, from the end of school to July 31).


Q.: We are going to have a youth coaches clinic just for our community's football program where varsity coach- es present to our youth coaches. Is it legal for us to use current high school players to demonstrate drill work? We've stayed away from using current players in the past because I assumed it was against the rules.
A.: It still is against the rules to use players with remaining eligibility. You could use this year's seniors who have exhausted their eligibility, recent graduates, or you could use 8th graders.


5-1-08
Q.: Is the girl's JV soccer coach from a school allowed to coach a summer soccer team made up of players from the boy's soccer teams from the same school? What if there is only a couple of players from the school on the team? What if the person coaching the team is the boys tennis coach? Can any member of a schools athletic staff coach that school's athletes in other sports, out-of-season or off season?
A.: In the most strict and technical interpretation, "yes" to all your questions. The fundamental coaching contact rule provides that the person who will be coaching students in the next school season may not coach those same kids during restricted times. In soccer, the only unrestricted contact times are during the actual school season and for up to five days in the summer, between the end of school and July 31. ALL other periods both during the school year as well as the summer – are restricted. No coaching contact. But in the scenarios you outline, so long as those individuals have ZERO interface/involvement with the team during the next school season, then 'technically' they are in compliance. I use the term technically and in quotes – due to the fact that there are many who view the boys coach working with the girls teams and vis a vis – more as a form of circumvention rather then compliance. School administration should be aware of the existence of that stigma if they intend to allow that sort of arrangement. To an extent and by virtue of having the "girl's coach" or the "boys coach" heading up the summer program for the opposite gen- der's team diminishes the member's stated philosophy of summer involvement being voluntary. Lastly, remember – it is only in the summer time, that students can voluntarily assemble in a manner which might resemble the school's team..and then, without school and/or coach involvement.


Q.: I've got a question a parent presented to me recently. His son is a hard worker who enjoys one-on-one coach- ing, but in our area there are few if any opportunities to get instruction or even participate in AAU league unless he were to drive a couple hours. This parent presented the idea of paying me or another coach at the school by the hour to work with his son in the summer, believing that might be allowed under WIAA rules. I told him I would check, but I honestly have no idea. It's my understanding that a coach can work with his own players if it's a camp open to anyone interested.
A.: This is not a correct understanding. The fundamental rule is that you may not have coaching contact outside of the school season with students you will be coaching in the next school season. There are only two exceptions. Parents can always coach their own children – even when the parent is a school coach. Coaches may have contact only during the five unrestricted contact days in the summer and during the actual school season. Working a camp open to everyone – does not dispense the coaching contact restrictions.


Q.: I have a couple questions regarding the change in summer coach's contact days for football. First, do the five days have to be consecutive? Second, do the days have to be before July 31 or could the last day of camp be on July 31?
A.: Football summer contact days no longer need to be consecutive. Additionally, the number of contact days has been increased from four to five starting this summer. The last day of camp/contact could be inclusive of July 31. Lastly; if travel is involved with summer contact, the days of travel must be counted as part of the five unrestricted days – both to and returning from.


Q.: Can I use current players as demonstrators for a youth football coaches teaching clinic this spring? This is a coaches clinic NOT a youth football camp.
A.: No. Coaching contact with your current players is limited to the five unrestricted days in the summer and to the actual school season. You could use former players (graduates); players who are seniors right now (whose eligibility is completed) or, you could use 8th graders. Also remember a school can only spon- sor camps in the summer. A 'spring' camp would need to be sponsored by a nonschool provider.


Q.: Can you please clarify two things for me on the summer contact days for basketball? Do I understand correctly that the five days may include players that will be entering 9th-12th grade, and not just limited to a "varsity" team? Also the five days are the same days for all levels, meaning you could not have five days for fresh- men, five days for sophomores and five days for juniors and seniors, which theoretically could mean 15 different days.
A.: A member school could include any/all students who have student status within the school's pro- gram/system regardless of grade in school on contact days, if you wished. You are correct. The school bas- ketball PROGRAM has a total of five days. The five days are the exact same days for all levels of spon- sored opportunity. Typically the days are set by the head coach and AD. (Certainly, the boys program may have five days - and the girls program five different days.) But no program has more than five days total.


Q.: Is my coach allowed to assemble his wrestling team this summer and wrestle a dual meet against another school?
A.: Within the five unrestricted contact days school administration can allow just about anything you wish. They are unrestricted - so if you said "yes," it could happen within the parameters of the summer unrestricted contact. Obviously, that will not diminish your school's risk if/should you allow, and if after only a few days of training/acclimation a boy is seriously injured.


Q.: I was wondering if you could answer a question for one of my coaches. If they are going on an overnight for one night, and then traveling back to town the next day, do they need to count the travel day when coming back. They aren't planning on any meetings etc., on the second (travel) day.
A.: Travel days must be counted and included into the five unrestricted summer contact days.


Q.: Right now I am the head varsity baseball coach for a member high school and the community legion is ask- ing me to be their head Legion coach for the summer. My question to you would be if I am the head varsity coach during the spring high school season, can I be the head legion coach for the summer?
A.: Simple answer is - "yes, you can coach both." A key element would be that the local legion team not be limited to just your high school players. Article I of the Rules At A Glance addresses coaches contact.


4-11-08
Q.: I have a few questions about boys soccer contact days. It's my understanding that there are five unrestricted days allowed and that they must occur before August 1. I am now president of a soccer club and we would like to schedule a pre-season tournament on July 26 and 27 for boys high soccer teams. We would like to promote itas an opportunity to use two contact days where schools would be able to play against other schools with the added benefit that teams could actually be coached by their own high school coaches. Teams would pay an entry fee. Is this legal? Would WIAA refs be required?
A.: Correct. We typically publish it as – from end of school in spring – to no later then (by or before) July 31; making no mention of August. Bottom line, your dates work fine! Exactly as described - with all participating schools using two of their unrestricted contact days – 'YES' this would be in compliance with summer contact provisions. I think that given the risk of injury just days before the start of the school sea- son using WIAA licensed sport officials would be far and away more attractive to our members. Why would you not want to use WIAA officials?
Q.: Two questions: 1. Football now has five unrestricted contact days is that correct? 2. A coach cannot hire a personal trainer for his or her players. Is that correct? Can a coach hire a personal trainer for his or her players but have the student athletes pay for the services?
A.: Yes, football coaches now have the same contact opportunity as other coaches in the summer. When it comes to camps, clinics specialized training/instruction – only student/family are able to cover 100 percent of costs. But, not certain I completely understand all the dimensions which may surround this question that would be needed in order to provide quality interpretation. In season – out-of-season? Boys, girls? Personal funds, booster money or activity account? Concerns are rooted in amateur status, gender equi- ty. Remember, too, participation in out-of-season programs must be voluntary.


Q.: Two questions concerning team camps used for a coaches contact days. 1) If a team travels out of state, do the travel days count towards the five contact days? 2) Can teams fund raise to pay for the travel expense to these team camps. Example is the need to pay for the rental of vans, can the players fund raise for that expense?
A.: YES to both questions – but remember, fund-raising efforts must be voluntary, and if the team camp is part of the five unrestricted days then school can pay for all/any students interested in attending a team camp (school might use fund-raised money, held in activity account). If school is not paying for all inter- ested students and/or camp is outside of unrestricted days, then each student writes their own check for camp. And, at the end of the fund-raising day, each student receives their earned dollars and if they wish to use it on a team camp they may.


3-28-08
Q.: What are the rules regarding assistant coaches coaching AAU? Can they coach or help AAU coaches if the players on that AAU team are current members of the high school team?
A.: Article I of the Rules At A Glance outlines fundamental coaching contact rule. The simple and least confusing answer to your question is 'NO.' To paraphrase the fundamental rule: Whether paid or volun- teer, a coach may not have coaching contact outside of the season, during restricted times, with students he/she will have any coaching contact with in the next school season. There are a couple nuances to that fundamental rule, e.g., 1. during your five designated, unrestricted contact days in summer you/your coaches could have contact with your players in the AAU / club setting. 2. Some programs may have an 8th or 9th grade coach interface with a summer club – provided that coach has zero involvement with the high school kids (JV and varsity) and programs during the next school season. (i.e. Does not attend try- outs, not on team bench, 9th graders practice different time and/or different site, never scrimmage JV or varsity..etc. - zero interface) Then technically that can comply with the fundamental rule.


Q.: Can our high school varsity basketball coach, coach an AAU team that has his son on the team? There would not be any other of our players on the team.
A.: Yes. See Article I of the Rules At A Glance. A coach who is also a parent can always coach their own child.
Q.: My question involves my being an unpaid assistant baseball coach at a member school and also coaching the junior legion team in our town during last summer. The junior legion team consists of freshman and sophomores from multiple high schools. My question is, does my coaching the junior legion team last summer make me inel- igible to be an unpaid assistant coach for the school baseball team this spring?
A.: No. The member's provisions relating to summer coaching contact in the sport of baseball (as well as several other WIAA sponsored sports) allows baseball coaches to have contact in the summertime in non- school programs, above and beyond the allowed five days of unrestricted contact days. So long as the assembly of students does not resemble the school's team practicing and/or competing outside the season. Obviously, the final decision to hire a coach, whether paid or unpaid, rests within the authority of the member school.


Q.: I am a parent of a soccer player. Many parents asked me what are the rules for a coach to have contact with a player during off season. Our school is under the WIAA rules. So is the soccer coach allowed to have contact with the soccer players during off season or not. The soccer season is always in the fall of each year.
A.: Article I of the Rules At A Glance addresses coaching and coaches contact as our members have defined it. Soccer coaches are only allowed coaching contact - during the actual school season and for up to five days in the summertime.


Q.: My boys basketball coach talked to me about working with the 8th grade group of boys. I told him that once school was done, the 8th graders would then fall under a normal high school student athlete and would fall under the five summer contact days. He is under the impression that because they haven't started high school, there is unlimited contact time. I really can't find it anywhere in the hand book.
A.: The simple answer is JV and varsity coaches are allowed to have contact with students until they actu- ally enter 9th grade. (See Art. I of the Rules At A Glance.) That being said, must caution about the spon- sors/creators of such programming opportunities. (then read article II A and D) If that contact is taking place during the school year but outside of the actual school season – the opportunity needs to be creat- ed/provided by an entity other then the school.


Q.: We are in the process of hiring girl's soccer coaches for this spring and I have a few questions. Question: Can a coach be hired as a JV girl's soccer coach and remain a girl's U-16 summer league coach as well? A poten- tial JV coaching candidate also coaches a girl's summer U-16 team made up of girls from the greater metro area. It is an open try out select team (of which in the summer of 2007 approximately four to five of the 18 to 20 girls on the team were from our school.) The coach would like to continue to coach summer soccer and also be con- sidered for the JV position but only if he doesn't have to give up summer soccer.
A.: To be clear: WIAA rules would not prevent coach from being both a school and club coach. However – outside of the actual school season and five days in the summer, coach may NOT have coaching contact with students from your school's team if he intends to return to your school and continue coaching.


Q.: I have a question for you regarding coaching contact and eligibility in the off-season from my volleyball coach. "Is it a violation if an adult who volunteers and assists from time to time with both the varsity and JV team during the regular school season, works with the kids on the off-season? Wasn't sure if it relates only to paid coaches or not.
A.: YES. Whether paid or volunteer, a coach is a coach, is a coach is a ... Have all your coaches read Art. I of the Rules At A Glance – it really is very clear.


1-18-08
Q.: I asked multiple coaches what was acceptable at an open gym. Basically most of the coaches seemed to feel that as long as they were not training soccer that they could run/organize/set up/direct fitness for everyone that showed up for open gym. Is that true? My AD has told me that instruction of any kind to any one is not allowed. That is what I have been doing and what I will continue doing. If, in fact, I can instruct these young people in fitness activities that are not soccer related I sure would like to know because they certainly need it!
A.: Art. II-D of the Rules At A Glance the provisions our members have put in place for Open Gyms. When an open gym – weight room, speed, agility, fitness is offered by a member school a limited amount of non- sport and non-sport-skill-specific instruction might be allowed – how to safely lift/spot, e.g. Some mem- bers simply do not wish to put their school's program in a position of being vulnerable to allegation of vio- lation – that's their prerogative and is understandable. If/when an open gym is able to be described to us as nothing other then a school's team practicing/training and or competing outside the season, our expe- rience shows that sooner or later, (most commonly) a disgruntled parent, or opposing coach will describe it to us as such.


Q.: I have a question concerning coach player contact on AAU basketball teams. I know coaching one's own child is alright, but how about extended family ie. nephew or cousin? A.:
A parent can always coach their own child. We don't think it gets much simpler/clearer then that. The coach contact exception – allowing parents to always be able to coach their own child – does NOT extend to relatives – in any respect or direction. Aunt and uncle may not coach niece/nephew, best friends of 'my child' or cousins, etc., and/or any other combination of relation you can configure; just their own child. Same is true with transporting – outside of season.


Q.: Just wondering if you can still have your last contact day on July 31 or does it have to be done before July 31.
A.: July 31 may be used - as the last contact day of summer.


Q.: My varsity head wrestling coach is asking for permission to coach freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling in the spring and summer time. In doing this he may coach athletes that are a part of his varsity program. Is a waiv- er necessary? Does this violate any contact rules?
A.: There is no waiver of the coaching contact provisions. This scenario would violate the contact rules in the spring, while school is in session. In the summer a number of possibilities exist whereby contact could take place without peril. If he has ANY coaching contact with his own wrestlers in the spring/out side of the season/during the school year – your program would be in non-compliance. See Sr. High Handbook, p.19 for penalties. In the summer time, when school is not in session, there are some other possibilities – a. coach is allowed unrestricted contact for up to five days in the summer. b. In addition to those five unre- stricted days, wrestling coaches have in recent years been added to the list of those coaches who may have unlimited (but not unrestricted) contact with some of their kids (in non-school sponsored settings) above and beyond the five unrestricted days – without peril. All out-of-season participation must be 100 percent voluntary.


12-21-07
Q.: The father of our pitcher for softball is going to be a volunteer coach this season. In the past, him and his daughter have practiced together in the gym in the mornings before school (pitch and catch). If he assumes the role of a volunteer coach, can he still do that or would that be a contact rule violation?
A.: A coach can always work with their own child - see Art. I of Rules At A Glance. BUT - becoming a coach for the team - would now preclude the parent and pitcher from including any other friends/students who would be team mates/any other team members this spring.


Q.: I coach cross country and track at one high school, but I teach at another high school. I was thinking about starting up a high school running club during the winter so kids from both schools could run together and also involve students from an area private school. Would this be against WIAA rules or not? There would be no money involved, just meeting at the school's on a rotating schedule.
A. This would not work as initially described. First, you are correct in that coaches can now recreate with students in school sponsored open gym settings... kids/coaches could run together, recreationally in/as part of an open gym. A running club - or running at the club - is not open gym. Open gyms are school spon- sored opportunities and may not include students from other schools.


Q.: Has there been anything published regarding sport coaches training athletes in the weight room during the off-season? How can they help the strength coach? What can't they do? I want off season sport coaches to be able to help me in the weight room during their off season. Any potential problems?
A.: Fundamentally within our member's Bylaws, strength/conditioning opportunities fall under "Open Gym" provisions. Coaches may supervise Open Gyms. In open gym weight rooms are seen a bit differ- ently from other sport based open gyms, due to the fact that theoretically, they are not sport and/or sport skill specific. In addition, a certain amount of 'instruction' e.g., safe lifting, safe spotting, training regimen and rationale, are 'understandable' and permitted. There are a few sticky spots where when move into speed/agility/quickness phases. Randomly offered: Tough for track coaches to be involved in running training - speed, form running starts, etc. (plyometrics/box/jumping training might be ok). No sport implements and/or sport specific movement/drills should be part of the open gym. If it looks like spring football practice/training - chances are we are going to hear about it. You may review the BYLAW relat- ing to this topic in Sr. High Handbook, p. 26, Art. II, Section 2A-2. Also read carefully/thoughtfully: Art. I, Art.II-A and II-D of the Rules At A Glance.


12-06-07
Q.: Is it OK to hire as a freshman boys basketball coach who coached our varsity boys basketball team at some summer tournaments outside of the five allowed contact days? And can he sit on the varsity bench during games?
A.: Yes, OK to hire as the freshman coach - so long as he has ZERO interface with students he coached all summer – in both practice, scrimmages as well as games. This coach cannot sit on the varsity bench, nor can he be "charting"/in the locker room at half-time, etc. Zero direct involvement.


10-27-07
Q.: An area physical therapist is a volunteer coach for our basketball team two to three nights a week. I have some questions about if this would be legal. Last spring we had open gyms in the mornings that everybody in our school was invited. He has a basketball training camp that he was running over in a nearby community and I asked him if he would be interested in coming over to our school and running kids through some drills (ball handling, passing and shooting). He did this free of charge with the kids ranging from grades 7th -12th with both boys and girls participating. Basically he took whoever showed up at 6:30 in the morning and worked them out. He came in a maximum of 8 times. At the most there would be 10 kids total but some will play varsity that he had contact with. Can he be a coach at all this year? how about next year? Can he coach our freshmen? I would have never asked him to run workouts for the students if I had known that he would transfer jobs and be able to coach this year. I was wondering what the rules say about his being a coach for us.
A.: The coaching contact provisions as detailed in Article I of Rules At A Glance - are interpreted that whether paid or volunteer – a person may not coach students during restricted times and then coach them again during the next school season. This person is not presently an eligible coaching candidate. He could put himself into a position to be a viable candidate next year. Second, you are going to need to visit with your coach and probe a little bit further to determine whether there's been a violation here. Please See Art. IJ-D-2 of Rules A/A Glance. In school sponsored open gyms – there is no organizing/instructing – by a coach or anyone else. We will not consider your coaches casual/informal communication with you to be gospel. But it raises concerns we need to point out to you.


9-21-07
Q.: One of the levels of our youth football program is really struggling. The coach is well meaning, but just does- n't have a football background. The level is 7th grade. Would there be anything prohibiting myself or any of my high school coaches from attending a practice to try to offer some direction? I want their experience to be positive. Right now I fear we might lose these kids from the sport.
A.: In Rules At A Glance, Article I provides that JV and varsity coaches can have contact with student's until they actually enter 9th grade. So - from a coaching contact standpoint, I see little peril. The poten- tial boomerang in this might be if this team is made up of both public and private school students - some room for asserting recruitment/undue influence. If team is made up 100 percent of students from your feeder religious school, I see little concern. If team is made up of both pubic/private middle level students, then the solution I'd recommend is 'inviting' your public school counterparts to donate some of their time/attention to this struggling group of youngsters.


Q.: My daughter attends a member high school. In the past two fall seasons, girls at the school have participat- ed in a nonschool softball league. The varsity softball coach is restricting the players on this team based on her choice. Is this OK? If not, does my daughter risk ineligibility if she plays?
A.: If accurate, the coach is more likely putting the school's program in jeopardy – and thus indirectly, the individual athlete who would potentially be impacted if the school program was determined to be in non-compliance.


Q.: May a varsity girls soccer athlete assist a junior varsity coach in coaching a youth team, or would that be inappropriate contact? The youth team season is this fall.
A.: Outside of the actual school season and/or during the five unrestricted days in the summer, this would be considered out of season coaching contact. Student could coach the team or coach could coach the youth team...Never together.


Q.: I may be coaching middle school volleyball this fall. My son is a high school volleyball athlete and expressed a desire to assist, and work with his little brother's 8th grade team. He would volunteer when other commitments allow, and assist with the running of drills and techniques at practice. Since this is not associated with his high school, and is not a coaching situation for him, is this OK? I do not coach at the high school level, and am not involved in a high school program in any way.
A.: From your description, I see no obvious peril from a WIAA perspective - for your son or his school team - if he wished to assist you in the manner you describe.


8-20-07
Q.: I am a varsity girls basketball coach, and I am holding a middle school camp from Aug. 6-9. Can one of my varsity players work the front desk at the camp and get paid for it? They would help with registration and would sell food. Is this allowed? The camp is being run totally separate from the high school. It is a camp that I have run for over 10 years in another state until I relocated to Wis. It is my own camp company and it is a registered LLC. Any info you could give me in this area would be appreciated.
A.: What you have described could be allowed without peril. But be clear - the rules in this area indicate that if/when students are used as clinicians - that can not happen after July 31. Since what you are describ- ing is not a clinician's role, technically - it could happen without peril. But - you will place student in a position of 'vulnerability' just by being present. Best advice - find alternate and/or be sure student keeps out of/away from gym.


Q.: I am a basketball coach and was just told by someone that another student and his family may be interested in moving to our district and that I might be receiving a phone call from the student's father BEFORE they make the actual move. How should I handle this situation? Tell him to contact our principal to tell him that they are interested in moving but have some questions about our academic and athletic programs and let the principal handle it? Or, guidance counselor? Or whom?
A.: My advice to you – Be polite, but brief. If/when contacted respond along the lines of, "Glad to hear from you Mr. Smith and to know of your interest in moving to our district and attending our school. In so far as basketball, will be glad to answer all your basketball and team related questions once 'Tommy' becomes our student. If you have questions about enrolling in our school, you should get in touch with our principal/admissions/counselors, and in-turn they will introduce you to our AD – who will get you point- ed in the right direction in order to determine 'Tommy's' potential eligibility at our school. Immediately notify principal/AD of contact, and then you or AD SHOULD call AD and/or the coach at the 'sending school' and let them know you've just been contacted by the family. I always recommend to take the approach of – 'how would I want to be treated' in dealing with these occurrences. Students come and go, every year – no single one of them is worth bruised reputation (yours and schools) or bruised relationships with other member schools.


7-13-07
Q.: If there is any way I could get a copy of the rules and regulations of coach player contact outside of the spring high school girls soccer season, especially between JV coaches and varsity players, that would be great. I just need to know the off season contact I can have with the varsity team being that I am a JV coach. I just coach at a club in the area and I do camps in the summer. I just needed to know what is allowed and what is not.
A.: See Article I of Rules At A Glance for Coach Contact information. JV and varsity coaches are consid- ered one-in-same. No distinction is made. You are able to have up to five days – as identified by the head coach – of involvement with students who are currently in 9th, 10th, 11th grade. JV and varsity coaches are able to have contact with students that have just completed 8th grade and/or lower grades – until students actually enter 9th grade. See also; wiaawi.org, pull down on Regulations icon and click on Eligibility Q/A, then Coach Contact; also Summer Coach Contact calendar and reminders.


Q.: Our girl's basketball program will be hosting a summer basketball meeting in June with kids and parents to discuss the upcoming summer schedule. 1) Is this OK? 2) Can a summer contact day be used to show kids what we expect from them during the summer months. Which would include instruction from agility drills to shooting drills.
A.: 1) YES – see: Winter Season Regulations, p. 3 - #1. 2) YES – so long as that day falls between the end of school and July 31. Most candidly, using one of your unrestricted contact days for such contact and instruction is the 'safest', most appropriate way to accomplish your stated objectives.


Q.: We are currently making a head coaching change in our boys volleyball program. Our freshman coach will be applying for the vacant head coaching position; however, he currently coaches in a club volleyball league and has had contact with a couple of our returning varsity players. My question is, if we hire this coach, would this be in violation of WIAA rules, or should I eliminate him as a candidate? What if he were to resign his position with the club, would this clear him to be hired by us? I have a seven member panel and a rather rigorous inter- view process, so this individual may not even be offered the position, but if he is the lead candidate after the process, I want to be completely up front with him.
A.: It is appropriate and expected that if/when a school coaching vacancy becomes known/available and a club coach has an interest in pursuing it – the club coach will cease/desist contact with the particular school's athletes in the out-of-season /restricted times – in order that they might be viewed as an 'eligible' candidate. Does not mean he can not coach club...might just need to be assigned a different team..or do some personnel switches. If this individual is willing to immediately disconnect from your school's athletes – we would not object to your affording him consideration as a candidate.


Q.: I am a 8th grade boys basketball coach and am inquiring about the five contact days granted to high school basketball coaches and their athletes. My questions are: Are middle school (junior high) basketball coaches also granted contact days with their athletes outside of their season as well?
A.: Yes – The same five "program days" identified (most typically) by the basketball program's head var- sity coach and must be between the end of school and July 31.


Q.: I am looking for an official clarification of the rules pertaining to summer (when school is not in session) coaching of softball players. We have been told different rules by other coaches and athletic directors and have come to the conclusion that everyone we've met has a different interpretation of the off season coaching rules. First question: We understand that all summer practices and scrimmages are voluntary, we never mandate any girls participate during the summer. I read the rule to say we can have only five coaching contacts during the summer before July 31. Some coaches tell us we can have unlimited coaching contacts during the summer before July 31 or some say before the start of school in the fall. We have two coaches who have asked us to play scrim- mage games during the summer and one believes we can play an unlimited number of them. Am I reading the rule correctly or not. Second question: I have been asked to coach a softball team in the area wide softball league that plays all summer. This is not school related. I have declined in the past because some of my current team members play in this league and one or more could be assigned to the team I would be asked to coach. I have declined the request to assist because I felt that would violate the WIAA rule. I have met with two high school softball coaches from other schools who told me: 1. That he coaches summer league and "most" of his high school girls participate on his summer league team and 2. Another coach who told me that he has a "traveling" softball team that participates statewide and multi statewide and that many of his players are also on his current high school softball team. Would it be a violation for me to be coaching in a summer league if one or more of my high school players were also in that league 1. assigned to my team; 2. assigned to any team?
A.: 1) In these questions - you are not grasping the distinction between what could be school spon- sored/unrestricted contact days. (You are allowed five, between the end of school and July 31) and all the rest of the days in the summer – from end of school to start of school in the fall – where baseball and soft- ball coaches (and swim, dive, track, gymnastics and golf and tennis coaches - and more recently, wrestling coaches) have ALWAYS been allowed unlimited contact/in the summer/in non-school sponsored pro- grams. E.g. The golf or tennis coach were also the 'country club – pro and could work with kids from all over the county – including kids from the school's team. The school baseball coach also coached Legion, the school softball coach may play on a city league team. In these non-school sponsored settings, you could have contact with some of your own players – all summer. Remember – an acceptable non-school program is one not limited to student based on school or team status. For the scrimmages, I am not sure if this is in the context of just being your school's team – or a city rec team. If it is just the school's team, you could designate your five unrestricted contact days and play games for 24 hours/five days straight until your legs fell off if your school administration wished to approve/sign off. 2) What you describe could be done with- out peril.


Q.: I have a question regarding athlete eligibility. I currently coach a U-13 girl's soccer team that is part of the area Youth Soccer Association. These girls will all be in 8th grade this upcoming school year (2007-08). This team begins practice indoors in January and the season is typically done by the middle of July. I also have coached several 3 vs. 3, 4 vs. 4 and 6 vs. 6 tournaments where the players need not be a member of the youth soccer assn.; in other words, an open player invitation based only on age. These tournaments include Badger State Games that are held during the school year in winter and outside the school year in June. Our middle school has a combined team whereas a boys team, a girls team and a coed team are selected during the second week of combined practice. This begins in August with games beginning just after school starts. Will I risk the eligibili- ty of my U-13 girls by volunteering to coach for our middle school? I understand the WIAA's stance that a coach is a coach is a coach; regardless of being paid or officially designated as a coach by the school district. Could I coach the boys or the coed teams if none of my U-13 girls are on either team? I have read the WIAA Handbook of Junior High/Middle School Level Grades 6-8 and if I interpret this correctly – I should not coach any middle school soccer teams lest I risk student's eligibility. My co-coaches; however, believe anything is legal as long is it does not happen during the school soccer season, but I believe they are wrong and this rule only applies to ath- letes – not coaches.
A.: The coaching contact provisions are the same at member middle schools as at the high school level. That fundamental rule provides that a coach may not have coaching contact with athletes outside of the school season that you would be coaching in the next school season. Since the WIAA does not sponsor co- ed soccer and your school appears to sponsor it as a club activity, there may be some possibility there. Along with Article I of the attached, you may want to see more on coach contact on our website, under the Regulations icon, click on eligibility Q/A.


Q.: Is it OK for our freshmen girl's volleyball coach to also coach our 8th grade middle school team? The mid- dle school season takes place in the spring.
A.: Technically, WIAA rules would not prevent this. Coaching restrictions apply outside of the school sea- son. In this scenario the contact would be occurring within school seasons and WIAA rules do not prevent a coach from being employed at both the junior and senior highs.


5-25-07
Q.: Can a frosh level coach work with varsity level athletes in the summer? They will not have any contact with them during the season (at practice or games, etc.). A.: Potentially, this could happen without peril. ZERO interface with JV/varsity kids and programs dur- ing the next school season is key.


Q.: I have a couple quick questions about school/club and coaching involvement in the off-season. 1) I was told by a parent that a high school coach may not hold a position on our K-12 wrestling club board (president, vice president, etc.). I thought this was incorrect, but couldn't find anything explicit in the rules and regulations that speaks to such a restriction. 2) I'd like to organize participation with as much of my team as possible in the Granby camp this June in Whitewater, but the camp is a bit expensive. What options do I have to offset the cost? I understand that the school itself cannot pay anything for out-of-season training or competition. Can travel expenses be covered by fundraising or sponsored by our local wrestling club? I assume that neither the club nor the school may pay for tuition. Is that correct?
A.: 1) Might be a local provision - or maybe, just good sense; but the WIAA does not have a rule about anything other then those things specifically relating to member schools and their student-athletes. 2) You have up to five unrestricted contact days in the summer – from the end of school to July 31. If this event is held during those timelines and within the five allowed days, 'school funds' could be used to cover – any and all costs for every kid interested in attending. If not counted within unrestricted contact provisions, 100 percent of costs for camps/clinics, special training must be covered by student and family. Some places organize various fund raisers to help kids earn cash. Be sure to check our website, under the Regulations icon – Eligibility Q/A – if you consider something like that. At the end of the day, each kid goes home with his day's earnings; if he wants to put them aside for camp, he can. Some may want to buy an Ipod.


5-4-07
Q.: Can a coach for the four contact days in football conduct a camp for two days in early June and then two days at the end of July?
A.: 'No'. The four days approved by and for football must be consecutive contact days. If you used two in June, you would in effect forfeit the other two days. Coaches Assoc. is surveying the members to see if there is interest and support in changing the present, approved format.


Q.: It was talked about at our all-region football meeting by several coaches that the WIAA was going to approve non-consecutive contact days in the summer months for football coaches. The policy that I was last familiar with said those days needed to be consecutive, and prior to July 31. Am I now understanding that these days can be any four days (consecutive or non-consecutive) so long as they are completed by July 31?
A.: There has been no change at present. Will be no change for the upcoming summer. four days – must be consecutive – remains the status quo.


Q.: The high school in the next town has scheduled their summer league basketball to begin on Tuesday, June 5. This league allows high school aged boys (current grades 8-11) to participate with their school mates in two levels of basketball competition throughout the summer. Boys compete on either a varsity or JV skill level based on where they will probably compete next winter. My concern is that our athletes are scheduled to be in school until June 8. It was my understanding that leagues such as this could not be held during the school year. Please advise so I can be correct in my communication with coaches and players. Can "summer leagues" sponsored by school booster clubs for example be run at any time and our school basketball team, as they will probably look next winter, participate without restrictions or violating any WIAA rules?
A.: Caution: Our Member's Rules of Eligibility (Senior High Handbook- p.37-38) Art. VI, Section 2 – See A,C, especially c2 – provide: that there are no restrictions preventing students from voluntarily assem- bling – in the summer time...without school and/or coach involvement. If it is not yet summer (when school is not in session) - until it is 'summer' a "school's team" would be vulnerable. We must recommend diver- sity in team composition. While the membership has relaxed summer time provisions – considerably, in recent years, there have been no changes with respect to text governing – during the school year. Since most 'summer leagues' would extend beyond the five unrestricted contact days we will presume it is a non- school sponsored activity – if so – then, the WIAA does not regulate when a nonschool provider schedules - e.g., a local YMCA, city rec, the country club – as nonschool providers of sport activity – they will sched- ule their activities as/when they determine their needs and those of their members are best met. Your con- cerns are valid and appropriate from the perspective that you recognize WIAA provisions and summer unrestricted contact (five days) - can not take place/begin except between the end of school and July 31. You may wish to confirm with the other school's administration or the event sponsor for more specifics.


Q.: Is there any violation for my boy's varsity cross country coach to volunteer as a 7th and 8th grade track coach at one of the middle schools in the same district?
A.: Coach Contact as described would not be a problem – see Article I of the Rules At A Glance.


Q.: Can our freshmen coach (he coached the freshmen this past year and he will coach the freshmen again next year) have unlimited contact with our entire program (9-11) until the beginning of next season, including those players that he just coached this season? If not, then what exactly are the restrictions? Is there just a limitation until the end of the school year? I'm trying to figure out if he can be a summer league coach for us, and if so, can he lead practices between now and the end of the school year for the players that will not be playing for him
next year? What about coaching a team in a fall league?
A.: For quite some time now the rules have allowed JV and varsity coaches to have contact with students until they actually begin 9th grade. Frosh coaches had never been allowed to work with the in-coming 9th graders. (Keep in mind the "root" of this rule is that the person coaching students in the "next school sea- son" may not also coach them outside the season.) This fundamental has changed - just a little bit, as a result of the liberalization of summertime contact rules these last two years. Now, a frosh coach could have up to five days of coaching contact in the summer with incoming 9th graders. The five contact days are "program days" and they must be the same/exact/identical five contact days as for every other basketball coach in your program (each coach does not get five different days). The head coach ought to identify the summer contact days, submit a calendar to your AD (found on our website) and if your frosh coach is working with prospective frosh players on those same five designated days - only, that is acceptable. Any coaching contact in excess of, or outside of those five days would not be in compliance.


Q.: My girls' basketball coach is thinking of attending a team camp with the girls. I assume this is permissible and would count as his five days of contact for the summer.
A.: In a word, yes (so long as the camp falls within the window – from end of school to July 31). Be sure that any/all travel to and from such a camp are contained within the five days. Additional days for travel are NOT permitted. Have attached a couple documents to also assist your coach. In the Rules At A Glance - see Article I. I'd also recommend Art. II-D, Art. III-F and G.

5-21-10
Q.: Academic eligibility for 4th/final term. Does that take place immediately, as in tournament time this spring, or does it effect the fall sport? If it affects this spring season and occurs during tournament time, can eligibility be regained, (as in an incomplete) and athlete becomes eligible for the remainder of the tournament?
A.: As soon as the grades are out for all students (a uniform date), the spring sport students would begin their 21 consecutive calendar day period of ineligibility. (Their ineligibility does not carry over to the fall unless the school decides to do so.) If they are not spring students and are fall athletes, then the fall stu- dents would begin their 21 consecutive day period of ineligibility on the date of their first fall competition. Eligibility can be regained upon completion of the 21 calendar days. Students with incompletes are ineli- gible until the grade is made up within two weeks and they regain eligibility immediately.


Q.: Does the WIAA have a policy on suspending or cancelling activities due to lightning?
A.: Yes. We follow the NFHS guidelines. The following Guidelines on Handling Contests During Lightning Disturbances can be found in the NFHS sport rules books, at the end of the rules section. 1) Assign staff to monitor local weather conditions before and during events. 2) Develop an evacuation plan, including identification of appropriate nearby shelters. 3) Develop criteria for suspension and resumption of play: a. When thunder is heard, or a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen, the thunderstorm is close enough to strike your location with lightning. Suspend play and take shelter immediately. b. Thirty-minute rule. Once play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or flash of lightning is witnessed prior to resuming play. c. Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30- minute count, reset the clock and another 30-minute count should begin. 4) Hold periodic reviews for appropriate personnel. The major change is that if ANY thunder is heard OR a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen, play should be suspended, stands should be cleared, and all should seek shelter. Previously, the recommendation suggested that if there was at least a count of 30 seconds between the thunder and the lightning then the storm is far enough away to not be of concern. This is no longer considered appro- priate or accurate. The consensus is there is no thunder without lightning and vice versa, so if one or the other is noted, both are there.


Q.: Would it affect a soccer player's eligibility this spring if they participated in a German classes vs. French classes soccer match during the school day. The two classes play a match against each other during the last school period of the day. The score is kept and there is a ref. I just want to make sure no rules are being broken.
A.: The situation described creates a situation where you can have the girls participate as they are in-sea- son. You can have the senior boys soccer players participate as they have used up their eligibility. Underclassman soccer players should not participate as they have remaining eligibility and have played in the fall season and schools may not sponsor two seasons for boys in the same year and athletes are lim- ited to four seasons of a sport. Since you are offering this "school sponsored" soccer opportunity during the school season and it is essentially an "in-house" game, it is considered an intramural activity. WIAA rules do not prevent any student, including seniors and/or underclassmen from participating in intramu- rals – even if they are members of the school's interscholastic team and the team is still in-season. (The WIAA's prohibition is on non-school competition.) The prohibition on team members playing is a local decision, generally driven by a coach not wanting to see varsity level kids sprain an ankle in intramurals. The fundamental rule text is found in Bylaws, Art. II, Sect. 2A-3, p. 26. The biggest key in this particular instance is that this is being offered during the approved school season – in accordance with the Bylaws. If you were offering the activity in March, e.g., (outside of the school season) then you would allow only individuals who have used up their eligibility to play – but not underclassmen who have past status in the program and remaining eligibility.


4-24-10
Q.: Are schools allowed to prohibit juniors and seniors from playing on JV teams?
A.: Schools and conferences determine the participant levels for their sports as well as playing time.


Q.: I understand that our spring baseball team requires seven days of practice prior to its first competition. I ques- tion if the seven days applies to individuals joining the team as well. Specifically, a player was ineligible to start the season as he had multiple F's from quarter two. Quarter three grades are now complete, and this athlete has no failing grades. He now is able to join our varsity baseball team (there were no cuts). Does he need to practice seven days as well prior to competing?
A.: The practice day requirement is a team requirement. While it is desirable for each participant to sat- isfy this requirement, schools will determine when students may begin competition.


Q.: Some coaches think that the rule regarding consecutive days of practice can be "gotten around" if they tell the athletes that one of the practice days is optional. My interpretation is that even if it is optional or not required, they are still having contact with their athletes (whoever shows up) for more than six consecutive days.
A.: Our member's rules provide only that a team must take one day of rest/non-physical day after six con- secutive days of practice and/or competing in our season regulations for each sport: A team must take one day off, from all physical activity, after six consecutive days of practice/competition. Teams may schedule nonphysical activity, such as film review, scouting reports, rehab, etc., during this off day. (Season Regulations) The key is that it may not include physical activity. It would be best to have some discussion with the administration and determine what you will allow at your school. In addition, it also comes down to coaches and their personal integrity.


3-15-10
Q.: My question deals with baseball scheduling. Is it permissible to schedule a game after the WIAA tournament series has begun? Assuming we get a first round bye and don't play in the regional semifinal on June 1, I'd like to schedule a game on Wednesday, June 2.
A.: Yes. You can schedule until your team begins tournament competition and providing the other team has not begun either. See Page 4 of spring regulations.


Q.: I have a question regarding an issue we have with baseball. Our team is planning on traveling to the Metrodome as we have done for the past several years. We have the Metrodome reserved starting at 10 p.m. on Monday, March 29. My question to you is can we start playing a game at 10 p.m. on the 29th and finish the game up after midnight on Tuesday, March 30 or do we need to wait until midnight to start playing? The earliest date for a first game is March 30. If this is a possibility is there a waiver we need to fill out to start on the 29th?
A.: The only waiver that has been granted in the past is the waiver of the number of practices needed before the first game due to cancellation of school because of weather. The start date has not been waived. I know it's only two hours, but they are free to go at 12:01 a.m. on the 30th.


2-5-10
Q.: I have a question regarding academic ineligibility. Does the WIAA have a rule of when a athlete becomes eligible after failing a class at quarter or semester? Or does the WIAA just provide guidelines and schools are free to make up their own rules and requirements. For example: If a student is failing at quarter they have to miss one contest and then as soon as they are passing again, they can play? Or is is there a 15-day rule, etc.?
A.: A student must meet school and DPI requirements defining a full-time student and have received no more than one failing grade (including incompletes) in the most recent (school issued) grade-reporting period. (Some schools adopt a "no-F" policy.) A student who becomes academically ineligible may regain eligibility on the 16th scheduled school day by meeting the academic standard, following a period of 15 scheduled school days and nights of ineligibility. A senior who has acquired all necessary credits toward graduation is not exempt from this rule. This is the WIAA membership minimum. Schools may have more stringent requirements, which they must follow.


Q.: An ineligible player played in basketball games that were lost but didn't play in any games the team won. Does the basketball team have to forfeit the games they won if he didn't play in those particular games or are all games forfeited because he received action in some of the games during the season.
A.: Yes, if the player was on the roster. The violation should be reported to our office. We do have a con- tribution to victory appeal which the member school may use to get back any wins.


1-15-10
Q.: We have an exchange student starting school second semester and is interested in playing basketball. Assuming the paperwork is filed for exchange student eligibility, can he begin practicing with the team when he arrives which would be about two weeks before the first day of second semester?
A.: After the form is completed and approved, you could allow the student to practice. The student would be eligible to compete once the student is officially enrolled and attending your school and the paperwork has been completed and approved.


Q.: Quick question regarding practice – is there a prohibition against 8th grade (or middle school) middle school students practicing with high school teams (JV or varsity) during a regular sport season? These middle school students in question would be from the same school district as the JV or varsity teams.
A.: Allowing middle school students from within your district (in multi-school districts it ought to be from your "feeder" school) to practice with your HS team has not been considered a violation. Friendly advice: Also keep in mind there are always "rippling-out effects" of this consideration/decision. It will eventual- ly impact across all of your sport programs. It will impact upon parents and kids who are already in HS (who will feel the "writing's on the wall" for their child) and it will affect the parents of the middle school athletes who do not have the "same chance" as the most talented - those who get invited to attend. While taking "time and turns" away from students already "in high school" would never be recommended, WIAA membership rules do not prevent middle level students in your district from "practicing" with the high school team...if that's what your administration approves. Because of ramifications across all your schools programs, this ought to be an administrative determination, not a coach's prerogative. I would presume this to be an opportunity your district would make available to all the district's middle level stu- dents with the same circumstances and interest in such an opportunity.


Q.: I had a wrestler receive a flagrant misconduct at a tournament last weekend. He was unable to wrestle the rest of the day and he lost all his placement points. The reason I'm writing this email is to find out if he is inel- igible to wrestle this Thursday. I can't find it in the rule book. It states that the contestant is eliminated from fur- ther competition for the remainder of the dual meet, multiple school event or tournament and no team points can be earned in an individual tournament. I need to know if he is eligible for our dual this week.
A.: In the WIAA Handbook (page 39) under Article VII - Health and Behavior/Compliance, Section 3 – Flagrant or Unsportsmanlike Conduct and/or Assault on an Official: A. A student, disqualified from a con- test for flagrant or unsportsmanlike conduct, is suspended from interscholastic competition for no less than the next competitive event (but not less than one complete game or meet). Your wrestler will have to be suspended for the next contest (whether a dual meet or tournament).
12-18-09
Q.: I know the WIAA doesn't schedule the JV and freshman levels, but with the allowance of an 8th game at the freshman level next year, is the thought process that we play the non-district opponent (week 1) as it would be much easier to schedule than the "unknown" opponent of week 9? I'm trying to prepare for both possibilities. We received the email last week that even if we are still in the "conference" format - we will have a change to the playoffs to eliminate the three games in 10/11 days. Do we know what that change will be? How will it affect our scheduling?
A.: You can schedule the 9th grade any way which meets the minimum three days without pads and 14 different days before a game. I anticipate a change to take effect next year which will eliminate more than one game a week.


Q.: Can you please clarify out-of-season rules for varsity/junior varsity softball team practices? I was at an indoor batting cage with my 13-year old daughter. I was told by the owner that a high school varsity softball team was renting the facility on Tuesday nights for practices with coaches present. Is this permitted under WIAA rules?
A.: Coaches are allowed contact during the sport season during the school year along with five unre- stricted days during the summer. Softball is allowed to have unlimited nonschool contact during the sum- mer. Open gyms are available provided the coach is not instructing. I am not familiar with the details on this situation and do not wish to speculate. If you have some concerns, I recommend that you contact your local athletic director.


Q.: I'm a high school softball coach. Every other year we take a trip with our team over spring break. However, with softball starting a week later starting in 2010, I am running into a little trouble planning my trip for 2011. In 2011, I would like to take a trip to Florida. We have played at Disney twice previously. Our spring break is March 21-25, 2011. Softball starts on March 21, with earliest date for a game: Tuesday, March 29. With that sce- nario, I would have to schedule games on Tuesday, 3/29 and Wednesday, 3/30. We would miss three days of school. Question: Could I get a waiver to play a game one day earlier, Monday, March 28? I would then sched- ule games on Monday and Tuesday, fly home Tuesday night, and players/coaches would only miss two days of school. Is that a possibility?
A.: We have not provided a waiver to play before the earliest allowed date. The season calendars have been adhered to in order to provide uniformity to all of our members. We are uncomfortable reducing the num- ber of practices for athletes to get acclimated to the sport. The only precedence is due to bad weather where the calendar days still provided the eight days (seven practices plus the one day of rest) before the first competition.


Q.: I will be a ref at a varsity wrestling dual tournament hosted by a Wisconsin school that will include a team from Minnesota. Teams from Minnesota commonly have 8th graders and occasionally 7th graders wrestling on varsity. This is completely within the Minnesota rules. The NFHS rules are silent on this situation. I have no knowledge if this team has any junior high school wrestlers on their roster, but if this situation comes up on Saturday I would like to have a ruling in writing from the WIAA. Does a Minnesota team coming to Wisconsin have to adhere to WIAA rules regarding participation? Do WIAA rules prohibit a Wisconsin high school wrestler from competing against a junior high school student in a WIAA sanctioned event? Does the WIAA insurance cover the ref if someone is hurt in a match including a junior high school student? Please advise.
A.: Minnesota schools are expected to follow their state's rules. Their rules allow middle school students to wrestle at the high school level. Our rules do not/have not ever prevented WIAA members from com- peting against Minnesota schools and whoever they have on their teams. If you look at ROE. Art. I, Sect. 4, it provides that you may not let your students compete against another Wisconsin – member's – stu- dents in grade eight and below. We put that wording together specifically to accommodate our many mem- bers who regularly compete across the border, to have as smooth sailing as possible when competing. I would add that to the best of my knowledge, most of our members who regularly compete versus a Minnesota school – do allow their guests to abide by their state's provisions. Our member schools may allow the student of Minnesota to compete – if that's what you wish to do.


10-23-09
Q.: I am a concerned parent wondering if there are any WIAA regulations regarding the length of a day between education and athletics for a student. Or a regulations about the intensity (amount of time) a practice schedule should consist of for a student athlete. I have concerns with an early morning practice and then a late evening practice on the same day making it an 18 hour day for a student who needs to study, sleep and maintain their overall health.
A.: Our WIAA membership rules do not have rule pertaining to the length of the school day for practice or competition. The DPI has requirements for the length of the school day. Your local school may have some suggested length of practice determinations. I suggest that you contact your athletic administrator with your concerns.


Q.: I have an area of concern that I need clarification on regarding games allowed in a week. We have the fol- lowing scenario playing out this week in football: Sophomore game scheduled for October 1, was postponed due to weather. This game was rescheduled and played on Monday. Another sophomore game is scheduled for Thursday the same week. Varsity game is scheduled for Friday the same week. We could possibly have a few student athletes playing in three games in five days. My question with the rule is if there are exceptions made when games are rescheduled due to weather? If not, then I need to make sure that our coaches are aware that these student athletes can not play in one of the games the next two days.
A.: There should be three days between games (season regulations, page 12, 6d). The rules provide that it is the responsibility of the coach to be particularly concerned abut over-exposing students to the point of adversely affecting their health and safety (season regulations, page 12, 7b). Also related under 7c, under no conditions may a student compete as a member of more than two different level teams in the same calendar week.


Q.: Is there a rule that says a freshmen that goes up a level can never go back down? Our best kicker (really our only kicker) is a freshmen, but I don't want to take away a season of playing football just to kick off for the varsity.
A.: There is not a WIAA rule which states that a freshman may not play at the freshman level after play- ing at the varsity level. You may wish to review the individual participation limitations in the Fall Season Regulations on page 12 to see the recommendations.


Q.: Is it local control (conf. or even by school) or WIAA stipulation that determines whether 12th grade athletes can play at the JV or even C-team level?
A.: Our rules are for eligibility on the varsity and nonvarsity levels. They do not, however, govern playing time or which levels can or cannot be played by athletes.


9-18-09
Q.: I have a parent who wants to pay a "specialist" to help train her son as a soccer goal-keeper during the sea- son. This seems OK to me as they are doing this with their own money. Are there any eligibility issues with doing this?
A.: WIAA rules don't prevent this. See III D of the Rules At A Glance. This will be your call. Typically the headaches for our members arise if/when: The private coach is telling the student something contrary to the school coaches directions; when the private coach starts showing up at/around games and wants to begin coaching the kid there; the private instruction IS NOT to take place during the contest - (then you have the situation where the same guy who's been coaching an athlete outside the season is also coaching them during the school season – and that's a WIAA violation). Best advice is the private instruction is done completely away from the school's practices and contests. The next most common problem we hear from members comes when student/parent wants to miss the school's practice – in order to attend/receive the private instruction. Some good communication/clear direction from you and your school coach can keep all of these things from developing should you wish to allow it.


Q.: Does WIAA allow Sunday play?
A.: See Sr. High HB, Bylaws Art. II, Sect. 5B; pg. 26. Though it appears under a section identified as "a school shall not participate in..." - reading the actual text reveals that contests on Sunday are not prohib- ited by the Association – so long as local governing boards/Board of Ed – are aware and approve. This is a local control decision.


Q.: I had an out-of-town parent contact me. She has a group of home school students who have a running club/team. They would like to compete as a team in one of our invitationals. Is this possible? I do have some concerns with it myself. I welcome the competition, but do we allow them to compete when they choose not to be part of a public or private school who participate with other WIAA schools?
A.: WIAA members already compete with "club teams", soccer, (in the past) hockey vs. WAHA, summer baseball vs. Legion teams, etc. Our rules don't prevent that. (The exception now being soccer.) This sort of scheduling/competition has, to this point, been primarily at the non varsity level - more as a result of competitive "fit" than anything else, but not always. Essentially, WIAA requirements for competing with a "non-school/club team" are that: Their team is comprised of "age appropriate" participants. The com- petition itself is under the authority/control/direction/supervision of a member school's administration (institutional control) that National Federation and WIAA rules for the competition/event are used. If sport officials are a part of the competition, WIAA licensed sport officials must be used. Advice would be: That if an opportunity to fill a "slot" is available in those events you sponsor which you know would be "conducive" and that after your discussion/conversation/investigation, you feel comfortable/confident in extending an invitation, we would be 100 percent supportive.


8-21-09
Q.: Our coach has informed us it is a requirement that an athlete participate in seven practices prior to playing their first game. Is this a WIAA rule? Would contact with the coach prior to August 1 count toward the seven practices?
A.: Minimum days of practice are team requirements. While it is desirable for each participant to satisfy this requirement, schools will determine when students may begin competition. This rule is only satisfied after the season of practice is officially allowed to begin.


Q.: We have some grade ineligibility issues. When it says "21 consecutive calendar days beginning with the date of the first possible competition." What is the date for the first possible completion for football? If a student receives a failing grade fourth quarter he can take that penalty or 1/3 of the games, correct?
A.: The earliest date for competition in each sport is on the calendar at the beginning of the WIAA Senior High Handbook (p. 8) for each sport and at the beginning of each season regulation book (p. 2). Football is August 27, 2009. So eligibility begins on September 17. It may vary for other sports if they fit the required number of meets before the date such as volleyball. We have provided an Academic Eligibility grid for fall sports on our Web site under "Rules Overview & Eligibility." Keep in mind for other sports if multi-school meets are counted as one for the total number of contests it counts as one for this purpose.


7-10-09
Q.: Is a high school student allowed to have extra training from a coach (which is not the high school coach) during the high school official track season (March or April to June)? What is the policy on outside (extra - out- side) training when the high school has a full coaching staff?
A.: See Art. III-D of the Rules At A Glance. WIAA rules do not prevent private instruction. Do keep in mind the private instructor can not provide instruction/direction at the school or in/around a school's competition. Also a good idea to work with the school's coach on this topic in advance. Third party coach- es can do a lot of damage to the school's team.


Q.: If an athlete violates a school conduct code during the baseball playoffs and sits out the required three game suspension, is that athlete eligible to play after he has met the three-game suspension?
A.: No. Our member's rules in this area provide that if a student misses one or more games in the WIAA tournament series as a result of a code of conduct violation, the student is then ineligible for all games in the tournament series of that sport.
 
Q.: I have a question about participation limits for summer baseball, as I didn't see anything regarding this in the Spring Regulations under numbers six or seven. Is a student allowed to play in games in two levels in one day? For example - could a freshman pitch in a 9:30 a.m. freshman game and then play shortstop in a 5:30 p.m. JV or varsity game in the same day? We realize that pitching restrictions would be in place no matter what.
A.: The 26 game - individual maximums are identified as "spring baseball" limitations. The rules are silent on summer individual restrictions. WIAA rules do not prevent participation in more than one level in a single day, if you choose to allow it.


5-26-09
Q.: Checking on a ruling for further reference. Let's say a player is ejected from a game on Friday. On Saturday they are playing in a multi game tournament. Does the player need to sit the first game of the tournament or the entire tournament? One of our AD's wanted me to make sure it was just the first game of the tournament. They believe the term next competitive event could mean the entire tournament.
A.: If this is a baseball doubleheader – student misses first game but is OK for the second. If this is a soft- ball "multi date" - where the "date" counts as one of your season maximums and individual games are not limited – then the student misses the entire date. Same as in wrestling – or any other sport where multi- competitions are or have been a part of the season maximum formula.


5-8-09
Q.: I have been asked by the area youth soccer association to try to set up a scrimmage soccer game for this spring. There is a group of 16-year old boys traveling from Great Britain through an organization called Teamlink. They are coming through this area and would like to play my HS GDU team. Afterward they are ask- ing for a Wisconsin tailgate party which I am willing to throw. My players are all freshman and sophomores. Is it legal for me to do such a thing according to WIAA?
A.: WIAA Season Regulations (p. 19 and 20) provide that WIAA members may not scrimmage or com- pete vs. non-school affiliated club teams. (Season Regs 4A-1 and 6A1)


Q.: Last Saturday, school A played a doubleheader baseball game vs. school B. In the first game, a "B" player was ejected but then played the entire second game. School B won that game. In that second game, a school A player was ejected and will be sitting out the next game, which is scheduled for tomorrow. Our question is: because the school B player did not sit out a game as the rules stipulate, would that result in a forfeit for them?
A.: The player ejected as described below, should have been withheld from the second game of the dou- bleheader. If he competed, it was as an ineligible participant as a result of Baseball Season Regulation #8. If he competed – as an ineligible player the contest must be forfeit as outlined in ROE Art. I, sect. 5.


Q.: I have a question about what constitutes a scrimmage/game. What if one team wants to count a game as a scrimmage and the other team involved wants to count it as a game. What is the ruling on this? Do they both have to agree on it being a game? Please let me know because I have been told a couple of different things.
A.: The baseball season regulations contain the member's exact text on this topic. The pertinent statement in this case is, "Note: If either school counts a scrimmage as a game, it must be counted as a game for both programs, schools or teams." Please tell me what schools you are aware of being confused on the provi- sion. It has been a point of emphasis the past two seasons and is written quite clearly – I think.


Q.: Can physicians assistants (PA's) cover WIAA sporting events without a physician at the event, but available by phone?
A.: Yes. Keep in mind, the WIAA does not require a physician be on-site at events. There are some mem- bers that are not able to have an athletic trainer at some events. I must imagine a PA would be welcome by many of our members. It is also important to recognize that the PA would NOT be afforded the status as an MD on matters of injury/illness/skin conditions/casts, e.g., - where by the playing rules, clearance and/or return to compete must be authorized by an MD.


4-10-09
Q.: I am a high school girls varsity soccer coach. I have two guys that want to be managers for our girls soccer team. As you know we play in the spring and the boys play in the fall. They are going to be seniors next year, and I am assuming they will play on the guys team. 1) Can they be managers for our team without affecting their eligibility? 2) Can they come to our practice? In the past, I had two guys that were seniors, so it does not apply, I used them in some drills, etc., to show how it is done.
A.: Using these students as managers might be done within the rules. Key is that they are 100 percent man- agers. Hustling water, first aid, nets, balls, equipment, keeping stats, etc. – No Problems. ABSOLUTELY ZERO involvement with coaching/instruction, drills etc. Any involvement outside of pure managerial – is a violation and holds potential peril for the boys and school team. Ordinarily, managers do attend prac- tice. But again, they can not engage in any way/shape or form with your practice – other than in off-field managerial role. WIAA provisions allow each student up to four seasons of school sponsored soccer – and only one per school year. In this instance, the students hold the potential for burning their last season of school-sponsored soccer - in a spring practice setting. For seniors, this isn't a problem – moot point. Their HS eligibility is already over.


3-27-09
Q.: One of our wrestlers was academically ineligible at the end of the third nine weeks. The 15-day eligibility period finished Friday, Feb. 13 with him regaining eligibility on Monday, Feb. 16. Since he missed the regional tournament on Saturday, Feb. 14 (he would not have competed anyway) can he be eligible for our team at the team State tournament. He did not wrestle for Tuesday's team sectional. I believe you once told me that academic ineligibility is different than a code violation.
A.: Yes. An academic suspension is not viewed the same as a code suspension. If the student regains academic eligibility, WIAA rules do not prevent the student from rejoining the team as an eligible competitor later on in the tournament series, even if the student was held out of one or more tournament series competitions.


Q.: On March 12, our student council is sponsoring a basketball game between students and faculty members, with proceeds going to MS. I know that it is the week of WIAA girls state and boys sectionals--so if we are still in competition, no current players could be on the teams. But, if we are out of the WIAA series, then either senior boys or girls could play, right? What about non-seniors who were on the team this year and plan to play next season?
A.: Since you are offering this "school sponsored" basketball opportunity during the school season and it is essentially an "in-house" game, it is considered an intramural activity. WIAA rules do not prevent any student, including seniors and/or underclassmen from participating in intramurals – even if they are members of the school's interscholastic team and the team is still in-season. (The WIAA's prohibition is on non-school competition.) The prohibition on team mem- bers playing is a local decision, generally driven by a coach not wanting to see varsity level kids sprain an ankle in intra- murals. The fundamental rule text is found in Bylaws, Art. II, Sect 2A-3, p. 26. The biggest key in this particular instance is that this is being offered during the approved school season – in accordance w/the Bylaws. If you were offering the activity in April, e.g., (outside of the school season) then you would allow only seniors to play – but not underclassmen who have past status in the program and remaining eligibility.


Q.: In November, I had a full 20-game freshmen schedule. Since then, we have lost five games due to teams in our conference dropping their freshmen programs. I have been able to scramble and get four additional games giving us 19. This Thursday, we play a school who has dropped freshmen last week. I have workers and refs scheduled. Can our freshmen play our 8th grade team? They are NOT members of the WIAA.
A.: No. Sorry. Even though your middle school may not be a member of the WIAA, the spirit and intent of ROE Article I was to preserve age appropriate competition. The text was drafted as it presently exists specifically to accommodate our members who might be competing with a Minn. school who in turn might have one or two middle school students on their team of high school athletes. There was never an intention to allow WIAA high school teams to compete vs. a team comprised entirely of middle school students.
Q.: Our softball team is participating in one scrimmage at Disney World. We are practicing as a team the remainder of the time. Do we still need a waiver? We are only scrimmaging one school. A.: Technically, no. There are no competitions scheduled. You are traveling to Fla. to practice.


2-13-09
Q.: I was reading the minutes of the WBCA Executive Board Meeting in December and came across a comment about five inning games at the JV and freshmen levels being against WIAA rules. My issue is with a conference rule we have that requires us to play a doubleheader of five-inning games at the varsity level if our first confer- ence game with a given team is rained out. The coaches in the conference have tried over the years to have our conference rule taken off the books, but have not had any success. Playing a five-inning game or two (or some- times four) that could decide the conference championship just doesn't seem fair. If they aren't technically allowed for JV games, they certainly shouldn't be allowed for varsity contests. I'm asking what the position of the WIAA would be on this matter. I would think the WIAA would have a problem with its members having competitions that are not following WIAA regulations.
A.: Our position is that each school has voluntarily sought membership in this Association. As part of that membership agreement they have agreed to abide by WIAA Bylaws, Rules of Eligibility and Season
Regulations. The WIAA has adopted National Federation baseball rules. National Federation rules pro- vide that a regulation game is seven innings. While there is provision for determining a completed game when a contest is shortened by weather or darkness there is no provision within the National Federation rules or WIAA provisions for scheduling a varsity baseball game less then seven innings. Presently, there is no provision for scheduling a nonvarsity game for less than seven innings. A baseball game is seven innings. Coaches officials and others may not set aside the adopted provisions of the membership. Those that set aside the rules that govern play and/or the provisions of membership must be regarded as not in compliance with terms of membership. Do keep in mind that if an abbreviated opportunity might be desired, a game can be replaced with a scrimmage.


Q.: We are hosting a tournament (wrestling) and have one school coming from the Twin Cities - do we need to have a form approved?
A.: If the event has more than four schools taking part and one or more are from out of state – then you should do the interstate sanctioning form as found on our Web site, under 'forms.' It is the same form for both WIAA and National Federation sanctioning.


Q.: I have heard rumors around our community about the legality of holding practice on Sundays. Some people think it is okay with WIAA rules, some do not. Could you clarify whether sports practices held on a Sunday are in line with or against WIAA rules?
A.: The WIAA does not identify what days a member may practice and which ones they can't. Our mem- ber's rules provide only that a team must take one day of rest/non-physical day after six consecutive days of practice and/or competing. The WIAA neither encourages nor does it specifically prohibit, practice and/or competition on Sunday - only that the kids get a day of rest every seventh day. It is largely a local control issue.


Q.: With a maximum number of games allowed in baseball being increased to 26 this year, is 14 still the maxi- mum number of games that can be played on school days or prior to school days if travel requires students being dismissed early from classes? Or did that also increase?
A.: If you look at spring season regs, p. 4, #6a you will see the maximum number of games is 26. You will also note the absence of any reference to needing to count school days into that schedule. This text now reads the same as all other WIAA sports. You may schedule your contests as your school and conference determine.


Q.: Our baseball team would like to travel to Missouri this season during the school district spring break. Currently, our club has 18 ball games scheduled, 14 on school days and four on Saturdays. Our first game sched- uled for April 9, but this trip may allow us to play an earlier game. Here are two questions regarding the matter: 1) In reading spring baseball rule 6(f), is it correct that the WIAA will only authorize our school to schedule one game while on this trip even though we are two games below the 20 game maximum? 2) Believing that our school may not schedule both a scrimmage and game, am I correct that the WIAA would only approve a scrim- mage OR a competitive event/game? Is there a difference between an event and a game? 3) Regarding the trip, there are community benefactors who would like to assist the district and athletes in covering the costs of the trip. In reading from the constitution, Article IV, Section 1 (B), it appears that this money may be used to assist in covering the cost of food, transportation, and lodging without jeopardizing our standing as a WIAA member. May such donations be used to cover the cost of a team camp registration fee?
A.: The "event" term was used to accommodate spring trips, such as you've described. You may play as many games as your schedule will accommodate within the season maximums - and if you haven't had a scrimmage you could do that as well. Also - Keep in mind, this spring the maximum number of games for JV and varsity goes to 26. But consistent with membership provisions, your team could only have "one" such out of state "event" of this nature. See Spring Season Regs. P.4, #4 for scrimmage specifications. Your school may accept donations from community members to help defray the cost of your trip as you have described. (You are referencing the amateur status provisions within the Rules of Eligibility.) Best prac- tice is for the local benefactors to "gift" the school and the school covers all expenses. In respect to using donations for team camps, if the team camp is held either during the school season or during part of the five unrestricted summer contact days, then yes. Otherwise, no. See III-F of the Rules At A Glance. Best practice is again, "gifting the school" and the school then covers the cost. Keep in mind that when it comes to a camp of this kind, the opportunity must be available and accessible to any interested student. It would be problematic – if just the "varsity" or just the best players had opportunity for "free or reduced camp." If a set of students receive "benefit" because of athletic ability, potential, or performance, that constitutes and amateur status violation.


1-16-09
Q.: I have a young lady out for gymnastics that has code violations that will not allow her to compete. I am won- dering if she can still perform an exhibition that would not be scored before the match begins. Would this affect eligibility for the rest of the team?
A.: See Winter Season Regulations, p. 18, 7b. The rule is the same for all WIAA sports. You will find the rule listed about the same section for all other sports as well. Answer's "no." If the student could not com- pete in regular competition – then not eligible for exhibition.


Q.: Can you play a school sporting event if school gets called off?
A.: This is a local control and local policy matter. The WIAA does not require cancellation of after school programs if school is cancelled.


Q.: Can an 8th grader practice with a frosh team or a JV basketball team?
A.: Though the WIAA would never recommend it, allowing middle school students from within your dis- trict (in multi-school districts it ought to be from your "feeder" school) to practice with your HS team has not been considered a violation. Friendly advice: keep in mind there are always "rippling-out effects" of this consideration/decision. It will eventually impact across all sport programs – it will impact upon par- ents and kids who are already in HS (who will feel the writing's on the wall for their child) and it will affect the parents of the middle schoolers who do not have the same chance as the most talented - those who get invited to attend.


Q.: I have a question about a wrestling tournament. We have a team coming from Minnesota who has an 8th grader wrestling varsity. We've been told that WI rules are that only high school wrestlers can participate. Is that true? Would it make a difference if the parents signed a release of some sort? This boy has been wrestling varsity for the team last year and this year and will be very disappointed to miss participating with his team only because of his age. (After all, it is to his disadvantage to wrestle, it's not like he's 20 - he's 13!)
A.: Minnesota schools are expected to follow their state's rules. Their rules allow middle school students to wrestle at the sr. high level. Our rules do not/have not ever prevented WIAA members from competing against MN schools and whoever they have on their teams. If you look at ROE. Art. I, Sect. 4, it provides that you may not let your students compete against another – member's – students in grade eight and below. We put that wording together specifically to accommodate our many members who regularly com- pete across the border, to have as smooth sailing as possible when competing. I would add that to the best of my knowledge, most of our members who regularly compete vs. a MN school – do allow their guests to abide by their state's provisions. You may allow the student to compete – if that's what you wish to do.


12-12-08
Q.: Our conference has a rule that states "each game of a baseball double header will be five innings in length" - can we do that? Or, do both games have to be scheduled for seven innings in length?
A.: Baseball has no provision within the rules which allows for scheduling five inning games. Baseball is seven innings.


Q.: A friend was telling me that there was a rule within the WIAA that kids can not be "cut" off of high school teams. I was wondering if this is true and if there was somewhere on your website that shows this and how it applies to high school sports.
A.: There is no WIAA rule of this kind - except - when it comes to co-op teams. If a school is running a co- op program, one of the conditions for approval is that no students will be cut.


Q.: Is there any rule prohibiting a boys team from scrimmaging a girls team from the same school during prac- tices in basketball?
A.: No, none. II-E of the Rules At A Glance identifies that there is a limit to the number of practices/scrim- mages you can have with another school's team. But you may practice with or against kids from your own school (either gender) any time you wish during the season.


10-24-08
Q.: Question on baseball. My understanding is this spring (2009) teams can play 26 games with no more than 14 on school days. A coach called me and said he heard that all 26 games needed to be played on only 20 days. Is this true?
A.: Your understanding is correct. Your coach is incorrect. As language presently will read: "The maxi- mum number of games is 26, but no more than 14 may be scheduled on school days. The evening of a school day preceding a nonschool day may be used to schedule games beyond 14... etc." There is nothing in the text that indicates the max number of dates is 20. In addition, there will be a recommendation from both baseball and softball going to the BOC in October that, if approved, would read as follows: The max- imum number of games is 26 but no more than 14 may be scheduled on school days that result in or require a loss of school time..." The idea of this language recognizes that not all games on school nights necessarily require a loss of school time..and loss of school time we think is the key element to be consid- ered. Thus home games and nearby opponents could be scheduled above/beyond the 14 dates...again, pro- viding there's no loss of school time.


Q.: I was wondering if it is possible to scrimmage a junior college team? I have not been able to find a scrim- mage and was going to call the area tech school and see if they would scrimmage if it was legal.
A.: There are provisions in WIAA Bylaws and Season Regulations that prohibit "competition" (a game) and scrimmages vs. post secondary schools and high schools from out of state, unless the the school is a member of their state HS Association. Obviously, colleges and junior colleges are not going to be members of any state's high school association (Bylaws Art. II, Sect. 5F). But, those same rules would allow you to have your one day of scrimmage against a JC or Tech school team, so long as the school was an in-state school and you met the days of practice requirement prior to the scrimmage with them. See II-E of the Rules At A Glance.


Q.: We're looking at a baseball trip over our spring break. Unfortunately, our spring break falls during our first week of practice. Practice starts on Monday, March 23. We are contemplating heading a bit south – maybe some- where just south of Chicago or in southern Illinois. My understanding is that it would be permissible for us to
go down there and practice for a few days and then find a team to scrimmage on Saturday, March 28. Finding that team is always the issue – and whether they are even allowed to scrimmage per their state association rules is also an issue. Two questions then - 1) I assume it would be permissible to scrimmage another Wisconsin team on that Saturday while down there? 2) As a cost savings would it be permissible for us to travel there with anoth- er Wisconsin team on the same bus?
A.: Yes to both questions. There is some precedent for allowing teams from different schools to travel on the same bus. The fundamental key to this scenario is that separate practice arrangements must be made up until the day of scrimmage.


9-19-08
Q.: Each year several of our coaches put in their budgets new balls for their respective sports. We have been told that it is a requirement of WIAA that each contest be played with new balls. As we look at school district budg- ets and all sections of our budget, these sport balls do add up. We have not only varsity levels ordering new balls but also middle school through JV. Could someone from WIAA please clarify for me the requirement and expec- tation of new balls for school sports?
A.: In sports where balls are used, the WIAA requires that balls bear NFHS authenticating mark for var- sity level competition. In some sports like baseball and softball, where/when a ball gets roughed to the extent of providing a competitive advantage to the pitcher (or a hazard to the batter) because of the scuff- ing a new (or different) ball might be requested by the umpire — BUT, there is no WIAA provision requir- ing new balls be used in each contest.


Q.: I just wanted to clarify a question about football player eligibility. If a sophomore plays in a JV game on Monday and a C-Team game on Thursday, can he still dress for the varsity game on Friday?
A.: Student could dress - but cannot enter the game - even for a single play - If he did so that would be his third level of exposure in the same calendar week - at that point, student would be entering as an ineligi- ble player and the varsity game ordered forfeit.


Q.: There is an 8th grade student in our district who is a distance runner and his parents would like to have him practice with our varsity cross country team this season. Is this something that is allowed?
A.: Allowing middle school students from w/in your district (in multi-school districts it ought to be from your "feeder" school) to practice w/your HS team has not been considered a violation. Friendly advice: also keep in mind - there are always "rippling-out effects" of this consideration/decision. It will eventual- ly impact across all sport programs...it will impact upon parents and kids who are already in HS (who will feel the "writing's on the wall" for their child) and it will affect the parents of the middle schoolers who do not have the "same chance" as the most talented - those who get invited to attend. This should be an administrative level decision and not a coaches prerogative.


Q.: Can a member of our boys varsity tennis team be a manager for the girls tennis team?
A.: A boy can be a manager for a girl's team. However, you want to be especially careful in tennis. Managers are only allowed to do "managerial" duties. These duties may be things like taking attendance, keeping stats, providing towels, providing water, sweeping the courts, etc. You are correct, they may not hit with the girls, and they may not toss balls to the girls, provide demonstrations or participate in drills in any way. Only "managerial" duties are allowed. Same is true in swim, soccer, golf, etc.


Q.: I have a soccer eligibility question for you: We have a boy who transferred into our district last year who plays soccer. He did not play soccer last year though. This year he will be a senior. His sophomore year he attend- ed another school and played varsity soccer. His last game as a sophomore that year he received a "red card" and sat out the remainder of that game. Since the boy did not play last year (his junior year) does he still need to sit out one game for that sophomore red card game this year as a senior?
A.: Yes, unless the student was held out of the first game in a winter or spring sport - the student must serve the suspension in the first game of his next sport season.


Q.: Article V states that students who are not full-time enrollees may not compete in athletics. Does this preclude athletic practice/participation?
A.: Both Article I and V of the Rules of Eligibility make clear that our members have agreed to only use their own full-time students on their interscholastic athletic teams and in interscholastic competition. The rules further indicate you can not include students from other schools on your teams and in your prac- tices. The rules do, however, allow you to include "members of the community" in your practices. See II- E of the Rules At A Glance. If you have a part-time student and they have a physical on file and parental permission - and you wished to allow the student to practice - that would be your prerogative.


5-22-08
Q.: Is it permissible for a school playing spring baseball to schedule a game on May 23 with a school that plays summer baseball?
A.: Yes. Be sure to remind the summer team they will need to practice on the first Saturday (and/or Sunday) in order to have their minimum of seven different days of practice in prior to first game.


Q.: I am a high school head baseball coach. We received the WIAA Spring Baseball Summary for one of the schools in our regional, for seeding purposes. I see that they had two different doubleheaders in which the games were (evidently) scheduled to be five innings each. I had heard that any/all games that were scheduled for five innings could not be considered for seeding purposes. I probably shouldn't be making a fuss about this, but am curious. Can you tell me if this is true/accurate?
A.: For those who inquired - they were told there is no provision to play two five inning baseball games as a doubleheader. Baseball games by National Federation rules which our association adheres to are seven innings. A doubleheader of two five inning games is a softball rule. It does not exist as an option or adap- tation in baseball. NO five inning games were approved by this office. We have not been asked by a mem- ber school's administration, we've not received an allegation of violation or complaint from a member school's administration, nor have I provided an interpretation on if or how those encounters should be counted or considered. Keep in mind the purpose of the seed meeting is to attempt to identify best teams. The W/L record is only a part of that.


Q.: I cannot find anywhere a prohibition against having high school games on Sunday. Is there one?
A.: The rigid ban on Sunday games was removed approximately eight years ago. Bylaws Art. II, Sect. 5 now reads: "A school shall not participate in contests on Sunday, unless such participation is approved by the Board of Education or the governing body of all participating institutions." Senior High Handbook, p. 26


Q.: Is it legal to play all 20 of our maximum allowed baseball games on school nights, if there is no loss of school time (we have lights)?
A.: As it stands right now, that would not be a correct interpretation. Spring Season Regs, p. 4, #6 states, "...no more then 14 may be scheduled on school days." Obviously Fridays or other school days not fol- lowed by a school day could be scheduled above/beyond the 14.


Q.: With the number of events allowed in baseball going up for next year is there any discussion adjusting the number of games you can play on school days from 14?
A.: To this point there has been no discussion or action on increasing school days. The support received in approving this request was in no small part contingent on the fact that no additional loss of school time was a part of proposal. As it stands: A school is not required to play 26, of course. But if a school has lights or their coaches willing to play Saturdays, some extra doubleheaders can be scheduled. Certainly as you know, there are any number of avenues for coaches or AD's to initiate such a request and begin that con- versation.
Q.: I would like permission for our track teams to practice at another school's track over the next few weeks. We are having a renovation project completed over the next two weeks and our track will not be available for prac- tice. This was supposed to be done in fall but we ran into some delays that put the project behind schedule. Our athletes would be practicing at the other school after 5:30 p.m. This would be after their team's practice so our athletes would be separate and not practicing at the same time.
A.: If there is no overlap between the two school's teams, technically and strictly speaking, you do not need a scrimmage waiver. When two teams are sharing a facility at the same time, for reasons of extenuating circumstances of the nature you described, that's when a waiver is most appropriately sought. If teams are not practicing together at same site/same time there's no need for waiving the scrimmage rule. As described, this is a local control, facility use matter only.


3-28-08
Q.: We were sent a contract to play Simeon Career Academy H.S. on December 20, 2008, in the Windy City Showdown. It states in the contract that our school will receive $500 for participating in the event. Is this a violation?
A.: No. Not a violation. It is not altogether uncommon for a host school or event host to help defray costs of a visiting school's team. That the check was made out to your school - vs. coach, booster club etc. is appropriate. I'm assuming windy city means Chicago. Even though it's a bordering state, if it's a large event, it might still require sanctioning. Be sure to look at whether the event will need an interstate waiv- er. Forward the following to the event sponsor and get rsvp back to me. (these are the fundamental ele- ments governing interstate competition as outlined on p. 27 Sr. High Handbook. (Bylaw Art. II, Sect. 5G) Will simplify and summarize: Does this event require NFHS sanctions? If so, has the event received sanc- tioning? Are schools you will compete against 9-12 high schools (no post secondary/prep academies)? Are all schools you will compete against members of their respective state HS associations.


Q.: I guess I need some clarification on a trip our softball team will be taking to Florida. Our team is participat- ing in a scrimmage, but not a competition. Do we still need a waiver?
A.: You are correct. A strict interpretation requires communication/sanctioning/approval for interstate competition. A scrimmage is considered practice. There is not the same provision/same requirements in place for interstate practice. As a friendly heads-up, be certain the school you will scrimmage in Florida is able to scrimmage at the time of year you get together. Some state associations prohibit scrimmages and 'practice games' at certain points in their seasons. Florida high schools are one example. Once they have begun regular season play, their member schools can no longer scrimmage by their state association pro- visions. For them, every encounter must count as a game from that point on. Lastly, remember if either school counts or considers the get-together as a game, our rules provide it will be viewed/counted as a game for both schools. (See softball season regulations; pgs. 27, 28 #4 Scrimmages, d, 'note'.)


Q.: I just wanted to ask a question about a possible baseball scrimmage. Usually, we travel down to the Madison area and scrimmage sometime during the second week of the baseball season. This has worked well in the past. But with the weather of this winter, I'm thinking that even the Madison area may still have some snow by the end of March. Would we be in compliance with WIAA rules if we traveled out-of-state to find a baseball scrimmage possibly, central Illinois, southern Minnesota, western Indiana, etc.? This would only be a scrimmage. I believe that we need five practices before our first scrimmage, so I was thinking of having a practice or two on another team's field – and then having a scrimmage against that team on Saturday, March 22. We have March 20 and March 21 off from school for Easter break so we could have some interested parents transport the team if such a trip was necessary. I wanted to check with you before I start organizing something.
A.: Scrimmage specifics are found on p. 4 of Spring Season regulations. Traveling out-of-state to prac- tice/scrimmage, can be done without violation of WIAA provisions. There is no requirement for WIAA waiver/approval for out-of-state practice – approval may be necessary if out-of-state travel involves com- petition. If an out-of-state trip includes - competition, be sure to review Sr. High Handbook, p. 27, Bylaws Art. II, Sect. 5G.


2-8-08
Q.: Earlier this week, my headmaster asked if there would be any problem (WIAA rule violation) if a former student was to condition in our pool in the afternoons while our swim team was practicing. The young man enjoys swimming and it seems to be one of his few motivators for exercising. The family resides only a few miles from campus and his school has no pool in which (or team with which) to train. I've shared this information with the A.D. at his school. Both of us acknowledged that this is would be nothing more than our facilitating the request of a local boy to workout in our pool. However, third party interpretation being what it can sometimes be we would not want to be viewed as making any type of a recruitment effort to promote a student transfer. The family believed that this would help their son from a wellness perspective and that is all we intend to support. Is this request permissible based upon the facts which I have presented to you?
A.: Under the circumstance as you've described them, you may allow this student to attend your practice, if you wish. It may be best practice to take precautionary steps as your administration might determine reasonable/appropriate, to protect your school's interests; current physical, hold harmless, e.g. As a pri- vate boarding school a "standardized interpretation" of this circumstance in one sense, just won't work. Text related to this request (Rules At a Glance) provides that member schools may include "members of the community" in school sponsored open gyms and in-season sport practices at their discretion. You may not include athletes from other schools, however (exception being the one, interscholastic scrimmage allowed each season). Technically, you do not have a local community akin to the public school district. Just the same, based on this student's past status as your student, the family residing within minutes of your campus, your open and transparent communication with the other member school, and the absence of any concern or objection expressed on their part - it seems reasonable to not stand in the way of this – should you choose to approve this family's request. Before making your final decision, you may want to have a broader administrative discussion about - if/when other "members of your area community" will be made aware of and/or respond to - and/or seek identical access - how you will respond?


Q.: Can a student who is placed on an IEP (individualized educational program) be ineligible due to grades? Where would I find this information? A.: In a word - "YES". The academic progress requirement for the privilege of interscholastic sport eligi- bility has not been set-aside based on an IEP.


Q.: I have a relatively simple question, but I cannot find a clear answer in WIAA hockey regs. My school has a varsity boys hockey program and co-ops with another school to provide a varsity girls hockey program. Can a girls varsity player (enrolled in our school) practice with our boy's varsity team? There is an interest in such a situation and I'd like to know if this is possible.
A.: WIAA rules would not prevent students from your school and/or members of your community from being able to practice with your school's team. Due to all the divisiveness that can result, this ought to be an administrative determination and by no means a coaches prerogative, alone. {Why should time/turns,
space and attention be taken away from my son? She's not even able to compete? I would like my daugh- ter to be able to practice with the boys – how does she go about that? My son or daughter's an 8th grad- er – I'd like them to be able to skate with the HS team?} Not something the WIAA would recommend but still a local call.


1-18-08
Q.: Is it okay for 8th graders to practice with the district's varsity basketball team. They are 8th graders from our district practicing with our varsity.
A.: Technically, students from your own district feeder school' can be allowed to practice with the HS teams - local determination. This ought to be an administrative determination - not coach level. We would not ever recommend it for the far-reaching and adverse/divisive effects across all sports and all levels that sometimes results. 'Why should an 8th grader take time, turns, coaching and attention away from my kid? The 8th grader's not even eligible to play. "Why does their kid get to move up - how about my 8th grad- er'? "Obvious the writing's already on the wall for my 9th/10th grader - why should they even go out?"


Q.: My AD wanted me to check with you on a student joining our hockey team at this time. He tried out for the hockey team in November and was one of the cuts we had to make. Since then he has played with an area midget team. We had a different player quit the team recently and would like to bring the kid we cut earlier back to play with us. I assume this is OK (I know that we cannot keep sending a kid back and forth, but I am pretty sure we can recall one time a kid we cut earlier) but wanted to check before we commit.
A.: Answer to your question is - YES - as you've described the situation, you've applied the correct inter- pretation. WIAA Rules of Eligibility Art. VI, Sect.1A-3 specifically addresses this situation - and provides the opportunity for a player who's been previously 'cut' to rejoin the team. Would encourage you to see Sr. High Handbook for complete text, p. 37. The opportunity to re-join the team does not apply to a stu- dent who was removed from the squad for disciplinary reasons.


Q.: During today's principals meeting, the question was brought to our attention whether there is any WIAA pol- icy on practices during "snow days." Could you please provide me with some feedback on this matter.
A.: There is no specific WIAA text or provision - specifically addressing snow days and/or specifically pro- hibiting activities on such days. Rather, WIAA Bylaws. Art. II, Sect. 6 (Sr. High HB, p. 28) provide: "In the event scheduled classes are interrupted or terminated, interscholastic athletic practice and competi- tion may continue as determined by the administration, (but) only if a duly authorized and qualified coach is in attendance, directly supervising and conducting the activity." Creation of specific 'snow-day' policy, as well as administration and interpretation of same - is district level/local control issue.


Q.: We are trying to complete our wrestling schedule for next year. If we have a double dual, with two teams from the Great Northern and two teams from the Wis. Valley Conf. meeting at one site. Can we count that as two dual meets or do we have to count it as a multi-team event?


A.: Winter Regs - p. 42, 6a. Based on your description I count four participating teams - total. Are you only wrestling two of the other three- or each of the other three? You can count the event - either as one (1) of your seven multi exposures OR - you may otherwise also count it as two (or three) separate dual meets of your seven possible duals.


Q.: We have a young man who would like to participate in a big tournament on Jan 28. We did not schedule the event on our calendar. We have seven multi-school events scheduled. Looking at the regulations, we can exceed that if they are mutli-dual events, but must count them towards the 14 dual limit, depending on one of the events whether it was formatted as multi-duals, or a regular tournament. I have to check, but either way, it appears it would put us over the limit, as we have only scheduled tournament type events due to the number of kids we have participating... just three (3). The question is this: Can he go to the tournament unattached? With his par- ents? He wants badly to go, but we don't have a coach to send with him even if we were under the limits. He wants to sit out another event to go...but I don't want to start that as a precedent, and don't perhaps think I can anyway...based on scheduled events.
A.: Simple answer would be 'no.' If this would be able to be accommodated within your season maximums, a school coach would be required to be present. And – participating in this competition 'unattached' – could result in a violation of the non-school competition rule (ROE Art. VI, Sect. 1-A – p.37) and if so – would render the student ineligible the rest of this season, including WIAA tournament eligibility. (keep in mind that the season maximums are 14 total 'events'... not more then seven of them may be multi school events – except/unless double duals/triple duals are counted as two – or three of your allowed seven dual meets. There was something about the way you wrote the 14 dual meets as if there could be that many meets above/beyond or in a addition to your multi events – that prompted me to hesitate for a moment.


12-21-07
Q.: Concerning our middle school girls basketball team, the non-school county team they play on has an oppor- tunity to conduct an un-scored seven to eight minute exhibition at the half time of a women's MATC basketball game with another team. The date of the exhibition is after the club season is done and after the second day we start the season for the MS girls. Does an exhibition of this type fall into the definition of a game meet or con- test for in season competition?
A.: Yes. And as you are obviously aware is that once your school season begins, this would violate Art. V (Middle Lvl ROE) non-school competition rules and kids would not be eligible for the rest of the season. If this is really special and important, something you really want to do for the kids to experience, delay the start of your school season for a day or two (if schedules for first game and min. days of practice allow).


Q.: We have three varsity boys basketball players serving suspensions for alcohol violations. They are serving five game suspensions. My question is this: Can a non-varsity game such as a varsity reserve game be counted as one of those 5 games? Is this something that is left up to the individual school. We were hoping to have the suspensions completed after our two varsity games this week. If we have a weather related problem this week, that may not happen and we do have varsity reserve games scheduled for Saturday. I know the coach was plan- ning on playing all three of them in those games so they could catch up on some playing time.
A.: You will need to determine - what level these kids play at. Are they varsity regulars? If so they miss the varsity games. The suspension must be served by missing the appropriate game. If the athlete was slat- ed to play in the varsity game, he serves his suspension by missing that game. If he normally would not play in that game, he must miss the junior varsity game.


12-06-07
Q.: I am a head softball coach. We have applied for and received the wavier from the WIAA to attend the 2008 Disney Softball Spring Training. I see in the letter from you (Eligibility-Wavier-Interstate competition sent to my AD 9/20/07) this statement: "Remember, per new membership requirements, teams are limited to one out-of- state competition opportunity each season in nonbordering states." With that being said, does that mean that I can go out of state to a nonbordering state and play one game? Or does that mean I have one opportunity each year to go out of state to a nonbordering state and play as many games as I want as long as it falls within our season maximum?
A.: This is a new provision our members adopted just last spring. Your questions are reasonable/appro- priate. I believe your quote may be incomplete. The text I am familiar with in the Association's Bylaws - provides for "one out of state competition, event and or scrimmage per school season." Spring break is
the/your one event.


Q.: I coach middle school wrestling. I am questioning how many practices do the middle school wrestlers need to have before they can compete?
A.: 1. From a strict technical sense - I do not see your school identified as a WIAA member at the middle level - thus, your own, local administrative policy or directive would dictate your rule. Our rules do not apply to you. 2. For member middle schools we advise the acclimation/conditioning period as for the sen- ior high, i.e., there must be 10 different days of practice before the first competition. 3. You will want to be certain you have clear direction from your own district on the final decision on this.


10-27-07
9-21-07
Q.: Our wrestling team is requesting permission to wrestle in Greenville, South Carolina on December 22. They will be going with the head coach and parent chaperones by bus. Do you need any other information? It goes in front of our school board shortly and it looks like they will be approving it. Is there anything else you need?
A.: This does not need to be a complicated/cumbersome process. Essentially what we're seeking is to fall into compliance with member's Bylaws in this area Please look them over – in the Sr. High Handbook, p. 27 Article II, Section 5G, 1-7. You need to determine if the competition would require, National Federation sanctioning and/or WIAA sanctioning. What we need to know is – what is the event/competition your team might engage in SC. Who else/how many other schools involved/who is sponsoring/promoting (school based or non-school based) In a nutshell – what we need to answer all those questions is response to 3-4 questions, i.e., Please verify with the event sponsor: Does this event require National Federation sanction- ing? If so, has it been requested for this year and/or approved in the past? Are all participating schools 9- 12 high schools and members of their respective state High School Associations? Get responses to those questions to me and we can move this forward.


Q.: Is it permissible for a varsity reserve team to schedule a game with another schools varsity team? We have 16 conference games and one non-conference game once back in Wisconsin. We'll play three non-conference games while in Florida for a total of 20 regular varsity games. There is a small Christian school in Florida that has inquired about scheduling a game with us while we are there. I don't have any games left to play him. But knowing this school from previous years down there I have no doubt my reserves would compete just fine with them. By making sure 10 of my reserves do not play in at least one of the games in Florida (which is not a prob- lem as they would not play anyway), would they then be eligible and could we play this game? We typically bring about 20-22 players on this trip. I guess the question is can a team schedule a varsity contest with another teams reserves and count it as a varsity game for one team and as a reserve game for another?
A.: Simplest answer is 'yes'...WIAA rules would not prevent your JV team from competing against anoth- er school's varsity team. It would count as one of the allowed maximums within both teams schedules clearly enough. I am not able to comment on other state's rules in this regard with much more then spec- ulation. Most of us are similar – your opponent ought to know. I can assist if needed. This happens often enough, e.g., a wrestling team doesn't show for Saturday's invite and the AD scrambles to bring in the local HS 's JV team...to fill brackets and provide competitive opportunity. Some larger schools send their JV's to provide a non-conf. game to a small school's/emerging varsity program. No problem in those sce- narios – on the surface. In so far as you are concerned - make certain the contest is clearly indicated on your JV and/or reserve schedule and within the permitted maximums. Do not in any way have it appear on your varsity schedule or as a 21st varsity game. There is a second dimension that as a State office we (and you would want to know about) - if a WI team played several JV programs out of state and then took
the number one seed from your team – you'd be miffed to find out. I would advise that you explain and document in the contract - you are playing/providing a non-varsity team as the opponent, and in WI that would not be allowed for seeding and playoff purposes. I would copy the respective state office.


Q.: We are trying to organize our baseball Florida trip and making sure we cover all of our bases and get things done right. Our AD was looking through the WIAA Bylaws found this excerpt - "Except for events held in bor- dering states (MN, IL, MI, IA) no school shall play more than one out-of-state competition, and/or scrimmage per team each school season." Is this new and how does it now pertain to our baseball trip? Can we only play one game if we go?
A.: Rule is new – approved by the member's just this past April (2007) at the Annual meeting. The quote you've provided is not complete. Complete text is on p. 27 /Bylaws, in Sr. High Handbook, "...no approval shall be provided for more then one out-of-state competition, event and/or scrimmage..." Interpretation: Spring break trip – is your 'event', i.e., your one-time out of (non-bordering) state excursion. You may play as many contests and have your scrimmage as your schedule and season regulations will allow during this event.
Q.: I have had some soccer parents approach me to see if they could do a soccer team trip to Costa Rica over spring break during which they would play some games. I thought I would start with you to see if it is even legal for the team to compete outside of the country.
A.: There is no WIAA provision that would specifically prohibit this. We would advise review and con- formity to all other requirements as outlined – Sr. High Handbook, p. 27 (G1-7). As they relate to inter- state competition. In addition, remember that WIAA season regulations specifically prohibit soccer com- petition v. non-school/club teams.


Q.: Last Friday our varsity football game was suspended due to an electrical problem that rendered us without a scoreboard and no lights. The game was suspended at half-time. The game will resume and be completed on Monday at 5 p.m. My question pertains to "individual participation limitations." With the suspended game being played on Monday we will have the following contests next week: Monday--varsity (completion of 2nd half); Tuesday--9th grade game; Thursday--JV game; Friday--varsity game. In applying the "individual participation limitations", is the suspended game considered part of the week? Could a "border-line" JV-varsity player see some action in the Monday game, Thursday game AND Friday game? I have instructed my coaches, that unless we hear from you differently, we should consider the most strict interpretation.
A.: The 'letter of the text' provides an athlete may not appear in three different levels of play in the same calendar week. Under the circumstance as you identify it, a student might have role in two varsity and one JV contest within the same week. Technically, that is not prohibited. However, you are wise to recognize this is an exposure/athlete well-being provision and your question, a valid one. You and your coaches will be wise to recognize and take into consideration weather/environmental conditions and have a 'plan' for allowing kids to take part, if that is your desire...but I advise having a firm plan for use/exposure and stick- ing with it. Pay particular attention to your larger/less conditioned athletes. If there is any questions about any of your athletes, do not put in all your contests. You might also modify your periods in the JV game (or the varsity game for that matter). NF playing rules allow any period to be shortened. Lastly, coaches will need to pay attention to when/where they get the day of rest accounted for (one day off after six of practice/competition).


Q.: Can WIAA varsity level teams compete against non-sanctioned teams, commonly referred to as "club" teams?
A.: If certain caveats are met, yes. Except for club soccer teams. WIAA member schools are prohibited from competing vs. club soccer programs.


8-20-07
Q.: A girl who would be considered going into 9th grade is not and has not been affiliated with any school. She has taken and will be taking classes online. Her inquiry is whether she could practice (not compete) with our girls junior varsity tennis team.
A.: Simple Answer is - yes you could. Interpretation is based in Bylaws and subtly reflected in "scrim- mage" text in Rules At A Glance (also referenced in Open Gym text), i.e. - schools may allow/involve/include "members of the community" in open gyms and practices – II-E and II-D1. Friendly advice – if student is going to attend on regular basis, you may wish to require evidence of current physi- cal, emergency treatment consent, hold-harmless, etc. Be mindful, not everyone will see/understand your permitting/allowing – as a kind/good thing. There are always "rippling-out effects" of this considera- tion/decision. Some will view taking "time and turns" away from students already "in high school" as questionable (and would never be recommended, here). Because of ramifications across all your schools programs, this ought to be an administrative (your) determination, not a coaches prerogative. And on the other hand – there will be those who presume this will be an opportunity you would make available then to all children with the same circumstances and interest in such an opportunity.


7-13-07
Q.: I heard a rumor that the traveling out of the state rule for WIAA came into effect in the Fall of 2007. Wouldn't this rule actually come into effect for the 2008/2009 school year as we just voted on it this past April (2007)? I just wanted to make sure 2008 is correct and that this doesn't affect what I have in place for 2007 (events in Indiana and CA for soccer). We are still able to travel out of state more than once for the upcoming 2007/2008 boys soccer season, correct?
A.: With the vote of the membership at April's Annual Meeting - the one, out-of-state event/competition (beyond bordering states) became 'law of the land' beginning 2007.


Q.: Can a school bring in college level girls to scrimmage against their girls at practice. By regulations all par- ticipants must meet WIAA eligibility requirements?
A.: Your question is a little vague. If the post H.S. grads are in fact a college softball team, answer would be 'ok' so long as your team had not yet used their day of scrimmage..or had a game left in the max allowed schedule to 'burn' as another day of scrimmage. If the 'college level girls' are just former grads/for- mer"ball players, now home for summer, answer's "yes" without any additional caveats.
Q.: We are looking into the possibility of the baseball team going to Florida next season during the Easter break. As a school, the students have Friday, March 21 and Monday, March 24 off. I realize the first day of practice is Monday, March 17. To fulfill our five days of practice before scrimmaging, we were looking at scrimmaging on Saturday, March 22. But to get a game or two in before coming back, we would need to play on Monday, March 24, a day before you can legally play according to the handbook. I recall reading about the situations this past season and it was stated in the article that the WIAA would need to give a waiver for a team to play a day early. How does one obtain such a waiver?
A.: That waiver - to play a day early - does not exist. If it did, it'd be identified in the Season Regulations. Second, Florida High School Association rules prohibit Florida high schools from scrimmaging at that time of their season. They are only allowed to play actual games. If we received a request from a member for such approval - we would likely need to bring it to the Board of Control.


Q.: May we enter a high school running club in cross country meets? Our high school does not fund cross coun- try, but we have a running club with our own funds.


A.: WIAA rules would not prohibit a member school from competing with your school's club team, so long as the event is under supervision/control of school administration, WIAA and National Federation rules of competition are followed and WIAA licensed officials are used.


Q.: Can the boys soccer team practice with the girls in the spring? Can the girls then practice with boys teams in the fall? We have discontinued our use of high school boys as girls' soccer managers to protect the boys' eli- gibility. The same goes for our high school girls as managers for boys teams. Our high school athletic director, (this spring), sent out a memo to all our coaches concerning this issue. Our school seems to be at a disadvantage if this is not the case. We would love for our program to be able to have the services of the boys' goalkeeper and other players for practice to give our team the same advantage as this regional and sectional team seems to have been afforded. Please clarify this issue for me so I may pass along any new information to our athletic director.
A.: No - when sports have separate sport seasons, they may only practice and compete within their own designated season. Your athletic director has correctly interpreted, applied and directed your school's coaches and programs. Students are only allowed one season of school sport participation each school year and a total of four seasons of school soccer, e.g., during their high school career. Boys and girls partici- pating in both fall and spring school soccer seasons, technically, would exhaust their eligibility in two years.


Q.: Nike Team Nationals has a cross country meet that they hold each year at the end of the cross country sea- son. I am inquiring about the ability of students to participate in that event presuming that they do not wear school affiliated uniforms. They have instituted a qualifying regional competition in the hopes that more state will allow schools to participate. Could some one please respond to give me an idea of the restrictions on athletes.
A.: Adding a qualifier does not alter the Bylaws and rules of Eligibility put in place by our member schools. That fundamental prohibits assembling the school's team during the school year, except during the actual school season. Given only the limited information contained in your two emails, my interpreta- tion would be to advise our member AD's - "caution."


5-25-07
Q.: Where is the information to guide us in an alumni scrimmage for soccer?
A.: Start with Bylaws, Art. II, Sect. 5-E-Note, p. 27. Also see Rules At A Glance, II-E and Spring Season Regulations, p. 19, #4. Bottom line – Scrimmage is a day of practice. If in reality is going to be 'seen' as an alumni game – be safe and count it as one of maximum allowed competitions. Or – see that it is CRYS- TAL that the event is a well-designed practice.


Q.: Now that we can't go out-of-state next year, I have a question. We typically go to Kentucky and play four baseball games. Reading the 2007 Annual Meeting amendments, I see absolutely no way that we can do that. It's four teams over four different days. It's still more than one event, so it isn't possible in my mind?
A.: Spring break/holiday break are also be viewed as "one event" so long as the games are played in accor- dance with WIAA season regulations. The one-time out of state event (not bordering) might last the dura- tion of your spring or holiday break and play as many games as your schedule and season maximums will allow.


5-4-07
Q.: With high school baseball a player can not play in more than 20 games in a season. Does a designated hit- ter go by the same rule. I understand one inning does not constitute a game. Is this correct.
A.: Yes. Maximum games remains 20...regardless.


Q.: I am a bit confused regarding out-of- state competition. With our location close to Minnesota we play teams from that state from time to time for different sports. I was wondering if there was a restriction with the number of events I can schedule with teams from a bordering state. The reason I ask is that in the past we have played in a VB tourney in Wabasha. I am also struggling filling our final VB game for next year and noticed on the Minnesota State High School League website there are a few schools in our area that are also missing games. I did see that we could play one game, but wanted to know if there was a restriction in how many we could par- take in and if there was if there was any paperwork I had to file with the WIAA.
A.: See Handbook p. 27 for basis of this response. Simple answer to your question - as you've described it would generally be "no", "you could play as much of your out-of-league schedule vs. a MN school/schools as you wish to schedule. Sometimes, depending on the event, it might require "approval" from this office and/or the National Federation - sometimes, only the approval of your own administration is all that would be needed. What you will see on p. 27 is that as events grow in size and the number of participat- ing schools and schools coming from more states then just MN/WI, the potential for needing additional approvals - either from the National Federation and/or the WIAA will increase - exactly as outlined in Article II, Section 5 - F. F1 describes when National Federation sanctioning for an even is required. F3 & 4 outline the need (or not) for WIAA interstate competition approval.


Q.: Our girls basketball team is looking into going out of state for some basketball games in the future. This is my first time with such a request. Does the WIAA have a policy or procedure for members school to get approval for such games? Basically, are we telling you, asking permission, or does the WIAA even need to know? Do we need to worry how this impacts seeding meetings?
A.: Interstate competition is addressed in the Bylaws - see Handbook p. 26-27, Article II, Section 5 - F – 1 thru 6. Some interstate competition requires no approval from National Federation or WIAA. Some will require National Federation sanctioning and WIAA approval. Some may only require WIAA. If WIAA and/or National Federation sanctioning is required - will depend (generally speaking) on the size of the event, the sponsor for the event. Either way, it pretty much is a recipe as outlined.


Q.: With high school baseball a player can not play in more than 20 games in a season. Does a designated hit- ter go by the same rule. I understand one inning does not constitute a game. Is this correct.
A.: Yes. Maximum games remains 20...regardless.


Q.: I am a bit confused regarding out-of- state competition. With our location close to Minnesota we play teams from that state from time to time for different sports. I was wondering if there was a restriction with the number of events I can schedule with teams from a bordering state. The reason I ask is that in the past we have played in a VB tourney in Wabasha. I am also struggling filling our final VB game for next year and noticed on the Minnesota State High School League website there are a few schools in our area that are also missing games. I did see that we could play one game, but wanted to know if there was a restriction in how many we could par- take in and if there was if there was any paperwork I had to file with the WIAA.
A.: See Handbook p. 27 for basis of this response. Simple answer to your question - as you've described it would generally be "no", "you could play as much of your out-of-league schedule vs. a MN school/schools as you wish to schedule. Sometimes, depending on the event, it might require "approval" from this office and/or the National Federation - sometimes, only the approval of your own administration is all that would be needed. What you will see on p. 27 is that as events grow in size and the number of participat- ing schools and schools coming from more states then just MN/WI, the potential for needing additional approvals - either from the National Federation and/or the WIAA will increase - exactly as outlined in Article II, Section 5 - F. F1 describes when National Federation sanctioning for an even is required. F3 & 4 outline the need (or not) for WIAA interstate competition approval.


Q.: Our girls basketball team is looking into going out of state for some basketball games in the future. This is my first time with such a request. Does the WIAA have a policy or procedure for members school to get approval for such games? Basically, are we telling you, asking permission, or does the WIAA even need to know? Do we need to worry how this impacts seeding meetings?
A.: Interstate competition is addressed in the Bylaws - see Handbook p. 26-27, Article II, Section 5 - F – 1 thru 6. Some interstate competition requires no approval from National Federation or WIAA. Some will require National Federation sanctioning and WIAA approval. Some may only require WIAA. If WIAA and/or National Federation sanctioning is required - will depend (generally speaking) on the size of the event, the sponsor for the event. Either way, it pretty much is a recipe as outlined.

Q.: My boys soccer players want to organize 'captains practice' the week before the season practice starts which means August 6. I seem to remember reading someplace that captains practices are not allowed after July 31. Am I correct? If so where do I find this in black and white. FYI these would be true captains practices; no coach and volunteer attendance.
A.: Find text in the Handbook, p. 38, C-2. "In the summer" means when school is not in regular session. Most typically from sometime in June, until fall start up. July 31 - marks the absolute deadline for the "unrestricted contact days" allowed each program/each summer (from end of school in spring - to July 31). Kids getting together in what are sometimes called "captains practices" are in compliance when they take place in the summer, up until school begins each fall.


Q.: We are planning on taking a specific group of volleyball players to a clinic and competition in July. We will count this as part of our contact days but my question is can we just take eight or nine players that we choose or do we have to open it up to everyone in our program. The clinic and competition is designed for varsity players. A.: In a word - yes - you could do this. During the unrestricted summer contact days quite a liberal inter- pretation is provided i.e., schools can do (just about) what ever they want. Would encourage you to think carefully however, about all that's entailed in what you're asking. Does this mean that your varsity team has already been determined for next August? Will there not be try-outs next fall? What's that mean for 'my daughter' - if she's not invited/included in this opportunity, etc.


Q.: There will be a summer basketball league team with a number of girls from our school - and a couple from other schools too (so as not to be our team meeting out-of-season). It is a varsity league and we have very few upperclassmen. Would it be permissible under WIAA rules for the coach of the summer team (NOT one of our HS coaches) to use a school van to transport these girls to their league games? Our coaches are planning to use their contact days in a different manner - so don't want to be forced to use them to drive the girls to summer league.
A.: As described, the answer's NO.


Q.: Are you aware of anything that would prohibit the following. We are wondering if it is possible to add a name to hurdles as part of a donation. It would need to be OK with the WIAA rules, and I'm not sure this is addressed anywhere. It would be on one side of the hurdles, probably an add on/sticker of some sorts. "Donated by Benjamin Franklin" or something like that. It was an idea that came up, thought we'd try and find out.
A.: From a WIAA Membership & Eligibility/Compliance perspective, I see no peril in the idea. Not much different then a soft drink brand on the score clock.


Q.: Our school is contemplating selling ad space on our wrestling mats to help finance their purchase. Four donors would give $2000 each in exchange for an ad up to 4' X 4'. We have concerns that this may not be a legal competition surface. Could you please let me know.
A.: 1. Though this direction may not be recommended, it would not be considered a violation - any more then having a soft drink sponsor on your football or basketball scoreboards. (It is not an amateur status issue unless an athlete(s) appear/endorse/promote the product/business/service.) What you are describing is seen/interpreted as the "business" supporting the school. 2. Where it would be a "concern" would be if promotions were painted too close to the circle and would/could in any way interfere/confuse an official. 3. Rather then place advertising directly on the mat - would it not be acceptable to your local supporters to have thanks/names in a program. On a "special" panel which could be draped/hung or laid out on the floor along the edge of the mat itself, or hung in the gym?


Q.: My son is a freshman and needs to wear sport glasses for improved vision and cannot wear contacts. He has a pair of sport glasses to wear, but they are tinted by the doctor for outside use. The coaches told him that he needs to get clear lenses or a written letter from his doctor. My question is why?
A.: In this instance your son's coaches are not correct. They're getting a couple things confused is all. NFHS Rule 1-5-3n requires that the popular eye shields/visors some players like to attach to their helmets must be rigid, molded and 100% clear. This is so an unconscious player might be more easily and fully examined without needing to remove the head gear. (always a last resort) Tinted sport eye glasses/goggles do not violate that provision. Theoretically at least, they could be removed with less problem, allowing assessment of an unconscious player.


Q.: We have been asked to have some athletes ride in a parade this summer for the school. In the past it has been just the cheerleaders. This year they are adding kids from student counsel and other school groups. They want to add athletes and have a representative from each sport and wear their uniform is this OK? There will be no protective equipment given out. It won't be for anything but riding in the parade. This is a school float.
A.: I see no cause for alarm. The uniform use is a non issue in this application. Even before the rule change of this spring, schools were allowed to issue a jersey to a student for senior pictures, to wear in a parade, etc. You just weren't allowed to let them out for nonschool training or competition.
 
Q.: Is there any problem with our school offering a summer school course teaching basketball?
A.: Please be extremely careful in this school sponsored summer school/sport programming. It could result in numbers of athletes losing a season of eligibility. Please begin by reviewing the Association's BYLAWS (contained in the Senior High Handbook). These are the provisions a member agrees to, upon "joining the club." In particular, carefully read p. 26/Article II, Sections 1 & 2. Then please look at WIAA Rules at a Glance, Article II Sections A, especially, then C and D, may have some application. (Go to our website (www.wiaawi.org), pull down on the "Regulations Tab" and click on "WIAA Rules Overview" for the Rules at a Glance.) When "schools" are sponsoring instruction/practice or competition outside the desig- nated school season, the best friendly advice I can offer is DO NOT allow any student athlete with status in that sport program, who still has remaining eligibility, participate in another season of school-spon- sored sport. A student is allowed only one season of school sport per school year and a total of four in their school career. A school sponsored summer school class (or one night, student council/prom-lockdown vol- leyball) would be one season worth of eligibility (please see Handbook p.34/35, Article V, Section 1A - 3, especially). You could offer wrestling as part of your summer school programming, your wrestling coach could be paid to teach the course and all your school's wrestlers who take the course would lose a year of eligibility (whether your coach taught it or not). Your school may not sponsor wrestling except during the wrestling season (or basketball or volleyball or softball, etc. – any/all WIAA recognized sports).


Q.: I have combed the Handbook to find the regulations re: assembling athletes for information purposes. Here's the situation: I have a number of frosh on the fence as to whether or not they are coming out for HS gymnastics or staying club. For club purposes, they have to decide about Sept. (or so says the coach). I would like the oppor- tunity to inform them about HS gymnastics. I wanted to assemble them on the 17th, just to hand out informa- tion and watch a few team videos. Is this legal? From what I have read it seems to be: it's voluntary, nonpractice and not on school grounds
A.: First, there are no restrictions on a coach setting up an individual meeting with a student. In the past, assembling "teams" had been limited to a single (one), preseason organizational meeting. Effective last year (03-04) the text (found in the Season Regulations) reflected the Board of Control's approved change, i.e., to allow any number of preseason organizational meetings provided there is no instruction or practice included and the meeting(s) are approved in advance by school administration. Your principal certainly could approve this meeting. You are correct in that any such meeting must be voluntary attendance. It cer- tainly may be held on campus. You may find text identical to the gymnastics meeting statement in the Fall Season Regulations. "Preseason" is the first (1) article in each sport regs text.


Q.: We have been asked to have some athletes ride in a parade this summer for the school. In the past it has been just the cheerleaders. This year they are adding kids from student counsel and other school groups. They want to add athletes and have a representative from each sport and wear their uniform is this OK? There will be no protective equipment given out. It won't be for anything but riding in the parade. This is a school float.
A.: I see no cause for alarm. The uniform use is a non issue in this application. Even before the rule change of this spring, schools were allowed to issue a jersey to a student for senior pictures, to wear in a parade, etc. You just weren't allowed to let them out for nonschool training or competition.


Q.: I may have misunderstood something at the Annual Meeting, and I know I may not be alone. The change to allow districts to decide to issue equipment - does that go into effect immediately or does it take affect in 2005? I have not yet approached our Board with this issue, but will need to ASAP if I am in error.
A.: This change goes into effect this summer. Basically, it's officially effective with the next publishing/announcing of the next Bulletin following the vote. It's when a "rule change" would pop-up, rather spontaneously, from the floor at the Annual meeting that the Constitution requires that it "go around the horn," one more time to allow more debate/discussion/consideration...before it would be implemented, "next year." The equipment topic had followed all procedural requirements in advance of the Annual Meeting, was voted on, passed and thus takes effect this summer/04.

6-4-12

Q: A student who would like to run Cross Country would like to participate in a US Nationals Triathalon September 1.  He's not sponsored in any way (also not a WIAA recognized sport)so I don't think that is a conflict. But I am wondering if he needs to wait until after Sept 1 to, when the triathlon season is over before he comes out for Cross Country? Can he run and participate in the triathalon stuff at the same time?

A:  No he may not run in a triathlon during the cross country season.  It is a violation.  Non-school fun runs and other running competitions, as well as events like triathlons, which contain running - that are held during the school year, pose eligibility hazard. Members of the school's track and/or cross country teams may not - run - in those events during the season. If the event has a walking entry - WIAA rules would not prohibit that participation. Our member's do not sponsor race walking.  If this is a tag team sort of event and he bikes or swims, it would not violate the member's rule.  Athletes may not delay reporting to their season unless he did not run cross country last season or is a 9th grader.


  
1-17-12
 
Q: My question involves track participants running an outside race during track.  Our family plans to train and run the Madison Half Marathon Memorial Day weekend; however we have been told it is against WIAA rules for a track participant to do an outside race.  My question is why and how does WIAA have the right to rule what we do as a family for an athletic event if we have a student who participates in track.  It was my thought we are to promote exercise with our children, not inhibit it.  I appreciate your feedback.
 
A: The WIAA is an association of member schools  and is governed by its member schools.   From the web site:  "Rules and policies of the Association are developed, promulgated and implemented by the membership either through membership vote for constitutional issues or through a membership-elected committee structure for sport seasons regulations. Therefore, ownership of the membership's rules and regulations, as well as the responsibility of compliance with them, lies with each member school." 


In reference to the rule which states athletes may not participate in non-school events during the season, the WIAA member schools passed the rule years ago to promote loyalty to their school programs.  In fact the track coaches through their association have backed this rule for quite some time.  


The rule states:  "It is the philosophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and  team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport.  A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in non-school game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school."


Participation in practice and school track meets can provide the exercise. The rule is not to prohibit exercise.  It is to prohibit non-school competition.  Some of the reasons for the rule include:  level playing field for all athletes;  avoid injuries of the school athlete in non-school competitions; and to avoid overworking the schools' athletes when training programs are in place.  


On a closing note, athletics in a school are considered a privilege, not a right.  By participating in school athletics, the athletes and their families have agreed to follow the school's rules along with their Association's rules that the members have in place.
 
Q:  My soccer coach wants to run an indoor tournament and open it up to our school and community. Here are the details: Open to all in the community and high school. Co-Ed teams of six players. Must have multiple girls and guys on teams. Teams are limited to 3 rostered, Hale soccer players. $60.00 per team. My coach wants to use this as a fundraiser. Is this legal. It doesn't sound legal to me.
 
A:  Schools (and their coaches) may not host competition outside of the sport season.


Schools may conduct sport competition and practice only during the defined respective sport season as specified in Season Regulations and during Board of Control approved unrestricted contact days in the summer (up to 5 days in all WIAA sports), between the end of school and July 31. Season Regulations spell out, among other things, when practice starts, how many contests may be played, how many contests individuals may participate in, how many practice days are required before the first competition, and when the season ends. This means schools and school organizations, such as the letter winners club, the senior class, etc., cannot be involved in running any competition or practice in WIAA recognized sports outside the defined school season for that sport and those 5 days in the summer identified as unrestricted contact days. 


The same goes for camps/clinics.


Schools may not be involved in conducting clinics outside the season, with the following exceptions. So long as participation is voluntary and available to all interested students: 
1. There shall be no restrictions upon schools, school teams and school coaches (grades 9-12) relative to assembling in the summertime, for up to 5 days, which do not need to be consecutive. Unrestricted contact days must conclude no later than July 31. 
2. A school may conduct a clinic for students in grades 8 and below, where high school varsity and junior varsity coaches may use some or all of their high school athletes as clinicians. This may be done for a maximum of six days during the summer (when school is not in session) and must conclude no later than July 31. Clinics not utilizing athletes as clinicians may be conducted throughout the summer up to the start of school. 
3. School facilities may be used for nonschool programs, according to board of education policy, which can result in clinics being conducted, outside the season, by nonschool groups. The nonschool group must request the facilities from the board ofprotection. (BL – Art. II and RE – Art. VI, Sect. 2)
 
4-24-10
Q.: One of our freshmen baseball players wants to compete in the ESPN Pitch, Hit and Run contest on May 23. It is open to all who are interested. Every participant receives "an item for their participation. Prizes at different levels of competition include ribbons, medals, trophies and other awards." Is this OK?
A.: Just like the Punt, Pass, or Kick, this is not allowed if the athlete is still in season since it is non-school competition using sport specific skills. If the administration and coach gives permission after the 9th grade season (if he is playing 9th grade) is completed, he may participate.


Q.: If one of our athletes (non-senior) is selected on a summer traveling team that goes all over the country play- ing, is it possible for the athlete to get sponsors to help pay for the expenses of travel? Other costs? If so, is there any restrictions on who can give money? I have an athlete that might decide to play, if their family doesn't have to pay the entire cost themselves.
A.: How was the student selected, open to all or invite (all-star)? Keep in mind that these opportunities must be open to any and all interested students. Provided this is competition, a student may be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competing. This may include transportation, food, lodging and entry fees. Amateur status interpretations further provide that an athlete may not receive "benefit" which is not available to any/every other student because of athletic ability, potential or performance.


Q.: Can high school softball players practice AND play with a non-school affiliated travel team during the high school softball season? I have two high school freshman softball players on my U14 travel team. This travel team is NOT related or affiliated with the school, and NONE of the travel team coaches are affiliated with the school.
A.: The Rules at a Glance state: Athletes may not participate in nonschool competition during the school season, in the same respective sport. WIAA rules do not prevent athletes from practicing with nonschool teams or from receiving private skills instruction during the school season. However, they may not par- ticipate in any nonschool games, including scrimmages, against other teams. This restriction applies to normal nonschool games as well as "gimmicks," such as reduced numbers competition (3-on-3 basketball, six player soccer, etc.), specific skill contests (punt, pass, and kick, shooting contests e.g., free throws, three point), fun runs, etc. Additionally, a student who was a member of a school team during the reporting for the school team beyond the school's official opening day of practice in order to continue nonschool train- ing or competition. (RE – Art. VI) During the season, student-athletes may practice but not play on non- school teams.


Q.: Our 4-H club is sponsoring a 5K on June 5. I was told by the track coach that, "anyone that is on the high school track team can not participate in your fun run. It is still the high school track season and it would make them ineligible for future participation in high school sports." The State track meet is the same day as the fun run, June 5. Is her information accurate or can kids who are not going to State in track participate as their sea- son is then finished?
A.: The member schools of the WIAA have the following rule which addresses your question: It is the phi- losophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. Anyone who has completed their season may run with permission of their coach and school administration. Obviously, the person running at State would not be able to run.


Q.: My son is playing summer ball for his high school as a freshman. For the past four years, he has played travel baseball and would like to continue. What are the rules if any when he can and can't play.
A.: The member schools of the WIAA have the following rule which addresses your question: It is the phi- losophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. A student may practice with a nonschool pro- gram, but may not compete or participate in scrimmages.


Q.: According to the WIAA Handbook, teams cannot assemble until after the school year has been completed. I know it is a topic at the WIAA Annual Meeting but for the 2010 year when can the Legion start practice and games? Thanks for your time and cooperation on this matter. When can summer ball begin? After their high school season is over? Example freshman after their last game can they begin Legion ball or do they have to wait till varsity season is over? We had a scheduling meeting last week and all others towns I spoke with start when their individual season ends. They don't wait for the varsity. I know this caused some scheduling issues last year with summer ball?
A.: The rule during the school season reads: A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of prac- tice and competition established by the school. Students may practice with their nonschool teams, but may not compete or inter-squad scrimmage while their school season is in session. They may begin practice with the legion once their season is complete. Freshman begin when their freshman school schedule is com- plete. Varsity begin when they are eliminated from the WIAA tournament. If a student has been brought up to varsity, then they must wait until the varsity season is complete. The students are allowed to assem- ble during the summertime. Summertime is defined as the last day of school to the first day of school.


2-5-10
Q.: I have several players on my team that want to play in the Metrodome in early March. They are going to be with a group of kids from all around the area. They are going to scrimmage kids from the northern part of the state. Not I, nor any of my staff, is going to be involved with the group who is scrimmaging – is this legal to do?
A.: As described here, your students would appear to be in compliance with the rule. Keep in mind that they are not unreasonably restricted, but cannot resemble a school team practicing or playing. No pre-sea- son team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. There may be other rules as well.


Q.: I'm the manager of a U15 girl's soccer team. Eight of the 16 girls on the team go to the same high school. I believe there are rules that once HS soccer begins they cannot train with their club team until their soccer sea- son is finished. Could you please let me know (1) what, if any, is the last date they can train as a club team and (2) when they can begin to train again as a club team.
A.: Our girls soccer season begins March 22, 2010 and continues through the school season. Athletes may practice with other teams during the school season, but may not compete or scrimmage with other teams. If an athlete is going to practice with a non-school team, the best advice would be to get permission from their school coach. They may begin to compete after their school team has completed their season.


Q.: My daughter is a freshman in high school. She played this fall on a U14 club team. She would like to try out for high school girls soccer but still play for her U14 club team which consists of 7th and 8th grade students (she is the only freshman). What are the rules for her eligibility? If she can't play both teams, can she play as a guest player for the club team for tournaments? I have reviewed the rules and regulations for both WIAA and WYSC but cannot find a ruling that seems to address this particular question as she would not be on a competing team due to her age.
A.: An athlete may practice with a nonschool team or program, but may not compete for a nonschool team or program at any time during the school sport season. Once her school season is over (at the level she is playing, JV or V), she may compete with the non-school team or program. I urge her to speak with her school coach to make sure there are no problems if she intends to practice with the nonschool team. You may also refer to the WIAA Rules At A Glance for further details regarding nonschool participation.


1-15-10
Q.: I have a question regarding a high school athlete that is on a high school sports team and whether or not he can play a pick up game of the same sport. If an athlete is in his or her high school soccer season, is it possible for he or she to play in a pick-up soccer game or pick-up league with adults during that season?
A.: The WIAA membership rule which you refer to is found in the WIAA Handbook on page 37, Article VI, Section 1, Paragraph A: It is the philosophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and alle- giance to the school and team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. If stu- dent is playing soccer, even though adult league, while a member of the school team and the team is in- season, it would violate the member's non-school competition rule. He/she would lose eligibility for the balance of the school season. It is still non-school soccer. III-D of the Rules At A Glance address non-school competition.


Q.: We have an Ag boy on our basketball team and the Ag program is hosting a donkey basketball game. Would it be a violation for him to play in this? It hardly resembles basketball, but I'm assuming it might be considered basketball. Can I get a ruling on this?
A.: Interpretations have been that donkey basketball is NOT considered basketball as would three on three basketball and other forms of the game using the basketball court and basketball skills. Any athlete participating in basketball would be allowed to play in this event during the basketball season. But the basketball players should consult with their coach for approval.


12-18-09
Q.: Is it legal for athletes to tryout for AAU basketball during the season?
A.: Provided this is just practice and competition is not used, a school may allow their students to prac- tice with nonschool teams during the high school season.


Q.: We have 8-12 baseball players that want to play in an indoor league this winter. Is there any rule about how many players from one high school team being on the same team in a league outside the school season. We thought we saw somewhere that there cannot be more than six from the same high school team.
A.: Yes. 8-12 players on the team would resemble the school team. No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The hard numbers of six were removed. The rule is on page 37 of the Handbook: Art VI, Sect 2, paragraph A. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as they can pos- sibly be. "An acceptable nonschool program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" – and – nonschool activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." Best friendly advice, best practice – we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/nonschool team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season.


Q.: My daughter is in the 9th grade and has played with an AAU basketball team last summer has five girls on it from the same school/same grade. The rest of the team is made up of girls from different areas and schools. Can they still play together this spring/summer(off season)? Some people have said no and others say that they are grandfathered. What is correct.
A.: Your local athletic director can assist you with your specific questions. Our membership rule which is determined by our member schools has been in place for a long time; therefore, there is no way which I can think of where someone or member school would be grandfathered. The rule is: no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or compet- ing out-of-season. The key is to diversify.


Q.: I am looking to enter a group of high school girls in a softball tournament in December. What is the maxi- mum number of girls that we can take from any one school?
A.: No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. You can recognize that having my nine returning players from the same school and adding one player, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past – stands; i.e., non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. "An acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" – and – non-school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." Best friendly advice, best practice – we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non-school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions cre- ated by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible. No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The rule applies outside the sport season during the school year and not during the summer.


Q.: I am starting up a club baseball program and want to run a 6/8 week program starting in March and ending May 2. The program will focus on position fundamentals, individual speed and increasing throwing arm strength. The reason for running a program from March to May is to introduce my club to the people in the area so when the high school season ends people will know who we are when I start forming teams to play in the fall. My question is since I will be including freshmen thru seniors from all the surrounding schools will this violate any WIAA rules?
A.: The main emphasis in this rule is that the teams may not resemble a school team practicing or com- peting during the school year. Provided that the program is open to anyone and voluntary, any program which is diversified is acceptable without school or coach involvement.


10-23-09
Q.: Can football players participate in punt, pass and kick competitions during the football season?
A.: No – nonschool competition rules apply during the football season. Players participating in punt, pass and kick opportunities would become ineligible for the remainder of the high school football season.


9-18-09
Q.: I am currently coaching a summer 2009 girls U16 club soccer team and have recently been told that we are not allowed to continue our current season for fear of being in violation of WIAA rules of eligibility. The facts: 6 sophomores, 11 freshmen, all from the same school district. This club soccer team uses club fields, club equip- ment and club coaches. There are no affiliations with the local HS. The player registration is open to all players in the area, but because of geography, all of the players who have signed up are from the same school district. Can this team move forward and continue to practice and play club soccer games without any of the players being ineligible their upcoming spring HS soccer season?
A.: Your summertime team can continue, since the WIAA school girls soccer players are not competing during their school season. It is the philosophy of the association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team which he/she is a member during the season of the sport. A student becomes ineli- gible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. (ROE, page 37, VI-1- A) A final comment on non-school leagues conducted during the school year; WIAA member's rules pro- vide that during the school year, no assembly may resemble in any way, a schools team practicing and/or competing outside the school season.


Q.: I coach a summer travel softball team made up of several middle school girls who play in the school soft- ball program. The middle school softball program plays during the fall. Can these girls practice on weekends during the middle school season or would it jeopardize there eligibility to play middle school ball?
A.: They may practice, but not compete. (ROE page 37, Art. VI, Sect. 1-A)


Q.: I was just looking ahead and want to be clear on the off-season volleyball club rule. Is there a rule that says only three of the same school players can play on the same club volleyball team? I know it has been talked about before and wanted to know the final details on this.
A.: The hard numbers were eliminated last year. However, the rule still stands. "An acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – non-school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or com- peting out-of-season." No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provid- ed in the past – stands; i.e. Non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. Best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non- school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season.


8-21-09
Q.: There are two questions I have. 1) My daughter plays club softball and in the winter, and they would like to play dome tournaments. Is this okay to do? How many girls from her high school team can be on the team with her? 2) The neighboring schools in the area have played fall ball for the last few years. They get together and play once a week. No official scores and parents coach. Can they continue to do this? I was told as long as the team doesn't look like the varsity team you are okay.
A.: Students may participate in their respective activities during the school year out-of-season as long as the school has no contact what-so-ever. A non-school entity may conduct activities. No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. You can recognize that having my nine returning players from the same school and adding one guy, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past – stands; i.e. non-
school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. Be certain the club/non-school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the sea- son.


Q.: Heard that there was to be a limit of the number of players from the same high school on a summer club soft- ball team.
A.: The rules are different during the year. During the school year, the teams are restricted. No pre-sea- son team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non-school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. During the summer (after the last day of school and before the first day of school) teams have five days of unrestricted contact before July 31 and some sports (including softball have unlimited contact). The fundamental coaching contact rules are con- tained in Art. I of the Rules At A Glance.


7-10-09
Q.: We are planning a fall outreach golf scramble at our church and would like to know exact rules for varsity golf boys (no girls since it is their season) who may play in it. All who play, young and old alike will receive a Christian golfer's book, Taylormade golf towel and goody bags. There will be prizes such as small trophies, tick- ets to 2010 PGA event, and small golf related items for 1st and 2nd plus longest putt, longest drive contests. Can varsity golf boys play and get gifts that everyone gets? (The Christian golfer's book, Taylormade golf towel and goody bags.) Can they play but not get any contest prizes? Can they get door prizes which are for fun – all names in a bag and drawn at random?
A.: Several concerns in this. First, amateur status. For those items which all participants receive just for showing up - no problem. They are not "performance based" awards. However, "tickets", "golf related prizes", etc., would violate our member's amateur status rules. Secondly, if the event is held during one of the golf seasons, students who are participating on the school golf team would be rendered ineligible for the remainder of the school golf season for participation in a non-school golf competition.


5-8-09
Q.: We have a girl who is a senior and was out of school for a week with a family excuse and she suddenly showed up as a runner in a non-profit fundraising run on this past Saturday. We found out because our head coach had volunteered to help time. Our question is what type of penalty needs to result from her participation? Coach has explained these runs are not to be entered into but she did any way.
A.: ROE Art. VI Sect. 1A - (p. 37) Assuming the student had begun the season with your school this year, she is not eligible to compete for the remainder of the season. If she competed for your school team after she had taken part in the non-school event – it would have been as an ineligible participant.


3-27-09
Q.: I am a member of a local youth baseball. Last year, I learned that the freshman baseball players could not have evaluations done for our Babe Ruth program until after the freshman season was over. This creates quite a problem as the programs almost overlap and it is hard to have tryouts for Babe Ruth the week the first games are scheduled. Could you tell me if this is true, and what we could do to avoid a conflict with this, and have our tryouts prior to the end of freshman ball?
A.: WIAA rules do not prevent students from "trying out" for a club team. See III-D and G of the Rules At A Glance and talk with your school's athletic director to find out about team rules and expectations.


Q.: The Minnesota Twins may be putting on a softball/baseball clinic at school in May. Can a high school softball player par- ticipate in this camp during their softball season?
A.: Yes. WIAA rules would not prevent that. See III-D of the Rules At A Glance.


Q.: I have a freshmen out for track who is an avid runner. He has been signed up for, and was planning on running in a local 5K in a nearby town. The 5K is a local fund-raiser for a genetic disease. Is he legal to participate in this run on his own (com- pletely not-affiliated with the high school)?
A.: Simple answer to your question is - "no." Student may not run in the event you describe - if the event is held during the school track season. The youngster could enter and take part as a walker if the event provides a walking opportuni- ty. Article III-D of the Rules At A Glance addresses our member's provisions with respect to non-school competition.


Q.: The Bellin Run, which is held on June 13, has a program called the High School Challenge, trying to get more high school students to improve their physical fitness by participating in our 10K run. The teacher who is heading up the team at an area high school has asked if we could find a sponsor to pay for registration fees for students who cannot afford the $17. If they are, or at some point in the future become, a WIAA athlete, would accepting this free entry affect their eligibility?
A.: WIAA amateur status provisions allow a student to be reimbursed "actual and necessary costs associated with com- petition." One possible idea to address your issue in a uniform manner, would be if students receive free/reduced lunch at their school - See also section III-C and III-F of the Rules At A Glance.


Q.: I have a female athlete who would like to participate in a couple of events and I wasn't quite sure that she is able to do so. The first event is the UW-Superior Soccer Camp that does run during the course of our season. The dates are March 8, 15, 29 and April 4 & 5. I am under the impression that she cannot participate after March 16. The second question is she would like to work with a private goalie coach during the season outside of regular practice hours. I do not know the rules on this one.
A.: WIAA rules would not prohibit the involvement as outlined in either of these first two questions. A student could go to a camp/clinic and practice with their club team while a member of the school's team and being "in-season." Student could also seek private instruction. So long as the private coach is not around and coaching the student as/when part of the school team – there is not a WIAA violation. One should not construe that because it might not be prohibited – that it should be seen as an "approved" or good idea. If contacted on these questions we will always caution a parent caller to clear this with their school's coach!


Q.: One of my girl's soccer players asked if it is OK for her to play in an indoor co-ed soccer league during the high school sea- son. I didn't see why not, but wanted to check with you.
A.: If student is playing club soccer, even though co-ed, while a member of the school team and the team is in-season, it would violate the member's non-school competition rule. She would lose eligibility for the balance of the school season. It is still non-school soccer. III-D of the Rules At A Glance address non-school competition.


Q.: Basketball coaches over our entire area are unclear on summer league rules. Can a high school have a summer league team made up of its players only?
A.: In the summertime, students may voluntarily assemble in any configuration they wish – without school and/or coach involvement. A summer team made up of students all from a single school is possible within the rules.


2-13-09
Q.: We are sponsoring a Knights of Columbus Free Throw contest. Is there any issues if we give out awards/medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners?
A.: WIAA amateur status rules allow students to be awarded medals and/or ribbons for performance in athletics. See III-C of The Rules At A Glance. Word of Caution: If students are in high school and a part of the school's basketball program, taking part in non-school competition will end their season. See III-D of the Rules At A Glance as well.


12-12-08
Q.: Would it be permissible to use some of the money that is in the school's boys soccer fund to help with the cost of playing winter soccer at an indoor complex? The money is kept in an account outside of the school, not a school activity account. Would they need to have a player on their team that is not from our school, so it would not resemble our high school team participating during the school year?
A.: Since the money is not "school money" it could be used as described. (School $$ can only be used for "school sponsored programming.") ROE Art. IV provides that an athlete can be reimbursed actual and necessary cost associated with competition. Best practice is not to reimburse the student directly, but rather to cover the league entry fees. Only caveats are to be sure that all students interested in having fees covered at this complex have same awareness of opportunity and access to the money as all others. Amateur status interpretations further provide that an athlete may not receive "benefit" which is not available to any/every other student because of athletic ability, potential or performance.


10-24-08
Q.: My daughter is a freshman this year and runs cross country with her high school team. For three years in a row, she has run cross country after the season ends with a club team which competes in regional and national meets. The club team has eight freshman runners from five high schools within our metro area. Of the eight girls, in two cases, there are two runners from the same high school. Is it possible to compete as a club again this November after the HS State Cross Country Meet? Would this violate any eligibility rules?
A.: I see no obvious eligibility problems as a result of the team composition as outlined. Amateur status rules must always be followed.


Q.: My daughter is on a high school cross country team. Our town is having their annual 10K & two mile Fun Run. Is she allowed to participate in the two mile Fun Run during the cross country season? The Fun Run does not record "winners" but rather each participants time for their own information. Every runner receives the same participation medal for finishing.
A.: No. If your daughter takes part in a nonschool running event while a member of her school's running team and the team is in-season, her school season will be ended by the member's rule. You should have been provided the Athlete Eligibility Information Bulletin by your school this fall and been required to sign and return it. This topic is addressed on p. 4, B. See Also III-D of the Rules At A Glance. Your daughter could enter the event as a walker, if that is an available option. The WIAA does not sponsor race walking.


Q.: I am the head coach and my son runs for our school. He and some friends (not part of the team) want to par- ticipate in a triathlon event for fun. Would he be in violation of WIAA restrictions of nonschool participation during the season?
A.: If your son takes part in the running competition, yes - it is a violation. If this is a tag team sort of event and he bikes or swims, it would not violate the member's rule.


Q.: Just to clarify that if I roster four more girls from an outside community, for the next three weeks to finish out the gopher league, we are in compliance with the WIAA rules. We currently roster eight girls and can only have 12 on the roster, being the addition for the four other girls. A.: There has been discussion of not more then 50 percent of the roster and 50 percent of participants on the floor/field at anytime should be from same school. So that may be a guide. The 50/50 recommendation that has been provided in my responses has been just that, a best practice recommendation. If a team were composed of players from more than one school and the school's team was not ever intact on the floor, in my opinion it would be difficult to assert the group was simply the school's team.


9-19-08
Q.: I run a sports bowling league and have some high school students that want to get in the league. USBC has guidelines set up for youth bowling in the adult league. We will be following those guidelines. I want to know if these kids will have any problems with WIAA in reference to amateur status and non school competition.
A.: What ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be an amateur in ALL WIAA rec- ognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus since the Association does not presently sponsor interscholastic bowling amateur status restrictions do not apply. Same as we do not sponsor lumberjack events, bass fishing, snowmobiling, motocross, BMX or rodeo, e.g., there are a num- ber of school aged student athletes who do right well for themselves in these non-WIAA recognized sport- ing events and suffer no peril when playing any WIAA offered interscholastic opportunity. Important: On the other hand, however, even though student plays school football, basketball and baseball and in golfing with dad or buddy in summer event hits closest to the pin and wins a sleeve of balls, or sandwich at the club house, or a new driver, e.g., BIG PROBLEM / Amateur status violation! Because even though the stu- dent does not take part in school golf program our members rule requires amateur adherence in ALL WIAA sports in order to be eligible in ANY WIAA sports.


Q.: Several people have talked to one of our students about entering the Walsh Iron Man wrestling tournament. The tournament is rated as the #1 or #2 individual tournament in the country. The tournament director has said he would accept our student as an independent entry (they usually only take teams) pending it being OK with our state rules and the high school. I wanted to check and see what issues there might be and if this would be possible. The tournament is in early December and as is two days Friday/Saturday. It is located about 15 min- utes from parents home so they would be staying there and would cover all other costs such as registration.
A.: The simple answer is - "no". If the student takes part in non-school wrestling competition while a mem- ber of the school team and the season is underway, he will be ineligible for the remainder of the season. Rules of Eligibility Article VI, Section 1 addresses non-school competition during the school year. That sec- tion in the rules also identifies the membership's exceptional athlete waiver. See Also: p. 4 of AEIB and III-D of Rules At A Glance.


Q.: I run the local PPK competition. Is there any WIAA conflict with a freshman winning the local competition and receiving a trophy for first place. Can he advance to the next level of competition?
A.: If the 9th grader is a part of the school's football team and the team is still in-season, the 9th grader becomes ineligible for the remainder of the school season. See III-D of the Rules At A Glance.


8-15-08
Q.: There is a swim club meet the weekend of Friday, November 21 & Saturday, November 22. It is an age- group swim meet and my coach was wondering if freshman boys could swim that meet if it is before the first scheduled meet of the boys season (November 25). Please advise.
A.: Simple answer's - "no." Boys may not swim if they have reported to the school's season. Two possibil- ities: 1. Delay the start of your school season until after this event. Or, don't allow frosh to report until after this meet.
7-18-08
Q.: 1) Can a school or its booster club pay for all or a portion of the entry fee in a non-padded team passing camp for the football team? The camp is a three night camp where the teams can have up to 15 players who receive t-shirts and play six games. As I understand it, it is essentially a football league that takes place on June 8, 15, and 22. 2) Can alumni of a school pay for his former team to play in a summer basketball league? Also, could he provide uniforms, etc., for the team? This would be a league that plays games against other teams in the area during the summer. 3) Is there any way for an athlete who can not afford it financially, to receive assistance from a grant foundation so that they would be able to attend a summer camp? I know of a foundation where needy kids could apply to for financial assistance but it is my understanding of the rules, that this would be in violation of the WIAA rules that require athletes to pay all of their camps, clinics, etc., fees.
A.: 1) YES. A school could only use its money if those three nights were counted as three of the five unre- stricted contact days. Money that is not in a school activity account could be used anytime per III-F of the Rules At A Glance. See also G. To avoid potential amateur status related concerns some consideration must be given to how/who has access to special opportunity/benefit of "free league." 2) Yes – leagues and tournaments are considered competition. Again, from amateur status perspective, care should be taken to see opportunity for free play is known and available to any interested student. Uniforms must be returned. 3) NO. The only alternative is to find a benefactor willing to cover all costs so camp is free for all students.


Q.: There is a group of 9th and 10th grade basketball players that have put a team together that are coached by a non-school staff coach. They want to play in a NAYS basketball tournament this weekend and have asked if they can use our practice jerseys. Are these athletes able to participate and can they use schools practice jerseys?
A.: Can they participate - yes. The new, non-school roster provisions do not take effect until next school year. And/or if you are officially done with school for this year - students can voluntarily assemble in the summer without school and/or coach involvement. In so far as using school uniforms/equipment - if you are done with school and if your school board has approved summertime use of school equipment/uni- forms - then again, yes. See Sr. High Handbook, p. 28, Bylaw Art. III.


5-22-08
Q.: Am I correct that summer league teams cannot resemble the school team?
A.: We continue to more clearly define the school year from the summertime; with the summertime becoming more liberal. In the summer students can voluntarily assemble any way they wish - without school and/or school coach involvement. So yes, they might resemble the schools team. More information is included in the Eligibility Bulletin emailed to everyone recently.


Q.: I have a question regarding summer volleyball league. I am wondering if we can take money out of our high school 60 fund to pay for a summer volleyball league. This is our fund where our money goes from our fall fundraiser. Can we do this or would it be considered a violation?
A.: Once money is placed in school accounts, including fund 60 it is technically, school money. WIAA Bylaws allow member schools to provide resources and funding for their programs and opportunities only during the actual school season and in the five summer unrestricted contact days. If the league you'd like to enter coincides with your five unrestricted days - then, 'yes,' otherwise, 'no.' It is appropriate to clari- fy that if there is non school money - such as a booster club willing to cover entry fees for all interested students - that is acceptable via III-F of the Rules At A Glance.


Q.: When can a girl playing varsity soccer begin to participate with a summer soccer team?
A.: WIAA rules allow a student to practice with a club team anytime (recommend getting approval from school coach if school team is still in-season). A student can take part in nonschool competition as soon as the school team season is complete.


Q.: I am looking for a rule on playing spring baseball for high school and can a player play recreational softball in the city league. Is this OK to do?
A.: See III-D of the Rules At A Glance. WIAA rules do not prohibit this scenario, however, check with your school coach to avoid problems with school and/or team rules. Students can be injured just as easily play- ing rec. softball and be lost to their school team.


Q.: I coach middle school track and have an athlete who competes on our middle school's track team and AAU basketball. He is doing both at the same time. I don't know the details of what the AAU program is about, but he has missed track meets to participate in weekend AAU basketball tournaments. I also understand that there are varsity players and students from other schools who are also participating in AAU basketball while partici- pating in spring WIAA sports. Is there a WIAA rule infraction?
A.: On the surface I can not readily identify a WIAA rule or compliance matter. The member's nonschool competition rule is sport specific, thus if a student is playing club basketball, volleyball, e.g. during the school track or baseball seasons - it does not violate the member's rules. Your message does not contain any detail that would allow us to know whether any amateur status concerns exist or not. Some school boards allow coaches to establish 'team rules' which might set some boundaries and expectations for stu- dents who want to play on the school's team but are not willing to make the complete commitment. See III-D and C of the Rules At A Glance.


Q.: Nike Outdoor Nationals is being held June 19-21 of this year. Three current seniors and a current junior at our school would like to compete in the 4 x 1 mile relay event. I understand that once the seniors graduate they are no longer bound by WIAA rules. What I want to confirm is the participation of the current junior runner. If he runs in the race will that have any effect on his 2008-2009 school year WIAA eligibility?
A.: Once the high school season is complete, taking part in the running in and of itself would present no obvious peril. I am not able to comment on the potential for any amateur status related concerns based only on the information provided. Be certain your junior runner is 100 percentage crystal clear on ama- teur status provisions as outlined in the Rules At A Glance; III-C.


Q.: I am the president of the local club volleyball association. I am writing in response to a report that the WIAA has further refined the rule on participation in off season sports competition. As I understand the new rule, no more three (for volleyball) players from any high school team can be on a single "off season" team. Our club has seven teams consisting of girls from age 9 to 17. Although consisting of girls mainly from the local school dis- trict, we have players from several other communities as well. Our tryouts are open to everyone and no bias is given for our local girls. Yet, we would not be able to comply with this rule. We are not the only sport club that will have great difficulty meeting these parameters and have to stop offering the opportunity to high-school-age athletes. This rule will kill our club. We give opportunities to some girls that may not make a high school team. I do not think it is the intention of the WIAA to remove these opportunities. It is my hope that you will recon- sider this refinement in the rule.
A.: You have received accurate information with regard to club team composition during the school year (kids can voluntarily assemble any way they want in the summer time, without school and coach involve- ment). Certainly the member schools have opportunity to express other perspectives to the Board of Control through any number of opportunities - if they wish to advance other ideas and recommendations. Do keep in mind that the rule would not necessarily need to end club opportunities - though depending on how the opportunities in your area form and function, there might be adjustments needed.


Q.: A parent was looking for ruling on competing in a baseball all-star type program. There is some program try out team in the Milwaukee area that is looking for star players of 18 and under from the state of Wisconsin. My first thought was this a Babe Ruth-type organization, but it is not. I have two junior boys that are interested in trying out, but to me it sounds much like an all-star team – are these legal or illegal in the sport of baseball?
A.: If in fact there is a bona fide open try out, made known and available to any student interested in trying out, then technically it is not an all-star event or an all-star concern. An all-star team is picked based on reputation.


5-1-08
Q.: I have a question that our local Babe Ruth baseball coach asked me. I looked his question up in the Handbook and now I am basically ensuring that I read it correctly. If a freshmen goes out for golf or for track, he can prac- tice with the Babe Ruth baseball team (non-school affiliated) during his high school season. The reason that this can occur is because it is not same sport. A freshmen baseball player could not practice until his season was over. Am I reading this correctly?
A.: Close but not quite. A school track or golf athlete could actually practice and compete in club baseball. (though not recommended by us). The member's rule is a sport specific competition prohibition. In fact, the frosh baseball player who is on the school's team could be allowed to practice with the club baseball team – again, we don't necessarily recommend that, but it's not prohibited should school and coach wish to permit it.


Q.: I have a track athlete who runs the one and two mile races. He is also interested in running marathons to raise money for autism. Is he allowed to do so during the track season?
A.: No. If an event provides a "walking" opportunity – he could enter as a walker. From interests and per- spectives of our members: Running competition is running competition. Student is certainly as easily depleted and/or exposed to risk of injury in marathons or fun runs as in any other running events.


3-28-08
Q.: We (a team I coach) have a U14 Babe Ruth baseball team, playing this summer. We have three young fresh- men (from local high schools) joining our other 8th graders AFTER their high school teams' season finishes. We do not begin playing until May 26, and know that they cannot play with us until their season is over. Questions: Can they practice or play in a scrimmage with us while their school season is still going on, or do they have to wait completely until their season is over? And, can they start playing once their (probably freshman) team is finished, or do they have to wait until after some specific date or end of their schools' varsity season?
A.: WIAA rules do not prohibit a student from 'trying out' in order to earn a spot on a club team – nor are they prohibited from practicing with a club team, while he/she is a member of a school team and 'in- season.' Intra-squad scrimmage is also permitted. May not scrimmage vs. a different team. See attached: III-D (C, E, F & G might also be of benefit for you to be aware of). YES,* they can start playing once their (probably freshman) team is finished, provided the student is not 'moved up' and would continue to com- pete at the JV/varsity level. Otherwise, once the 9th grade season is completed and even though the var- sity season will continue until eliminated from the tournament series, non-varsity students who have met their obligations to their team and school program at a given level – may be allowed to pursue their non- school interests.


Q.: Our club soccer team is planning a soccer trip to Ireland this summer. We are concerned that the team needs to be limited to a certain amount of soccer days or generate a WIAA eligibility problem. The soccer activities will be a mix of games, scrimmages, demonstration games and training activities. Neither my daughter's high school team nor high school coach is involved in this activity. Is there a WIAA high school eligibility issue?
A.: As described here, I am not able to understand this groups' concern. There is a five day limit which schools, school teams and school coaches must be knowledgeable and observant of. However, for a non- school provided opportunity and an assembly of students which isn't able to be seen as a school's team practicing/competing outside the season – by and large may assemble as they wish. The WIAA has no authority to set a limit on the number of days a student might take part in his/her summer club activity. The WIAA rules of eligibility most likely to potentially impact the described activity would be amateur status and delayed reporting provisions. To paraphrase the member's Rules of Eligibility Art. VI; provides that a student who was a member of the school's team in the previous school season may not delay report- ing to the school's team beyond the official start of practice.


Q.: We were wondering if students who have eligibility can bowl in a tournament sponsored by the football boosters and receive cash if they bowl well enough to win. I know bowling is not recognized as a WIAA sport, but does that mean anything if kids have eligibility left.
A.: What ROE Article IV provides is that (paraphrase): A student must be an amateur in ALL WIAA rec- ognized sports in order to be eligible - in ANY WIAA sponsored sports. Thus, since the association does not presently sponsor interscholastic bowling amateur status restrictions do not apply. Same as we do not sponsor lumberjack events, bass fishing, snowmobiling, motocross, BMX or rodeo, e.g., - yet there are a number of school aged student athletes who do right well for themselves in these non-WIAA recognized sporting events and suffer no peril when playing any WIAA offered interscholastic opportunity. Important: On the other hand, however, even though student plays school football, basketball and base- ball e.g., and in golfing with dad or buddy in summer event hits closest to the pin and wins a sleeve of balls, or sandwich at the club house, or a new driver, e.g., BIG PROBLEM/Amateur status violation! Because even though the student does not take part in school golf program our members rule requires amateur adherence in ALL WIAA sports in order to be eligible in ANY WIAA sports.


Q.: I have a player I have been coaching that has the opportunity to play on a national traveling team based out of Florida. To make sure we do not pursue against WIAA rules, can he play WIAA high school baseball and also play on this team over weekends that all occur out of state?
A.: Appreciate you double checking in order to protect the student's school eligibility. Have included a copy of our member's Rules At A Glance. Non School competition is addressed in III-D. WIAA rules would not prevent student from trying out for the club team and practice with them while being a member of the schools team and in-season. If a student competes in non-school baseball while a member of the school's team and in season, the student is ineligible the remainder of the school season.
Q.: Is it OK for a frosh or JV basketball player to play in one of these tournaments after their regular season has been completed, but the varsity is still involved in tournament play (the athletes are not part of the varsity team). A.: Yes. Non-school competition rules and interpretations would not prevent this. Once the student has ful- filled their obligations, as well as your expectations, to their school team, they could be cut loose to pur- sue their non-school interests. Students could still 'practice' with varsity if you choose - but not compete. Best practice is to discourage any of those you might 'move-up' to varsity to not take part in non-school athletics until there is no chance they would enter a tournament game where you had a lead. For the rest, whose frosh and JV seasons are concluded and are not among those who are 'moved up,' there is no need to restrict them.


Q.: Our local basketball club is looking for a team to be put together to play their 17 and under AAU team in a fundraiser event for their club. My question is simple. Can we put together a team of area seniors and underclass women to play in this game? There are absolutely no benefits or gifts to the team we would be assembling. Players would be from different schools and would be coached by a youth coach that has no ties to any of the high school players represented.
A.: Simple answer is yes. Thanks for recognizing amateur status rules of our members. You are absolute- ly on the right track have your club seek to secure volunteers from more then one area school to take part. In doing so you avoid risking an underclassmen's eligibility due to an all-star event violation. FYI: Our members provisions relating to all-star teams is found on p. 28, Bylaws and p. 38-39 Rules of Eligibility – in our Senior High Handbook (you can view the document on line, under wiaainfo/publications).


Q.: I have a question in regard to participation of travel teams. My daughter plays on a state travel ball team and also high school team, her season has now started and I am unsure if she can now participate in their practices. The travel team does not have any high school coaches from her school participating, we have talked to the high school coach and he has no problem with her playing as long as it doesn't violate any WIAA rules or interfere with her high school ball program, but your rules are hard to follow and I would not want my daughter to have problems at her school.
A.: Our members have in their rules of eligibility, a section they informally refer to as 'school loyalty' pro- visions. Article VI of Rules of Eligibility states in part: "It is the philosophy of this association that a stu- dent owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible for the remainder of the season for competing in non-school game, meet or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school." WIAA rules would not prevent a student from trying-out and/or practicing with a club team. We strongly recommend getting approval for that through the school's coach. See Also III-D of the Rules At A Glance.


1-18-08
Q.: The following email was sent to our track & field coach from a community member: "I am planning on hav- ing a benefit/fundraiser to help a student and her family get to the transplant games this summer. I'm thinking of getting the students involved in a walk/run or something like that but it's going to be when school is on, and I know that there are rules for the kids in sports. I'm thinking they would get pledges for the run/walk." The stu- dent they are trying to raise money for is a track & field athlete. I know her intention is to recruit her and her friends from the team to participate. The question that is coming from our coach is "Can they walk and not run?" "Will raising money for this event affect their eligibility?" Although the gesture is admirable and if I am inter- preting the rules correctly, our track & field athletes will not be able to participate. Can you please offer your sage advice in this matter?
A.: Non-school fun runs and other running competitions, as well as events like triathlons, that contain run- ning - that are held during the school year, pose eligibility hazard. Members of the school's track and/or cross country teams may not - run - in those events. If the event has a walking entry - WIAA rules would not prohibit that participation. Our member's do not sponsor race walking.


12-06-07
Q.: This year we have a serious numbers issue for our JV girls basketball program (due to low participation and fewer "athletes" in the frosh/soph class) and have had to adjust philosophy a bit at that level to get some kids to go out. So, we've modified their practice schedule and made some commitment concessions to allow us to honor our conference and tournament commitments at the JV level. With all that said, a couple of the girls want to play in a church basketball league/night in addition to playing for the school. I know that there is a "loyalty" rule that governs this situation...is it possible to get a waiver of that rule in this case? It would only be for the JV girls and only for this special circumstance season. I worry that if I have to cut off that opportunity, that the girls won't play and then we're back in our original situation--with not enough kids to field a JV team. We have only nine girls on the varsity team and two committed JV/varsity girls, so it's not really an option to pull them down to JV.
A.: At present, there is no waiver of the nonschool competition rule — other then the exceptional athlete waiver associated with this section (Article VI) of the member's eligibility rules.


Q.: Our high school girls want to get together on Sundays and play indoor soccer against other schools nearby. Do you know what the rules are regarding this? Our AD here says that open gym can only apply to the people of our community and not to people from other schools. He's also concerned about "one-sport athletes" taking away from other sports. Our soccer coach would not be allowed to take part I understand, but what are the rules about girls playing under parental supervision during the off season?
A.: It appears your AD has given good/sound - as well as accurate advice in all regards. Your AD has pro- vided correct interpretation of the member's rules governing Open Gyms. See II-D of the Rules At A Glance. The member's rules allow students to voluntarily assemble in the summer time without school/coach involvement. During the school year – assembly may not resemble the school's team prac- ticing or competing outside the season.


Q.: I am a high school girls soccer coach. Question: Can club soccer coaches mandate club practice sessions dur- ing the spring HS season? The following statement is from a soccer club coaching director: "Wisconsin players will need to attend the spring training camps. These camps are legal and their high school coaches cannot discourage or penalize them from playing. Doing so would be a violation of the WIAA rules. I will be more than happy to talk to your Wisconsin players and their HS coaches if necessary." I'm aware of the six consecutive days rule, but can I also encourage HS players to just concentrate on the HS season?
A.: The club director is correct in so far as WIAA rules do not prevent a student from practicing with a club team while a member of the school's team and in-season. However - whether the school coach wish- es to permit or not, is up to you/your school. He is not correct in that when a school coach develops and informs players and parents of expectations for school loyalty during the season - that's up to you and would not be seen as a WIAA violation.


Q.: I spoke with you last summer about a homeschool team that I was organizing to compete in high school cross country meets. I have an inquiry from a student that attends a WIAA high school. The student is interested in running cross country, but the high school does not sponsor that sport. Is it acceptable for that student to run with our club team during the cross country season? (My primary concern is whether that affects the student's eligi- bility for other sports, track in particular, at their high school. The student would not be competing or practicing with us during the track season).
A.: Based on your description, I can see no immediate/obvious peril for the WIAA high school student joining your club in the fall. Only friendly reminder, would be to always be watchful for amateur status related land mines. Even in a club environment student may not accept, receive, direct to another cash or merchandise awards for achievement.


10-27-07
Q.: I have a question regarding middle school basketball. Our school is a member of the WIAA for middle school athletics. We are a member of a league and our boys basketball season starts practice in two weeks, with games being played during the months of November and December. I was approached by a parent who would like to have her son, and some other middle school athletes participate in charity three-on-three basketball tournament sometime mid-November. My question is, does participation in a three-on-three tournament constitute partici- pation in a non school sponsored game?
A.: YES. See Rules A/A Glance III-D. Also see Middle Level Handbook, p. 26. Our middle level rules with respect to non-school competition are a little different from the high school level - but still would not allow for participation in a three on three event - while a member of the school team and in-season.


Q.: There is a fun run this weekend. Some of the boys from the JV soccer team at our school planned to run – fundraiser for a charity organization for families of children with cancer. Is there any WIAA rule that would affect their eligibility considering they are not on the cross country team? Does it matter if they will run track in the spring?
A.: WIAA rules would not prevent this. The member's non-school competition prohibition is sport specific III-D of attached. Kids who are currently out for school cross country could not run in this event (though they could enter as walkers). Always be sure the school and coaches is/are aware and not opposed to the student's engaging in activities which may injure or deplete the student. Track athletes could par- ticipate outside of the HS track season.


9-21-07
Q.: A parent asked me a question about eligibility that I couldn't find an answer to. He has a daughter playing varsity tennis. He had hired a coach this summer to work on her game. He was wondering if she can continue going to this coach DURING the tennis season. I really couldn't find where that would be a violation. But just to be safe and sure - can he still hire a coach to work with his daughter during the tennis season?
A.: WIAA rules would not prevent the student from continuing to receive private instruction. See III-D of attached. Having said that, experience shows it is something which ought to be done with school/AD/coach understanding and approval. It is not unusual to see more problems arise by continuing the relationship than good come about, e.g., private coach shows up at match and can't help, but coach pupil (compli- ance/coaching contact problem – plus hurt feelings etc.). Athlete is placed in position of not knowing which coach to 'listen to,' etc.


8-20-07
Q.: My daughter plays high school golf and the girls start practice August 6. We would like to play in a Father- Daughter Championship August 6, which her coach is very supportive of, but I was wondering if there are any WIAA rules that prohibit her from playing during in the tournament the first week of practice. Is she allowed to play?
A.: Our member's rule in this area (Rules of Eligibility, Article VI, Section 1A-2) provide that: A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool competition – once the school's season is underway. There is an exception – as follows: "A student who was a member of the school team in a given sport the previous year may not delay reporting for the school team beyond the school's official opening day of practice in order to continue nonschool training or competition – except in the fall sports of; tennis, golf and swimming, provided the delay does not extend beyond the first inter- scholastic meet." So, possible solutions are; school does not begin the 'school season' until after this event, or your daughter does not report or practice with the school team and begin her school season until after this event (with approval/support of the AD). You will want to review this response with your AD...just to be certain of the school's competition schedule and that if your daughter delayed her reporting for the start of the school's season, she would still be OK.


Q.: Every year for the past five years our sports association has been running a fall high school baseball league. The league starts play in August when school is still out. They play baseball all the way through the end of September. We could play in October on a few Sundays which are reserved for rain make-up dates. I have a few questions. 1) Do we have to use spilt squad format like we did for our spring league? 2) Some teams are NOT going by school names but getting organizations to sponsor them. These teams are still made up of kids that go to the local high school. Can they play like that as a team if they are playing under the banner of a organization instead of the high school?
A.: Given the language our members have in place – with respect to assembling outside the season and resembling a school's team – If I am asked – I will always encourage/advise diversification. It is the only way we can insulate our members.


Q.: I have a question regarding payment for participation in a football passing league. Can we pay for the entry fee through funds that have been raised? The passing league is over a four week period, one time per week. We opened it up to anyone who wishes to participate. We used three contact days in June. I think I know the answer, but want to make sure.
A.: If money is not in a school account, yes. It is viewed as cost associated with 'competition.' If money is in a school account, then no. Outside of the actual school season and unrestricted contact period, school funds may not be used for 'non-school' events/opportunities and programs.


Q.: I have a son who wants to try out for olympic development soccer. The try outs and development program lasts for months. He will play high school soccer; then, he will do high school swimming. Are there any rules prohibiting him from participating on the swim team and, participating in the ODP soccer program?
A.: The answer to your question is no. There are not WIAA restrictions inherent in what you describe.


7-13-07
Q.: My son, a freshman, was playing Little League ball this season starting in May. His high school baseball league just had their first game (summer ball) on May 24 and they play thru July 11. He was told by his high school coach that he couldn't play Little League and high school ball at the same time due to WIAA rules. That part I understand, however his Little League coach said that because he is playing high school summer ball that this rule doesn't apply. From what I read on the web, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I understood it was that he couldn't play the same organized sport during the school year. School end June 15. Would that mean after school lets out on June 15 he can play both leagues at the same time or not?
A.: III-D of the Rules At A Glance indicates; "a student may not engage in non-school competition – dur- ing the school season – in the same respective sport." The school season for summer baseball continues to the State Summer Tournament in late July – even though the school year has ended. Your son is not able to compete in both leagues simultaneously. Your school coach is correct and - will always be a better source for WIAA rules then an non-school coach.


Q.: I am putting together a team from our congregation to participate in a fundraising run. We have a number of high school runners, and I don't know the rules for their participation. They would be part of a team that would raise money for the charity, but they would not be required to raise money to participate. The event will be held Sunday, Oct. 7, in the cross country season. Are there any WIAA rules that prohibit these athletes from taking part in the event?
A.: Rules At A Glance, Article III-D addresses non-school competition - also generally known as the "school loyalty provisions." Simply stated, students who are members of their school's cross country team and if the school team is still in-season, those students could not run in a non-school running event. If the student's school season has concluded Рno problem. If the student’s enter the fundraiser as walkers Рno problem.


Q.: Optimist International annually sponsors a golf competition, with winners at the district level advancing to the international competition in Florida in July. Anyone meeting the age requirements is able to participate. My understanding: If the only participation restriction is based on age, and local advertising is done throughout the community to attract golfers for a local contest, optimist clubs would be able to pay the entry fees for their local winners to participate at the district level, without impacting eligibility. However, if only golfers from the local team are allowed to compete, or attempts are not made to attract non-high school team golfers, any outside com- pensation for advancing to the next level would rule the participant ineligible for the remainder of his or her high school term. The key components are: legitimate attempts are made to attract non-high school golf team mem- bers, participation is voluntary, an elimination event is held (a person is not chosen at random), and the recipi- ent of paid entry fees at the next level (the winner) has the same chance as anyone else to win. If, after all this is done only high school golf team members show up for the elimination event and the team's best golfer wins, there wouldn't be any eligibility problems because the attempts were made. Is this correct?
A.: The plan/understanding you outline would be far and away the 'safest' plan to follow – from the per- spective of removing all possible amateur status concerns – at least in so far as they would apply/be inter- preted with regards to 'access to opportunity.' Part of amateur status 'interpretation' arises from looking at benefits and/or opportunities - and if an athlete has access above/beyond what is available to any/every student the potential for distress/distraction/allegation of violation are allowed a crack to enter. It can get more involved then that...but the statement above is an accurate/honest response.


5-25-07
Q.: Would it be legal for a person who is not affiliated with the school, not a coach of the team, or not related to the coach to pay the entry fee for a team to participate in a summer league? A member of the community has volunteered to pay this for our high school girls team.
A.: This can be accomplished without peril. See III F of Rules At A Glance. Fundamental keys are that opportunity is voluntary and that any student wishing to have entry fees paid, has access to same sup- port/relief. Becomes an 'amateur status' concern only when/if - 'benefit' becomes based on performance, ability/potential, e.g., only 'varsity' level kids get entry fees covered.


Q.: Student is a starter on our girls softball team. Slow pitch softball league is starting. Rule states, "a student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by school." I believe she can play slow pitch during our high school season, because it is not fast pitch. Am I correct?
A.: You are NOT correct. Fast pitch or slow pitch, we consider softball is softball. Student could try-out, earn a roster spot, but can not compete until school season is concluded.


Q.: I coach the boys and girls swim teams at a member high school. I have a question: We are thinking of hav- ing a triathlon this summer after school is out, an optional activity for any members of the boys or girls swim teams who wish to participate. No prizes would be awarded. Does this violate any WIAA rules? I coach some of my high school swimmers on my club team in the summer.
A.: First, such an event is possible to accomplish. It is imperative however to clearly determine - who "WE" is. Who the sponsor/promoter of the opportunity is going to be is significant. If it is to be the 'school district' - then the event must be held as part of/within your five unrestricted contact days - between the end of school and July 31. If this is the delivery system you envision, please be careful, detailed and thor- ough in your discussions and development with district administration with respect to your liability plan for putting together such an event. Obviously, during unrestricted contact days, swim coaches may have coaching contact with your own athletes. If the event is to be sponsored by other then your school, a non- school provider, you will find descriptions/characteristics of "acceptable non-school opportunities" in the Senior High Handbook, Rules of Eligibility, Art. VI, Sect. 2-C, pgs. 37-38. Swim coaches are allowed con- tact with their athletes in the summer above/beyond the unrestricted contact days - in non-school settings. Other tidbits: All out-of-season involvement on the part of students must be voluntary; You might find review of specific sections of Rules At A glance, helpful. I'd recommend: Art. I, Art. II-A and III-C and F. Also review the Summer Contact form. You might also find some of the Eligibility Q/A - on our website, under the Regulations icon to be helpful.
 
Q.: I am a HS baseball coach. Two of my senior players were selected to play in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic this June 29-30. Is it OK for me to help them out with their sponsorship costs by taking ads in the program on behalf of our school?
A.: There isn't so much a concern for this from a WIAA compliance perspective. Student's can be reim- bursed for costs associated with 'competition'...which is what this event is – a contest/a game. See: III-F of Rules At A Glance. Would advise however, being certain you received administrative approval/authoriza- tion for this. Ordinarily, use of school funds should/must be for 'school' needs and programs. This is not a 'school' event. And, even funds in an 'activity account,' which might have been raised by the athletes themselves, are 'school funds.' If your school has used school funds to congratulate, acknowledge the IQ team or the choir (e.g.), you may have some precedent to argue.


Q.: My son is going to be a senior in high school and would like to bowl a few times on a men's bowling league to establish an average (seven weeks) so that he can bowl in tournaments in the spring. I do not think that bowl- ing is a WIAA sport (couldn't find it listed on your website) even though I believe the Wis. High School Bowling Assoc. follows WIAA rules. My question is this: Could he fill in a few weeks on a men's league and still play basketball and baseball as a senior? From your website it appears that he could do this.
A.: You are correct. The WIAA does not sponsor bowling. As a result, it is not a 'problem' either from the member's "non-school competition" prohibition (see IIID of attached), or from an "amateur status" perspective.


5-4-07
Q.: Our son would like to participate in the Crazy Legs Run in Madison on April 28. He is a varsity track ath- lete running 800m events and pole vaulting. Would his participation in this charity event affect his high school varsity eligibility?
A.: If your son entered this event and competed as a runner, it would render him ineligible for the remain- der of this spring track season. If taking part in the charity event is important, he could enter as a walk- er without peril. Reference: III-D of the Rules At A Glance. Also, under Publications icon See: Senior High Handbook, Rules of Eligibility Article VI, Section 1A (approx. p. 37)


Q.: My baseball coach had one of his players ask if he could play softball in a men's league with his dad during the baseball season. I know athletes cannot play the same sport during the season but I wasn't sure about base- ball and softball?


A.: Technically, Yes, the student could, without peril. The prohibition, outlined in ROE, Article VI, is sport specific. Having said that - if/when the parent comes here, I always point out the student can tear an ACL, blow up an ankle, be hurt and lost to the team in rec. ball as they can in baseball and the rest of the team is left dangling. We always recommend that the coaches permission be sought in advance.

(updated 1/3/12)
 
1-3-12
Q: A student was a student at High School A during his freshman year (2009-2010).  He transferred to High School B for his sophomore and junior years.  While at High School A, he participated in basketball and in our football coop with High School C .  During his years at High School B, Isaac played football and ran track.  His family did change residence during his sophomore year.  Isaac's 3 siblings still attend High School A.  The family desires to have Isaac return to High School A for his senior year.  If he returns to High School A, would he be eligible to participate in athletics? In review of the bylaws, we do understand that if eligible in any capacity, it would be at a JV level.  Would there be any consideration for eligibility for our newly formed 8-player football as the WIAA has not fully sanctioned 8-player football for the 2012-2013 school year?  Also, as I have attempted to outline the eligibility guidelines for our families, I am unclear as to the penalty if an ineligible player participates.  Would the school be penalized or just the athlete?


A:When he transferred his 10th grade year to High School B (2010-11), he established eligibility there for 10th grade and 11th grade (2011-12).  Since the change of residence occurred during his 10th grade year while attending High School B and continuing to attend High School B after the move, it does not affect his transfer.  If he transfers after 10th grade, he may only practice and not compete at any level.  


WIAA membership rules and NFHS playing rules are expected to be followed in all WIAA membership recognized sports.  If you offer football, whether 11 player or 8 player, WIAA eligibility rules must be used and he would not have eligibility at any level.  In fact this rule holds true for any sport offered by the membership.  See the Constitution on page 14:  


Article III – Membership 
Section 2 – Admission 
A. Application for membership shall be considered by the Board of Control of this Association upon receipt of the form provided for such purpose of evidence that the school: 
5) Completed WIAA membership application form provided as evidence that the school: 
c. Will conduct its athletic program under the CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS, and RULES OF ELIGIBILITY and all other regulations of this Association. 
 
As far as penalties, the athlete would be ineligible and all contests would have to be forfeited.  A member school deliberately circumventing a membership Constitution, Bylaw, and Eligibility rule could be declared ineligible for the sport tournament (or jamboree in the case of 8 player) up to suspension of membership.  You may find the potential penalties on page 19 or your Handbook.
 
 
 
5-21-10
Q.: I work with the Green Bay Bullfrogs and we are having the Military All-Stars come in to play at our stadium this summer. They are a semi-pro team that plays all over the U.S. My question is: Can we have high school players play against them or will that ruin any eligibility for high school or college.
A.: Thanks for checking with our office. Our member schools have the following rule: A student becomes ineligible in a sport for a maximum of one year from date of last offense for participating in an all-star game or similar activity. 1) An all-star team consists of students chosen on the basis of individual accomplishment or reputation from two or more existing or recently-existing teams. An all-star game is one played between two teams, either of which consists of selected students of two or more existing or recently-existing teams. Note: In individual sports, participation by invitation and with no team affiliation would be exempt from this rule.
 
Q.: We home school our son and daughter. My son would like to play football. He will be in the 8th grade this fall. Why isn't he allowed to play? My taxes support the school system. He can take a placement test to prove his grades are good enough.
A.: The member schools of the WIAA have determined eligibility is limited to full-time students enrolled at a member school. To begin, please keep in mind that the "WIAA" is a voluntary membership of public and non-public schools who have joined together to create and provide programming opportunities for their students. The Association is not designed to provide to a general public like a YMCA or community recreation program. We do not actually have any language which addresses non-students. There has been no interest from our membership. The rules for eligibility, presently adopted/approved by our members simply provide that a member school may only use their own full-time students on interscholastic teams. As an aside and for more complete background, at least one Association advocating for home based education, the Wisconsin Parents Association has advised its members to enroll students in school full-time if athletic eligibility is a priority. There is concern that athletic eligibility would lead to a form of state or local regulation or oversight. In response, what I see emerging in some parts of WI and in the many other states where the rules of eligibility are similar to Wisconsin's are home educating families forming their own athletic associations (see www.SWCHASAINTS.org). This sort of response brings about a climate in sport more in line with some of the reasons a family may have chosen home educating in the first place. As the WIAA is a voluntary, private organization, the member schools can determine the eligibility of the students participating in their programs.
 
Q.: I've been getting different answers from people in our district regarding eligibility. My son will be starting 9th grade at a private high school in the fall. The school does not offer a football program. Would he be eligible to play on our public school boundary team or possibly for another private high school team that has a football program?
A.: The member schools have the basic rule of eligibility stating: "A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership." Therefore, your son will only be eligible at the school he attends. The only option for football is if your school has a co-op agreement with another school.
 
Nonschool Competition/Participation
Q.: Our community is sponsoring a half marathon this spring. I was told by the track coach that, "anyone that is on the high school track team can not participate in your marathon. It is still the high school track season and it would make them ineligible for future participation in high school sports." Is this information accurate or can kids who are in track participate in this charity event?
A.: The member schools of the WIAA have the following rule which addresses your question: It is the philosophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team of which he/she is a member during the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in a nonschool game, meet, or contest - in any manner - in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school (whether registered or not). This applies whether participation is from start to finish or only a portion of the event. The practice of banditing, which is joining a race unofficially, is considered participating. In fact, it is deemed unacceptable behavior and may be a violation of a school's code of conduct. During the track season, this rule applies to all track athletes. During the cross country season, this rule applies to all cross country athletes. Anyone who has completed their season may run with permission of their coach and school administration.
 
Q.: I want to know what limits there are on varsity level kids participating in NAYS spring tourneys. I see lots of them posted and wondered how restricted the kids would be.
A.: The North American Youth Sports tournaments appear to be organized basketball tournaments which teams may enter. When organized during the school year, our member schools have the following rule: "During the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season." No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. Non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. During the summer, students may assemble in any manner they wish.
 
Q.: We have a basketball summer league starting in our area beginning June 1. Our basketball team would like to participate. Does this comply with WIAA rules?
A.: There are two rules which will affect this answer. At the 2010 Annual Meeting, the member schools voted down a common start date of the Friday of Memorial Day by a 204-131 vote. Summertime is defined as the last day of school to the first day of school. 1) If your school is in session, then the team may not resemble a school team practicing or competing and must be diversified. 2) If school is out of session, then the students may assemble in any manner provided it is voluntary.
 
4-24-10
Q.: I am trying to get some clarification on the number of games my daughter will miss due to a violation she received. I am getting mixed messages. She will miss 25 percent of the number of contests according to our school handbook. I counted 19 dates on the schedule. There are two dates that are invitationals which may require them to play more than one game but are only listed as one date. Would that be one contest or would that be two if they play two games that date?
A.: You appear to have the correct interpretation. When a contest on a date is an invite with multiple teams and games, it will count as one contest. It depends on how the school is counting the date in order to meet the season regulations. In softball, the limitation is 18 contests with two additional dates being designated as multi-games for a total of 20 contests. In your situation it appears that 25 percent of 19 would mean 4.75 or 5 contests. If your school has any invites on the schedule, they count as one.
 
Q.: My 16-year old daughter (sophomore) attends a Catholic school. She wants to play softball with the public school girls team. The coach is agreeable, but the school board won't allow it saying it's against WIAA rules. If my daughter were not attending parochial school, she would be attending the public high school as our home is located in that township. Our parochial school does NOT have it's own softball team. If you have no rule prohibiting her participation, could you let me know by email, and I would pass it on to the public school administration. She is willing to pay the fees and follow the rules the other girls have to follow.
A.: The member schools of the WIAA established eligibility rules for participating in their programs. Eligibility is defined as: A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership. The only option for a student to participate on another school's team would be a co-op. The caveat to the co-op is that both schools must be members of the WIAA. At this time, she would not be able to play with the public school team as she is not a full-time student at that school and there is not a co-op in place.
 
3-15-10
Q.: What is the status of a student who graduates at the end of the first semester their senior year? Would a student be able to continue playing a sport?
A.: Upon graduation, the student is no longer eligible the afternoon of the last day of the semester. The student is not allowed to continue. The only exception is the spring semester. (page 36, Art V, Section 1, Paragraph A, #8, and #9) They may maintain eligibility by remaining a full-time student through June, however. Keep in mind, that they must be a full-time student.
 
Q.: My son attends a charter high school that does not offer track and field. May he participate at another area school, one that is a member of the WIAA?
A.: The member schools of the WIAA have determined eligibility of participants in their programs as follows: A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership. Therefore, students are only eligible at the schools they attend. If a school does not provide that sport, the students may not participate at another school unless a co-op has been formed and approved.
 
Q.: I have a quick question about the eligibility of a home-schooled freshman that lives in the district and would like to play sports at their local high school. What are the actual rules on this subject. Does she need to be enrolled and how many credits would she need to carry?
A.: Our member schools have the following rule: Section 3 – Who may Participate "A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership." Article V – Attendance and Scholarship, Section 1 – Senior High, A. "A student is eligible for interscholastic competition at a member school if he/she is: 1. Carried on the attendance rolls as a duly enrolled full-time student of a public member school for purposes of state equalization aids as a Grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 student in that member school. Note: A full-time student is a student where the member school is responsible for programming 100 percent of the student's school day. The student is eligible for like or similar awards, privileges and services as all other students and meets all obligations and responsibilities as other students, without exception." Therefore, they must be enrolled in a member school full-time.
 
Q.: Can 8th grade students play in high school sports? (c-team, JV, varsity) If so, could a student in 8th grade play five years of high school sports or is there a number of years he/she could play?
A.: A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership. Therefore, an 8th grader is not eligible at a school which has a 9-12 enrollment. Rules further state: A school may not allow its students in Grades 9, 10, 11 and/or 12 to compete against another member school's students in Grade 8 and/or below. In addition, a student is ineligible after attending eight semesters or 12 trimesters while enrolled in Grades 9-12. A student must complete eligibility in
the four consecutive years starting with Grade 9 and the three consecutive years starting with Grade 10, unless there are documented extenuating circumstances.
 
2-5-10
Q.: My son has played 11 years of hockey in the neighboring town's program. He will be in his freshman year at our district high school next year and there is no hockey program there. He would like to go to school in our resident district and play high school hockey. We have talked with our AD and he has talked with the AD from our neighboring district. The other district's AD felt that a co-op was not an option. We were hoping that there
might still be something we could do.
A.: Students are eligible at schools in which they are full-time students. If your school does not offer hockey, the only option would be a co-op with a school which agrees to do so.
 
Q.: I am trying to locate the rule that athletes are able to participate in two sports during a season. Where can I find that information?
A.: The WIAA member schools do not have a rule limiting the number of sports which are recognized by the members during the sport season. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school.
 
Q.: I was wondering, what are the requirements for a student that is being home schooled? Are they allowed to participate in sport programs offered through the local public school? Through a private school?
A.: The member schools of the WIAA have declared eligible athletes with the following rule: A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership. (Rules of Eligibility, Art I, Sect 3, Para A). Based on this rule, a home-schooled child would not be eligible since they are not full-time student at a member school.
 
1-15-10
Q.: My son will be a senior next year at a private high school. We are wondering if there is way for him to play volleyball at the local public high school without transferring. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
A.: The best source of information is your local athletic director as our priority is serving the schools which make up our membership. Our fundamental rule is that a student is only eligible at the school which they are full-time students. Therefore, a student may not participate on interscholastic teams at another school. The only opportunity would be if the two schools formed a cooperative team provided there is mutual agreement by their boards and the application process is followed and completed by the stated
deadlines. I suggest a conversation with your athletic director.
 
Q.: My son is considering applying for full-time open enrollment at a virtual public high school in the same school district as the Virtual Academy?
A.: Our membership rule states: A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with WIAA membership. Therefore, his eligibility would be at the Virtual Academy. You should contact the district high school to determine their policy on virtual students participating in their athletic programs.
 
Q.: What is the definition of a full-time student? How many hours a week do they need to be in school per week to be full-time?
A.: A full-time student definition can be found on page 35 of the Senior High Handbook: A full-time student is a student where the member school is responsible for programming 100 percent of the student's school day. The student is eligible for like or similar awards, privileges and services as all other students and meets all obligations and responsibilities as other students, without exception. Your local Board of Education probably has defined in policy a full-time student which is reported to the DPI for full financial reimbursement.
 
12-18-09
Q.: I am writing in regards to a rule of yours prohibiting home school students from competing on school teams. On what grounds was the decision made, and why must I pay taxes to support a school that won't let my child participate in sports but can for any other school activity?
A.: There are numbers of reasons an organization of schools might have the rules as they do. The rationale for a rule typically has a uniformity/conformity basis. Student athletes in member schools have to meet a number of conditions to be eligible, including residency requirements, age and consecutive semester
restrictions, amateur status stipulations, regularly maintained attendance, conduct conformity, satisfactory academic standing and physical fitness. Each school has the institutional responsibility for compliance with the rules of their membership, and in the absence of any other authority for state or local officials to regulate home-based education programs here in Wisconsin, athletic eligibility is not granted to anyone other than students enrolled full time at a member school. Lastly, keep in mind that paying taxes is not an eligibility requirement. There are likely a considerable number of full-time students at member schools whose families pay little or no taxes, yet the children are eligible. Though you and I pay taxes, we are not
eligible, nor can we borrow the city/county snow removal equipment as we might wish. None of us are afforded equal access to all of those things which taxes provide. At times, there are appropriate prerequisites. Tax dollars do afford access to a free appropriate public education. To this point in time participation in school sports/extracurriculars are not seen as compulsory, rather as a privilege.
 
Q.: I have a question on age eligibility for spring baseball...am I understanding that if the child turns 19 before Aug. 1, 2009 he is not eligible for play in the 2009-2010 season? And if he turns 19 before Aug. 2010 he is still eligible to play the 2009-2010 season.
A.: Our membership rules state that an athlete is ineligible if he/she reaches his/her 19th birthday before August 1 of any given school year. Therefore, if the 19th birthday is after August 1, they would be eligible.
 
Q.: We have a student swimmer who will graduate at the semester. If the semester ends on Jan. 22, 2010 but official grade transcripts that determine if the student has graduated will not be complete for another week, is the student eligible to compete on Jan. 23? I'm guessing the answer is no but would like your clarification.
A.: When he walks out the door on January 22, his swim career would be completed and he could not swim on January 23.
 
10-27-09
Q.: We have two home-schooled students in our district who have approached us about playing basketball here at our school. I have looked in the Season Regulations book and could not find anything to let me know if this was legal or not. Please let me know if these kids would be able to participate.
A.: Our membership rules state that only full-time students are allowed to participate. Therefore, if a home-school student is not full-time by your board of education standards, they are not eligible for athletics. The definition would be on page 32 of the Handbook. Rules of Eligibility Art II, sect 1 A.
 
Q.: My son is currently a 9th grader at a WIAA member school and on the JV football team. He was home-schooled prior to enrolling at the high school this year. My question is: Can he participate in the football pro-
gram if he is removed from the high school?
A.: Our membership rules state a student who is a full-time student, whether an adult or not, is eligible for interscholastic competition only at the school within whose attendance boundaries his/her parents reside, within a given school district with additional provisions. If a student leaves the enrollment rolls of a school for home schooling, the student is no longer eligible for competition on the school's interscholastic athletic teams.
 
Q.: Is a student who graduates after the 1st semester eligible to participate in spring athletics?
A.: Our membership rules do not allow a student to participate after graduation. If a student wishes to continue taking courses to remain in school, they may participate, but must meet full-time student status. An exception is summer baseball if the student graduates in the spring.
 
Q.: I notice that a lot of varsity football teams are using soccer players as their kickers. How are players allowed to participate in two varsity sports at the same time?
A.: Our membership rules do not limit the amount of sports an athlete may participate in during the season. Many times you will see athletes participating in football and soccer or in track and softball.
 
Q.: I have some questions for you regarding rules for virtual school high school students. I have a daughter who will be a freshman next year. She is interested in virtual schooling, as well as participating in track and cross
country. How does it work if she is enrolled in a virtual school in Kiel or Waukesha? Does that become her home school district? When I read the WIAA guidelines, it sounded like a virtual student would be able to participate with the approval of the athletic director. Is that correct?
A.: Our membership rules allow full-time students at member schools who reside with their parents to participate in athletics at the school they are enrolled. If a student is enrolled at a virtual school full-time,
then they are eligible at the virtual school. If the virtual school is located in the student's hometown, then she is eligible at the hometown school. If the virtual school is located in another town, then she is eligible at the school where the virtual school is located and it would become that school. A student enrolled full-time at a school and taking virtual school courses part-time is eligible at the school she is a full-time student. Waivers may only be given by the WIAA Board of Control.
 
9-18-09
Q.: Why isn't a volleyball tournament held on a Saturday, which team is required to play in, counted as a "day" the player is suspended due to academic ineligibility? If it doesn't count because it is not a school day, then why can't the player compete? Athletic code does not say a thing about weekend play, just school day.
A.: There are two parts to this answer: Sports are limited to a maximum number of contests. In volleyball, the regular sport season has a maximum of 15 contests with the possibility of seven multi-school contests counted as part of the 15 total. Academic and code of conduct violations are calculated based on 15 scheduled school days during the school year and 21 consecutive calendar days from the first available game day or one third the number of contests as a maximum during the fall when the season begins before the school year begins. If a school counts a multi-school contest as one of the 15 contests, then that contest in its entirety must count as one.
 
Q.: Is there any rule that a player sits out the whole game or plays 45 seconds of a game while other students play the whole game. 10th grade football.
A.: Playing time is determined by the coaches and schools. The WIAA has player limitations on the number of contests a player may participate.
 
Q.: I was wondering, is my son able to play football for our middle school if he is being home schooled but living in the district limits? I would hope so because he was a student of the district in the past but because of bullying we had to pull him out for his own safety.
A.: No. We have several rules which govern our member schools. If your school is a member of the WIAA at the junior high level. A student is eligible for interscholastic competition at a junior high/middle level, if he/she is carried on the attendance rolls (for purpose of state equalization aids) as a full-time Grade 6, 7, or 8 student in that member school. (MS ROE, I-3-A)
Q.: I have a student that will qualify for early graduation on January 29 and wants to wrestle. Will he be eligble to finish out the season?
A.: A student does not have eligibility upon early graduation. (ROE V-8) The only exception is for a student who graduates in May or June retains eligibility for (a) any portion of a spring athletic schedule not
completed by the end of the academic year and (b) the school's summer athletic schedule. Keep in mind, if a student chooses to remain in school to compete after early graduation, they must still satisfy the requirements of eligibility: A full-time student residing with their parents in the district.
 
Q.: A local private high school (grades 9-12) has nine girls out for golf this fall. Five will play varsity and four will play JV (one short of a full team). My 7th grade daughter will be attending that high school and currently attends the feeder grade school. Would she be eligible to play JV this year and still play varsity during her four years of high school? Would the answer change if she took a high school math class, which she is qualified aca-
demically to do so?
A.: No. A school may use on its interscholastic teams only its full-time students enrolled in grades affiliated with its WIAA membership. (ROE, Art I, Sect. 3-A)
 
8-21-09
Q.: I was wondering why if a school wants a student from a virtual school or home school to play on it's team why won't the WIAA let them play?
A.: There are numbers of reasons an organization of schools might have the rules as they do. The rationale for rule typically has a uniformity/conformity basis. Student athletes in member schools have to meet a number of conditions to be eligible, including residency requirements, age and consecutive semester restrictions, amateur status stipulations, regularly maintained attendance, conduct conformity, satisfactory academic standing and physical fitness. Each school has the institutional responsibility for compliance with the rules of their membership, and in the absence of any other authority for state or local officials to regulate home-based education programs here in WI., athletic eligibility is not granted to anyone other than students enrolled full-time at a member school. This full-time student requirement was in effect long before home-based education was as popular as it is today. Advocates for athletic eligibility for home-base students have surveyed the membership seeking support for change. There has been no movement by our
members, not even minimum interest, to change the rule to this point in time. But, to answer your question: Can the rule be changed...? Yes, it certainly can. The membership has the authority to change, modify and amend its rules annually by majority vote. Though there has been little expressed interest in support, certainly times and perspectives may change on any topic. As an aside and for more complete background, at least one Association advocating for home based education, The Wisconsin Parents Association has advised it's members to enroll students in school full-time if athletic eligibility is a priority. There is concern that athletic eligibility would lead to a form of state or local regulation or oversight. In response, what I see emerging in some parts of WI and in the many other states where the rules of eligibility are similar to Wisconsin's are home educating families forming their own athletic associations. (see www.SWCHASAINTS.org) This sort of response brings about a climate in sport more in line with some of the reasons a family may have chosen home educating in the first place. A team bus, a practice field or locker room are not in a vacuum. They will reflect all the good and distasteful that one will find in any hallway or classroom.
 
Q.: Are home schoolers allowed to play high school basketball at their district's public school? If not, why not?
A.: Home-schooled children are not allowed to participate in WIAA athletics. The WIAA is made up of  member schools who serve the students enrolled in their respective schools. We have no text of any kind that address anyone other then the students of member schools. Serving this assembly of schools and their students is our reason for existence. (Further background for this rule is as stated in the previous question.)
 
Q.: Just wondering if girls can play in baseball? I'm going to high school this fall and my athletic director says that WIAA says I can't play but another person told me I could - which is correct?
A.: Baseball and softball are not considered comparable sports. Therefore, a girl may try-out and play for a school's baseball team if selected to that team. You may find more question and answers referring to gender equity on the WIAA Web page.
 
5-8-09
Q.: I have a student who is attending a program for his HSGED. Can he participate in track? Full-time student is the status for sports, correct?
A.: A student enrolled in a GED or even GEDO 2 program – might be afforded eligibility. The critical element – is that the student's program meets the requirements to be afforded full-time student status and/or full-time student equivalent. There is not a requirement a student receive a traditional diploma – or be on track for one, in order to be eligible. The requirement is that they must be enrolled as a full-time student, meet academic eligibility requirements, etc. ROE Art. V is reference.
 
Q.: Our son will be entering high school this next fall, and he wants to go to a small private school. They do not offer football for a fall boys sport, only soccer. Can he play football for another school if they are willing?
A.: No. A member school can only use their own, full-time students on their interscholastic athletic teams. Member schools can, with interest and cooperation, form co-op programs with other member schools. Timelines exist. This is a topic for discussion with school administration.
 
4-10-09
Q.: The parents of a local home-school boy have asked our golf coach if their son could practice with our team. They were told that state guidelines would not permit their son to be a participating member of the team. They
understood the rule scenario. They felt that merely being able to be around a team would be a very positive effect on their son. The boy is supposedly very mildly autistic. We know that he has played golf for several years with
the autism in no way affecting his ability to play the game or be part of a group. He is taking one (1) class at our school. We have nine (9) players on our team this season. Allowing this boy to play as our 10th player would
seem only the proper path to follow. All parties would know that his score would not count or in any way affect the outcome of any match. He shoots in the 50s on what would be considered to be tougher than normal high
school course. JV players in our area usually shoot in that range. I know our conference coaches would not object but we felt it proper to run this by you.
A.: If there was any relief that we could offer you, of course we would. Our member's rules provide that you will only use your own full-time students on your interscholastic athletic teams. You may involve
"members of the community" in your practices as you might wish to allow. But in so far as setting asidethe member's rule – neither you or I have the unilateral authority to do that. If the student wishes to golf
for your school team – one solution would be to have him enroll as a full-time student.
 
3-27-09
Q.: I am inquiring about eligibility for a senior student who has finished her coursework for graduation, but will receive her diploma in May with the rest of the senior class. Would the student be eligible for a spring sport? I thought the answer was no, since she will not be in attendance as a full-time student for the next three months.
A.: You are correct. ROE Art. V addresses attendance and scholarship. Bottom line: If student is not enrolled as a full-
time student - meeting all responsibilities and obligations as all other full-time students, she must be considered ineligible.
 
Q.: I have an issue with my Special Education Dept. I have a student that has been suspended for multiple code violations and now the Special Ed Dept. has now updated her IEP and put a Behavior Improvement Plan into her IEP and is using athletics as an incentive to be good. But with her suspension and code violations she is suspended for a full calender year and 175 percent of her upcoming seasons because of all the violations of the athletic code. Can you clarify in writing that can not be done?
A.: The reasonable accommodation in this instance might require you to spend some personal time with the student to be certain she comprehends it. There is no way we would be supportive of multiple, or differentiated participation codes. A different behavioral standard, different expectations for different students, in order to access the privilege of extra curricular athletics would in our opinion lead to chaos. There are countless numbers of opportunities that can be identified within an IEP to provide a structured/social growth experience for students. It does not need to be school sports.
 
12-12-08
Q.: What does the WIAA define as a "full-time student"?
A.: See Sr. High Handbook, p.35 Art. V, Sect. 1A-note. Since there is broad diversity across our 500+ member schools and how their local Boards identify full-time student status, e.g., four period blocks, six, seven or eight periods (more) traditional schedule based determination, some go by semester credits, etc. The WIAA's "definition" of a full-time student must come from a broader perspective. In our member's Senior High Handbook, p. 35 Rules of Eligibility Art.V, Sect.1A-note, provides: "A full-time student is a student where the member school is responsible for programming 100 percent of the student's school day. The student is eligible for like or similar awards, privileges and services as all other students and meets all obligations and responsibilities as other students, without exception." From another perspective then, a full time student – could be – class president, prom king, homecoming queen, class speaker – or even, valedictorian and grand scholarship winner. Instruction is provided or paid for by the school. Course work is
counted towards GPA/class rank, graduation, honors, e.g.
 
Q.: I have a student who went to school A last year as a freshman, did not play any sports and has transferred to school B. Due to credit deficiencies, this student is a freshman again this year at school B. Does he lose a year
of athletic eligibility or is there a process to allow him four years of athletic eligibility?
A.: Review ROE Art. V, p. 35. Students have up to four years/eight consecutive semesters of potential HS eligibility. Based on your description, student will be ineligible his fifth year of HS unless a consecutive semester waiver is sought/provided. That process should occur just prior to the student beginning his fifth year.
 
Q.: Before hockey began, I had a 9th grade player email me and ask my opinion to whether she should play high school hockey or play WAHA U-14 level girls hockey. Because the school team had a returning 11th grade goal tender and another 11th grader who showed interest in the back-up position, I recommended that she play at the U-14 level. We started high school hockey a week ago today, and the potential back-up goalie has informed me she does not want to play goalie leaving my team with just the one. The U-14 player has already begun the U-14 season and has already played two games. Is it to late to invite the U-14 player to the high school team? If so, do I need WIAA approval to do so?
A.: WIAA provisions require students who were a part of the team last season may not delay reporting "this" season and must be present on day one of practice. As you describe this situation, with student being a 9th grader, we see no reason she couldn't come out for the school team at this point in time. Obviously, once she reports to the school team she can no longer continue competition with the club team until the school season's over.
 
Q.: We have a student who wants to attend the local technical college and begin work on his HSED. He will still be considered a student of our HS but will be taking classes at the tech school. Will he be eligible to play ath-
letics at our high school?
A.: So long as student is still enrolled as a full-time student and/or full-time equivalent with your school, it is possible for him to be eligible. A word of caution; be sure you have immediate access to his grades. There are times when the local college campus' grading periods are different from your high schools. If the student becomes academically ineligible but is allowed to compete due to you not receiving his col- lege/vocational tech grades - the events he takes part in as an academically ineligible athlete would be forfeit.
 
9-19-08
Q.: My question is dealing with academic eligibility, and one "F." I have read that for students to be eligible they must have no more then one failing grade. In our code we have added that one "F" means one contest. I under- stand this, but am confused on the fall. If they are ineligible for the WIAA, I believe they need to sit 21 calendar days. But that is for more than one "F." Then, by our rule they still need to sit one contest, but do they also
have to sit the 21 days? They do not sit the time during the school year.
A.: Answer to your question is - "no". When a school's rule, more strict than the WIAA's, has made the student academically ineligible, the school may also determine when/how the student returns to play. It was your rule that made the student ineligible, not the WIAA's. A mistake that some school's who have a "no F" policy make, is that they fail to understand that when/if a student has more then one F, then the period of suspension may not be less than the WIAA's required 21 calendar days in the summer and fall and the 15 scheduled school days during the school year - and as a result may return a student sooner than is permitted thinking their policy is more strict then WIAA's. While it may be more strict for one F, a school may not be less restrictive in situations involving more than one F.
 
Q.: We have a question for you on the fall academic eligibility timetable. I know it says if athletes fail to meet the standard in the spring of the year, they have to sit 21 calendar days from the first allowable date of compe-
tition or 1/3 of their season, whichever is less. My question then, is how do you count multi-team events, such as a tennis quad on a Saturday? Does that count as one meet or three meets? Same with a volleyball quad or a
soccer tournament with more then one game on a day.
A.: To determine what a date "counts" you simply consider whether the "date" counts for one or three of your maximum allowed schedule. If the event is counted as three individual events in your season max, it counts for three in your academic ineligibility suspension. If the event is "ONE" within your allowed maximums – even if you played six games, it still only counts as ONE in satisfying the academic ineligibility requirement. The same application holds true for satisfying code of conduct suspensions, too.
 
Q.: Last spring, a long term substitute teacher did not follow the students IEP and didn't use the EEN grading scale that has been approved by our school board. This student was made ineligible to start the football season
due to a failing grade in this class for the fourth quarter. Our special education teacher investigated his grades this fall when school started and discovered the error in his grades. Following the EEN scale and IEP his grade is a passing grade. Our superintendent, principal and special education teacher met and discussed this situation and determined him to be eligible. I'm just double checking with the WIAA to be sure that he is, therefore, eli- gible to participate immediately.
A.: If school administration has determined an error has been made in student grades/grading and corrects it in a manner based on established policy; one which is transparent and is known and available for relief to any/all students in same situation – the WIAA would view that as appropriate administrative action.
 
Q.: Can an 8th grader in our district run CC at the high school level? My look through the Handbook didn't give me much to go on.
A.: No. An 8th grader cannot compete at 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade level..not frosh, JV, varsity or reserves. Allowing middle school students from w/in your district (in multi-school districts it ought to be from your "feeder" school) to practice with your HS team has not been considered a violation. Keep in mind, there are always "rippling-out effects" of this consideration/decision. It will eventually impact
across all sport programs...it will impact upon parents and kids who are already in HS (who will feel the "writing's on the wall" for their child) and it will affect the parents of the middle schoolers who do not
have the "same chance" as the most talented - those who get invited to attend.
 
Q.: I see a new form called HS athletic eligibility information bulletin form on the Web site. Is it required to get parents/students signature on this form, or is it optional?
A.: Yes - see the 08-09 Sr. High Handbook, p. 39, Rules of Eligibility, Art. VII, Sect.1A. Parents signature indicating they have received the WIAA rules of eligibility each year is now required.
 
Q.: This summer we added to our athletic code the WIAA's rules for eligibility. This includes age, academics, attendance, transfers, amateur status and so on. It is about four pages in length. We now require the parents to sign our code specifying specifically that they have read and understand the information in the document. I have been under the impression that NO athlete may participate and be eligible for practice until this is signed. We have it stated like this in our athletic code: "This form must be completed and submitted to the athletic director prior to a student being declared eligible to practice and compete." I sent an e-mail to all fall coaches here in our area today reminding them that no athlete may practice until we have this form, physical/alternate year card and
our school's emergency information/medical card on file. I have one coach already concerned about kids sitting because of these restrictive requirements. I explained that this is now WIAA policy that the Rules of Eligibility must be signed before one can practice to eliminate ANY misunderstandings with the rule. I have no problem with it. It may take one season of this and the word will get out really fast. Please clarify whether I have misinterpreted the intentions/rule of the WIAA to my coaches and parents.
A.: You have correctly stated the rule and requirement. Please see 2008 Senior High Handbook, Rules of Eligibility, Art. VII, Sect. 1 A (p. 39). We think it is clearly written. Remind your coaches the WIAA is 517 member schools. Each member gets a vote. At last April's annual meeting (2008) they voted 259 to 50 to approve this requirement.
 
Q.: We have a student that has moved here from out-of-state with his parents. He was a young freshman last year and with the move to Wisconsin the counselors here at our school recommended that he start in the 9th grade. Can you let me know if he is considered a freshman or sophomore?
A.: From an eligibility standpoint, the student will be considered a sophomore. You will want to share with the student and family – Rules of Eligibility, Article V, Sect. 1A-3a and b (p. 35). The student will be ineligible in his 5th year.
 
Q.: Do incoming 9th grade students start out on a "clean slate" with academic eligibility?
A.: Yes – if that is/has been your district's policy in the past. While it is not uncommon to see in many smaller schools/communities – where there may be only one or two middle schools for academic and code of conduct requirements to be carried from 8th to 9th grade - The WIAA does not require that academic and/or code related issues and suspensions be carried over from 8th grade to 9th.
 
Q.: Can home school student compete for their attendance area high school-without any additional issues?
A.: No. Both our middle level and 9-12 members have determined and agreed they can/will only use their own, full-time students on their interscholastic athletic teams. Our association is not a park and rec, or a YMCA - it was not formed to serve a general public; only the full-time students of members.
 
Q: If I'm reading the Handbook right, a student who is academically ineligible in the fall has 21 days from the first competition (not practice) or 1/3 of the season which ever is less, is this correct?
A.: You are correct. Student could be allowed to scrimmage – by our rules – since scrimmage is a day of practice. You may find a matrix on our Web site eligibility page that might help you as well.
 
Q.: We have a former home schooled student enrolling who is out for football as a sophomore. His mother provided the school with ALL of his homework-tests, and he took a MAP test to determine his academic abilities. With all of that information, our counselor came up with a transcript. According to the mother, he has all A's and B's...I can pull the transcript, but the point may be moot if he still needs a school issued report card from fourth quarter. I understand both sides of this issue. I believe in doing what is right, but I understand that there has to be strict guidelines on the issue. Any thoughts, now....with more details?
A.: There really is nothing to dwell on with this one. Student can practice without restriction. He can take part in your schools scrimmage if you have one (scrimmage is practice). You may count any home grades you wish / as you wish - for GPA, class rank, e.g. You could let him become your school's valedictorian if you wish. But, as a result of the rules, which you the members have established, he is academically not eligible to compete in WIAA interscholastic athletic competition until Sept. 18. There is no waiver provision
associated with this membership requirement.
 
Q.: I am the executive director of a small private school in southern Wisconsin. I was wondering what kind of programs are in place for private school students or home school students to be involved with sport programs. Can you send me more information?
A.: The WIAA is a not-for-profit, voluntary membership Association whose sole function is to provide interscholastic athletic competition opportunities for the full-time students at member schools. We have
no provisions which address any children or students - except those at member schools. You might find programs and opportunity for your students through the local recreation department or YMCA. They are providers more conducive for serving a general public. In addition I would encourage you to go to the Web site: Swchasaints.org for a terrific example of what home schooling families can accomplish.
 
Q.: I have a student who wants to do independent study/internet classes along with classes in our regular schedule here at the high school. He wants to play basketball. Is he eligible to do this?
A.: He might be eligible. The fundamental and critical component is that the student must be a full-time student – according to your board's definition, as well as the WIAA's. You may have students who take x classes at your building and then a class at the tech, or perhaps are involved in youth options – again, if they meet the definitions of full-time student they can be afforded eligibility. Since there is broad diversity across our 517 member schools and how their local Boards identify full-time student status, e.g., 4 peri-
od blocks, 6, 7 or 8 period (more) traditional schedule based determination, some go by semester credits, etc. The WIAA's "definition" of a full-time student must come from a broader perspective. In our member's Senior High Handbook, p. 35 Rules of Eligibility, Art.V, Sect.1A-note, provides: "A full-time student is a student where the member school is responsible for programming 100 percent of the student's school day. The student is eligible for like or similar awards, privileges and services as all other students and meets all obligations and responsibilities as other students, without exception." From another perspectivethen, a full-time student could be class president, prom king, homecoming queen, class speaker – or even, valedictorian and grand scholarship winner. Instruction is provided or paid for by the school. Course work is counted towards GPA/class rank, graduation, honors, same as for every other full-time student.
 
Q.: I am looking at the Handbook on page 36 and I have a question based upon Section 2A-3. This is the statement that states, "a student may erase ineligibility status related to the last grade-reporting period of the school
year through summer school courses (including correspondence courses) at the same or some other school, provided; "a. the student successfully completes not less than the same number of courses which caused ineligibility." Am I interpreting this correctly, if a student fails an English class (or any class) and passes any class in the summer, that student automatically regains his/her eligibility at the beginning of the fall season? If a person fails a class, does the summer school class have to be in the same area in order to count to recovery eligibility? If a student fails two courses, they must pass two summer school courses in order for recovery of eligibility?
A.: A student may erase their failing grade(s) by passing the same number of courses in summer school as caused the ineligibility - they do not have to be the same subject(s) as those in which the student received the failing grade(s). If you have a no-F policy and they failed two courses, they must pass two summer school courses. If you have the WIAA 1-F minimum academic policy, then the student is allowed one F and can still be eligible. So they would need to make up one F in the summer to remove the F that made them ineligible.
 
8-15-08
Q.: We will have a 10th grade ED student this fall who will be attending a day treatment facility for most of the 1st semester. We will be counting him on our attendance rolls and will be providing the treatment center with his
educational plan and materials. At the end of his day there is he eligible to come back to school to participate in athletics?
A.: If student is academically eligible, has no code issues and if student is enrolled as a full-time student or full-time student equivalent and courses and grades at facility are counted toward graduation, class rank, etc., then - yes. If not full-time status or equivalent - no. See ROE, Art. V., Sect. 1A-Note - for definition of 'full time.'
 
Q.: I spoke with your assistant about the eligibility of a home school student who will be enrolling in our school as a junior. My understanding of what she said is that she is academically ineligible because she has no grades on record at the DPI. Is that correct? Therefore, she is under academic suspension for the 21 days. Is there a way to get the WIAA to recognize her previous years of home school education or would she be ineligible anyway because she is a junior? Do we have any options here that I am not understanding?
A.: You have been given correct information. If a student is/has been a "true" home schooled student the transfer rule does not apply (was not a full-time student at any school, including on-line schools like IQ
Academy e.g. - if that would be the case, transfer rule would apply). However, for all but entering 9th graders, academic eligibility is an earn as you go proposition. As you know, a student may not have more then one failing grade in their most recent (school issued) report card. A home-school student does not typically receive a school issued report card and as a result is considered not academically eligible - until the 21 calendar days of the fall ineligibility period are satisfied. Obviously, the school may accept home-school grades and classes for academic placement, even GPA and honors - if you wish. Student can practice. There is not a waiver for academic requirements. There are no options or perspectives that you are missing.
 
Q.: There is a student organization in our school that would like to run a charity co-ed four-on-four volleyball tournament this fall, open to the community. We do a similar three-on-three basketball tournament in April. This tournament would include middle and high school students. My question is this: Should they choose a date during the regular volleyball season, any high school girl that is playing on the high school team would NOT be able to participate in the four-on-four tournament, correct? I just want to make sure that I give the students the right information before they set a date.
A.: If the event is held during the school volleyball season and does not include students from other schools - it is seen as intramurals and girls who are on the schools volleyball team could be allowed to take part. It is when the opportunity is sponsored outside the actual school season - like basketball in April - that students who have status in the school program and remaining eligibility - should not take part in the out-of-season, school sponsored sport competition.
 
Q.: We have a student who age-wise will be a senior. He spent two years here in regular education, started having a lot of academic and behavioral issues the end of his sophomore year. He was classified as an "at risk" stu-
dent and placed in our charter school for the start of his junior year. He played football last year for part of the season, had a four game suspension, served that, came back and played one game and quit the team. His attendance and academic progress in the charter school was very poor. He was enrolled in some on-line course which he did not finish. His grandfather (legal guardian) contacted the school recently and claims his grandson is ready to turn things around and wants to come back to the charter school and, of course, play football. The question is, what eligibility standards apply to "at risk" students? Are they treated like special ed students with IEP's? We are willing to work with this student and grandfather to some extent, but not at the risk of jeopardizing or team.
A.: Unless student has been formally evaluated, special learning needs and services identified and an IEP processed - they are treated as all other students in their school. Remember; a charter school must be an independent and stand alone school - by Federal regulations. Thus, students attending that school - are not full time students at "local high."
 
Q.: We are looking at changing our academic policy for student-athletes possibly next school year. When I was speaking with some members of our board of education they were concerned about students that get in the wrong class and are failing but are working hard and improving but will not be able to pass the class at any time during the quarter. They would like to be able to present some type of "carrot" for these students. Currently after
the 15 days and nights of ineligibility students must be passing all classes each week in order to be eligible by our policy. Would it be allowable under the WIAA rules if we had the following policy for JV and freshmen team
student-athletes: After 15 school days and nights if students were making improvement in their grading percentage each week but were failing no more than two classes they could compete? We would still require varsi-
ty athletes to be passing all classes each week to be eligible once they were ineligible.
A.: The privilege of school sports is an "earn as you go" proposition. Students may not have more then one F, for eligibility (at any/all levels). During the school year if a student has more than one F and then after 15 days and the grade check, they are still failing – they remain ineligible until the standard is met, i.e., passing. There is no waiver or variation in that requirement that I have read, nor have I seen the Board of Control approve anything less.
 
Q.: I have a question regarding eligibility to participate on a public school high school team if the student resides within that high school's district but is enrolled at a non-public school that does not offer the sport she would like to participate in. The high school will not co-op with the non-public school. Under WIAA rules is the student allowed to compete on the public school team?
A.: No. Our member's rules provide that they can only use their own, full-time students on their interscholastic athletic teams.
 
7-18-08
Q.: A couple of questions have arose about the signature form/requirement for students/parents to acknowledge receipt of the school code and WIAA Rules of Eligibility: 1) If a middle school is 6-9, do the all of the kids have
to have the form or just the freshmen? 2) Can the form be signed once for the entire high school career?
A.: At present this is considered a 9-12 requirement. Of course you could choose to use it for your middle schools if you like. As adopted, ROE Art. VII reads in part: "(a) parental permission each school year
including an acknowledgement of receiving the school athletic code and WIAA Rules of Eligibility." (emphasis mine) Given the amount of changes the members have adopted in the Rules of Eligibility in
recent years - and given the text above - I would advise getting signature each/every year. You might consider a way to incorporate parental permission - (from PPE and alternate year cards) code and ROE into a singular, signature form that might work best for you.
 
5-22-08
Q.: We have a senior athlete that is out for track that failed a math course for the third grading period period. I have talked to the teacher and this athlete is still failing that class. The teacher informed me that the athlete does not have the aptitude for taking this advance class. The athlete's father made her stay in the class even though she failed the first semester. She has fulfilled the WIAA's policy of sitting out 15 days since receiving the fail- ing grade. Our code states though that she has to show a passing grade in all of her classes to regain eligibility. Her teacher states that will be impossible, no matter how hard she tries. Being a senior, she is wondering if we can overlook our code as long as she has fulfilled the WIAA standards.
A.: We would need to say 'no' to this question. Schools may establish rules which are more strict then WIAA minimum requirements, with the caveat they must be applied as written. Selective application of
the rule creates havoc and leaves you vulnerable.
 
5-1-08
Q.: I have a young man that has been taking youth option classes at a nearby university all year. He has four classes and the youth options class. Yesterday he stopped in and told us he dropped the third tri-mester calculus class and now only has four classes at the high school. The question is: The second tri-mester physics course ended at the end of March giving him five credits for the year, but he currently has only four classes now in the fourth quarter. Is he ineligible?
A.: What is considered a full-time student academic load for your school? If student is not carrying a full-time class and/or credit load (depending on how your board identifies full-time status) then he is not eli- gible. Your school board policy will initially define what constitutes full-time student status – most typically either in terms of credit hours completed - or in number of hours or classes carried per semester. Students must be enrolled as a full-time student in order to be eligible. Some students are enrolled full-time through youth options and other variety of instructional delivery methods. From the information in your note, I am unable to identify what constitutes full-time load for a student at your school.
 
Q.: I had a question regarding allowing 8th graders to play summer baseball for their high school. If a student in 8th grade plays for their high school freshman team, do they lose a year of eligibility once they are actually in high school? Or would they be allowed to play five years of high school summer baseball?
A.: Our member's rules of eligibility Article I, Section 3 and 4 prohibit the scenario you describe. A student is not eligible for 9th grade summer baseball until the second semester following entry into 9th grade.
 
Q.: Our community is currently running a softball club team in hopes of offering the sport as a WIAA recognized program next spring (2009). So far it has gone very well, but our numbers are a little low with athletes
wanting to continue to compete in a school and WIAA recognized sport (track and field). We have 8th graders practicing in the program as well at this point. If the member school's we are working with recognize the dates
as scrimmages and not games, can we use the 8th graders? Using the 8th grade is helping us to develop this program for future competition.
A.: Though we would never recommend it - schools may allow their 8th graders to practice with their HS teams. Technically - scrimmage is considered to be a day of practice. Having said that, we would discourage our member schools from scrimmaging and competing vs. a club team except when club roster is both age and grade appropriate - and consistent with our member's provisions in this area. To do otherwise clearly leaves a flavor of circumvention rather then compliance as well as a heightened vulnerability for our member school's teams.
 
Q.: Can a foreign exchange student participate in state level competitions and hold school and/or state records? Has this issue been asked before and if so what was the decision and/or discussion on the matter?
A.: The answer to your first question regarding the opportunity to compete and hold records is "yes," at least at the Association level. I cannot speak for the individual school for their own school records. The answer to your second question is also, "Yes." This question was brought before our members as recently as one or two springs ago. This came in the wake of a foreign exchange student winning several events in the Association's State track meet. The question of "should exchange students be allowed to take part in membership tournaments" - was responded to without a moment of hesitation at that time – again, "yes."
 
Q.: Next year, depending on his IEP, we may have a student who will be placed in a residential treatment facility due to his emotional disturbance condition. He will be counted as one of our students for DPI and we will be
paying the cost of this special education service. Will this student be eligible for athletics?
A.: The fundamental question needing to first be determined is whether the student will be have full-time status. Since there is broad diversity across our 500+ member schools and how their local boards identify full-time student status, e.g., four period blocks, six, seven or eight period (more) traditional schedule based determination, some go by semester credits, etc. The WIAA's "definition" of a full-time student must come from a broader perspective. In our member's Senior High Handbook, p. 35 Rules of Eligibility Art. V, Sect. 1A-note, provides: "A full-time student is a student where the member school is responsible for programming 100 percent of the student's school day. The student is eligible for like or similar awards, privileges and services as all other students and meets all obligations and responsibilities as other students, without exception." From another perspective then, a full-time student could be class president, prom
king, homecoming queen, class speaker, and even valedictorian and grand scholarship winner. Instruction is provided or paid for by the school. Course work is counted towards GPA, class rank, graduation, honors, e.g.
 
Q.: I have a quick question about a rule - As a girls basketball school program, we wrote a rule that our varsity girls that were playing club volleyball needed to take time off from the club sport during the start of tournament play for the basketball program. Is this illegal for us to do?
A.: WIAA members may develop rules which are more strict then the Association's. The team rule you have developed would not violate WIAA provisions. For team rules of this nature 'best friendly advice' is to seek/gain "authorization and support" from local school board and administration for rules of this kind.
 
4-11-08
Q.: I have a situation that I think is a no-brainier for the health, stability and well-being of our program, but, as you might imagine, a parent disagrees with my point of view. The situation is as follows: Student A wants to play
baseball this spring and, to his credit, asked if it would be "OK to miss Tuesdays and Thursdays." He wants to play another sport on these days for a club team (hockey). My reaction was to say "no" and explained that the WIAA and baseball program have policies relating to and in place regarding this issue and pointed out the loyalty/allegiance issue involved. I then said, "I guess you'll have to make a choice." The WIAA policy that refer-ences this issue is: Article VI -- Nonschool Participation Section 1 -- In-Season A. "It is the philosophy of this Association that a student owes loyalty and allegiance to the school and team of which he/she is a member dur- ing the season of a given sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in nonschool game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. The penalty may be reduced upon request of a school on the basis of documented extenuating circumstances." Could you please respond and give your view on this? I think I've found a similar Q&A regarding this and am interpreting it properly. Nonetheless, what I feel you'll say is that it is NOT necessarily a violation of WIAA rules for Student A to play on this club hockey team during the WIAA spring baseball season, but a local issue. I, then, can interpret this rule and enforce our program policy as I have: That it would be unfair to other players and a detriment to our baseball program, setting a dangerous precedent, to allow such behavior.
A.: You have accurately interpreted the member's rule in this area. Though the member's would not prohibit a student from playing club hockey during the spring ball season, the concerns you raise and more, from a coaches perspective, are not unreasonable.
 
Q.: I have a question that I tried to research on your web page but did not find the answer. I have a step-son who has been playing hockey in a youth hockey league in a neighboring community. He is going into high school
next year, and the school district we live in does not provide hockey. My question is, can he play for the high school hockey team in the neighboring community without attending school there? He likes the school he is at
and has many friends here, but he wants to continue playing hockey. So can he attend one school and play on a hockey team in another district without actually attending school there?
A.: No – By their rules of eligibility, our member schools have agreed they can only use their own full-time students on their interscholastic teams.
 
3-28-08
Q.: Can a 18-year old, not living at home sign their own alternate year athletic permit card?
A.: No. Our text relating to the privilege of eligibility and as it relates to the physical form/alternate year card and permission to participate specifically requires parent signature.
 
Q.: My son plays sports for his high school. He has been harassed and pressured into playing by the coaching staff. They have told him that if he does not lift weights now that when football season comes he will not be
allowed to play. He is a very good student, he enjoys many sports including football but he feels as a freshman he needs a break. How can coaches make weight lifting mandatory for football season at 6:30 a.m. when it is March? Where is it in the rules that coaches can intimidate kids into playing a specific sport for them? Are coaches allowed push/shove/strike players? Is this normal coaching behavior?
A.: The assertions you raise are significant and if accurate would be in violation of WIAA membership provisions, and we feel our member school's administration would desire to be made aware, immediately.
Please see the Rules At A Glance, Article I and then the last couple sentences of the second paragraph and following statements #1, 2, 3. We believe that language to be quite clear. Your school administration will wish to hear more about the pushing/shoving/striking assertions. Those are going to be local/employee issues. Though we will recommend our member look into this concern, we are also aware that we at times receive skewed or fractured versions of truth. Unless someone is willing to document specific instances and assist the member or us with personal and first-hand insights and substantive facts, we would be hard-pressed to place sanctions on the school or program. If you have not personally sat with your school's coaches and had this conversation with them, I would invite you to do so. If you have a problem you need to begin to address it at the source.
 
Q.: Does a student/athlete that is not a foreign exchange student have to be a Wisconsin resident? If they live in a bordering state and commute to the school (parochial) is this allowed?
A.: Yes. A student attending a private/parochial school – or a student paying tuition to a local/WI public school might still be afforded eligibility. Being a resident of the state is not a requirement. However, in the scenario you give the out of state student would still need to be residing with his/her parents full-time in the family's primary residence.
 
Q.: How long can a student participate? We have a kid who is coming back for a 5th year.
A.: Out of hand, a student coming back for a 5th year is not eligible. Our member's consecutive semester rule i.e, a student has the potential for up to eight consecutive semesters of school sport eligibility is found in the Handbook, ROE Art. V, Sect. 1..p.35 in Attendance and Scholarship. There is a waiver possibility
associated with this rule. At times, a consecutive semester waiver also requires an age waiver. Additionally, if a student has had access to four seasons of a sport - even though the student might have been injured or quit, there is no provision for five seasons of a sport opportunity and there is no waiver of that.
 
Q.: Can a girl in 8th grade next year play on the HS girls hockey team next season as an 8th grader? I think the answer is no to playing and to even trying out.
A.: No. There is no waiver associated with this provision. From a second perspective, practice will be your call. While taking time and turns away from students already in high school would never be recommended here, WIAA rules do not prevent middle level students in your district from practicing with the high school team if that's what your administration approves of. Because of ramifications across all your schools programs, this ought to be an administrative determination, not a coaches prerogative. I would presume this to be an opportunity your district would make available to all the district's middle level students with the same circumstances and interest in such an opportunity.
 
Q.: I am wondering if the WIAA has any rules or regulations regarding students who open enroll to another school district and then want to participate in WIAA sanctioned sports in their home district.
A.: Article I in our members Rules of Eligibility provides that a member school may only use their own, full-time students on their interscholastic athletic teams. In the scenario you describe and presuming student had open enrolled at school B and was enrolled there as a full-time student, he would be ineligible back at school "A." Need to also 'caution' that depending on the grade the student is presently in, the transfer rule would also potentially have effect on eligibility and this interpretation.
 
Q.: In the eligibility code, a student that becomes ineligible for a grading period remains ineligible until the 16th school day. I understand that. We have had two snow days in this time. Do those count as days or do I need to move the date of return back two more days? Finally, if that is the case, this student would not regain eligibility until Wednesday, February 20 (boys basketball tournament had started) would he be eligible after or now ineli-
gible for the tournament? I am hoping that the snow days count and he is eligible the 18th, but I am just making sure.
A.: You can count all scheduled instructional days, including those shortened or canceled due to weather. In addition, students who are academically ineligible at the time their team begins tournament competition may rejoin the team when they regain eligibility if the team is still involved in the tournament series. The prohibition against rejoining the team after the tournament series has begun pertains to code of conduct situations.
 
Q.: 1) We have a student who is enrolled in a GED option two program that we offer in our district. The student attends night class in our building for three hours a day and will receive a high school diploma. Is the student
eligible to participate in baseball at the varsity level? 2) We also have a student who will be attending the tech school full-time in the fall through youth options. Will he be eligible to participate in football at the varsity level?
A.: 1) The GEDO2 program has been identified to us by the DPI as viable for identifying a students eligibility prospects. Our understanding is that GEDO2 candidates are considered full-time students and must in fact be/carry such status in order to be eligible for the program. Given this understanding and so long
as student meets all other eligibility requirements, we see no reason he should be denied or restricted in his eligibility. 2) Again, yes. So long as student is enrolled as – and meets your district's definition for full-time student status (or equivalent) Youth Options is a recognized instructional delivery program which generally and most times, satisfies full-time student eligibility requirements. Student must satisfy all other eligibility requirements. Friendly word of caution: Other members have experienced forfeits as a result of
different grading periods, failing grades at college or tech and delayed reporting back to member school. Thus, allowing academically ineligible player to compete.
 
1-18-08
Q.: We have a student on our boy's hockey team that is a senior and will be graduating after the first semester. (He is graduating early) The final day for the 1st semester is Friday, January 18. Second semester begins on Monday, January 21. We have a scheduled hockey game on Saturday, January 19. Is he eligible to play in the game on the 19th as the 2nd semester has not begun yet ?
A.: The succinct answer is that when school/semester ends Friday – this student is no longer eligible. He will have completed requirements for graduation and is no longer enrolled – or returning/continuing - as your full-time student. The only 'exception' to this fundamental requirement our members have identified
– allows students who graduate in May or June to complete the remainder of their spring sport season. Ref: WIAA Rules of Eligibility, Art. V, Sect. 1A-8 and 1A-9. (p. 35, Sr. High Handbook)
 
Q.: A student that is academically ineligible for a winter sport (the student has been practicing and meeting all team requirements) commits a Code of Conduct violation. Our Code does not have specific language, but my
question is this: Does the student begin serving the penalty when they become academically eligible or does it begin now? I believe the answer is when they become academically eligible, but wanted to check.
A.: This will be your call and interpretation based on your code and any past precedent (or future interpretation). There is not an 'Association' prescription. Generally speaking, what we observe is that among more experienced AD's and those who have applied some level of thoughtful deconstruction of the matter - the code will be served only when the student would become otherwise 'eligible' to compete. There are also those with more and less experience who consider an academic suspension, then the 'tacking' on of a code suspension later, after already missing XX games, a sense of 'double jeopardy' and do allow the suspensions to be served, concomitantly. In my opinion - that is a poor application of the term. Student is not
being penalized twice for the same offense. Obviously, the student, parents and at times, the coach - far prefer the interpretation that affords quickest return. That path may or may not reconcile with you and/or your district's aims and purpose of your sport opportunities as well as the expectations inherent in your code for academic achievement and appropriate behavior as the keys to accessing the privilege of school/education based sport opportunities.
 
Q.: If a student attends a tech. college adult HS through ACT 39, during semester two of this school year, but we, as the regulations state, keep him on our rolls as being his home school, is he eligible to participate in spring sports (specifically baseball)? The district contact person at the tech. adult HS has told me "yes" if he is considered a full-time student, but our activities director has told me "no" and gave me a copy of the WIAA Official
HS Handbook to research the answer. I chose to email you since I found this email address in the Handbook. Would you please clear this up for me since I have a student asking me this question and I am getting conflict-
ing answers?
A.: The simple answer to your question is "YES - potentially." The two areas within the rules of eligibility relating to this: Senior High Handbook, Rules Of Eligibility, Art. I, Sect. 3 [Paraphrase] 'Members
may/will only use their own, full-time students on interscholastic athletic teams.' Also: ROE, Art. V, Sect. 1A-note (p. 35) [Paraphrase] also see p. 36, Section 2A-5a and note. Be 100 percent sure the programmingwill be clearly identifiable as full-time status..conforms with your district's published definition of 'full- time student and/or FTS equivalent' AND that the student thus enrolled will have grades counted toward GPA/class rank, credits count for graduation, the student would/could still be elected prom king/queen, class president, VALEDICTORIAN and grand scholarship winner. When your AD is comfortable with being able to show/defend/explain that the student's instructional program conforms with the above – the AD may determine the student to be 'good to go.' (If you are reviewing the ROE text, see also Art. I, Sect. 1 and 2).
 
Q.: Can a girl play baseball? We sponsor softball in the spring and baseball in the summer. We have a freshman girl that runs cross country, plays basketball, and runs track. She can't play softball because she will run track in the spring. She wants to play baseball in the summer. Can she?
A.: "YES" - from our gender equity Q/A on our website. Question: Why are softball and baseball not considered comparable sports for girls and boys, respectively? Answer: The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled in favor of the plaintiff (the female student seeking opportunity) on this issue. The court noted from the record in this case that the "games of baseball and softball are not substantially equivalent" and distinguished the "superficial similarity" between the games by citing differences, including equipment, skill levels, and dimensions of the playing surface. The court concluded with the assertion that it was dealing with the
case in which an opportunity is given to try out for the team. Whether particular sports are comparable depends upon the characteristics of the sports being compared. WIAA rules would not prevent student from playing softball and running track at same time..and then playing baseball in summer.
 
12-21-07
Q.: If our high school has a foreign exchange student in our school, and they meet all of our school's requirements for participating in our WIAA sponsored athletic programs, is there any reason why they can't be a play-
er on a varsity team? Some of our coaches believe that they're only eligible to play at the JV level. I believe that they should be eligible for varsity competition, but there seems to be some discrepancy among some of our
coaches whether or not this is true - please help to clarify this.
A.: This topic is thoroughly addressed on p. 33 of the Handbook. Rules of Eligibility, Art. II, Sect. 4. The form is available on our website (download a current one each year). Complete and mail or fax. WIAA will determine status based upon the information contained in the application.
 
Q.: I have a high school student that has just returned to school and is on a modified schedule which means he is here from 8:00-11:30. My question is the students need to be here the entire day of a game and the day after-
so is he in fact eligible to participate?
A.: The daily attendance requirement is your rule - you will need to interpret and reconcile such a circumstance within your policy. The WIAA, however, does require a student be enrolled as a full-time stu-
dent...and meet all expectations as every other fulltime student - without exceptions (see Handbook, p. 35 Art. V, Section 1A- NOTE). If there is some circumstance that prohibits this student from being treated as / held accountable as every other full-time student, perhaps we should discuss.
 
Q.: We have a student who is a fourth year student yet is considered a freshman due to credit deficiency. This student has an IEP and is enrolled as a full-time student. During the first quarter the student had poor attendance and multiple failing grades. There was an IEP which created a schedule change on 10/29 and 10/30 to assign this student community-based classes, including a job. The first quarter ended on 11/7. The current report card lists grades as CP (continuing progress) which is a passing mark. We see some potential issues with this scenario and
would like to try to clear them up sooner rather than later.
A.: On one level you might say that so long as student is enrolled as full-time student and is meeting the academic standard - they may be considered eligible. And it is permissible for an IEP to prescribe non-
traditional grades. This circumstance may not be as simple as that. You have a fourth year freshman (who does not appear interested in coming to school). So, an IEP prescribes 'community based courses' seeking to make student eligible? Your note and description raise countless questions. Not knowing your district's policy and SOP in this regard, best I can do is point out what some of the obvious questions/concerns might be and encourage you to be thorough in exploring. You will want to be bullet proof. This is bound to raise
eyebrows and call into question the district's credibility/integrity. It will bring close scrutiny from within your own district, instructional community, as well as within your conference and region. Has this student ever/already had an IEP? Why the change in, or to an IEP now? The potential elements inherent in what you describe certainly sound different then/more than standard operating policy/procedure. What happened to the original course grades? Was student able to withdraw from those courses without any trace or record? When? Is that normal and according to district policy/procedure? I would advise extreme caution/thoroughness in this review. If in this action the result is in effect, allowing for other students would be recorded as failures, to 'have classes or grades disappear' ought to be questioned. Has the redesign of the IEP as well as the timing of it been done in complete accordance with district policy for such matters - as well as failing grades being changed to 'progress', if that's what's occurred? As I expressed in our phone conversation, that the district is concerned for eligibility for a fourth year freshman who didn't come to school much first quarter, is really puzzling. To an outsider it would appear that for this student sports does not appear to be the 'dangling carrot' as it is for some. Be sure you are able to defend within your policy any/all actions taken in this regard. The expectations will be that these will be steps and service, processes and procedures identical to those which would be known and provided and available to each and every other district student.
 
12-06-07
Q.: I was just curious about a girl wanting to play middle school basketball. She lives in our community, but goes to school at a small private school in a nearby community that does not offer middle school basketball. Is
she OK to play on our public school team?
A.: Out of hand – answer's "no." As a member at the middle level, you are only able to use your own full-time students. There is opportunity to co-op – outlined on p. 24 Art. I Sect. 3-B in Middle Level Handbook.
 
Q.: We have a down syndrome student who is 20-years old in special ed. Has participated with Special Olympics in basketball. Is he eligible to participate and actually play because of his age?
A.: Special Olympics will continue to be this student's best opportunity. Board of Control has never approved 20-year old to begin a new sport season.
 
Q.: I have a question regarding "off-season" program requirements. Our high school has had a very hard time competing in football over the last several seasons. Last year, at the season ending banquet, he pronounced that the off-season weight lifting program was mandatory for any player not actively participating in another sport. For example, baseball players would need to lift during the winter, basketball players during the spring and sum-
mer, etc. I thought at the time that he was just frustrated and trying to "scare" players into being more dedicated. This last fall it was widely publicized that this coach kicked several players off the team for poor attendance in the weight room during the off-season. Is this legal by rule? I also would like to know if there is a maximum number of hours that a team can practice per day/week?
A.: Simple answer to your essential question is – "no" – out-of-season programs may not be mandated.
 
Q.: My son is in 9th grade and is classified as "LD" and has an IEP in place. He plays hockey and has problems with his grades. Is there anything in WIAA rules that would help him play hockey because of his learning dis-
ability?
A.: Schools may choose to make a variety of modifications to assist students with identified learning needs- this may include nontraditional grading such as "Pass-Fail". However, when it comes to receiving not more then one failing grade - or whatever your school requires (some schools adhere to a no-F policy) there
is not a waiver of that requirement.
 
Q.: I have the application for eligibility of a foreign student ready to fill out. I have a freshman from South Korea who is not here through a CSIET approved program. He would like to play freshman or JV basketball if he is
good enough. At this point he plans to stay in America for all four of his high school years, and I presume at our school. I remember you saying once that a foreign student only gets one year of eligibility. What do you advise with this situation?
A.: Fill out the foreign student eligibility form. Though this is not really an exchange student situation, we use this from to keep track of international students, too. Essentially, this student does not meet "residence requirements." As such, the student (foreign or domestic) will be restricted in eligibility to non-varsity – for the school year. But, if enrollment remains unbroken at your school, restrictions are removed in 2nd and subsequent years. Related text in HB, p. 33 Art. II, Sect. 2B and then see p. 34, Sect.5-A-1.
 
10-27-07
Q.: I am writing to check to see if a student that is enrolled in our GED Option 2 program would be eligible to participate in athletics here also. The athlete is considered to be a senior and full-time student.
A.: Potentially - yes. We are familiar with GEDO2. Fundamental question is to be certain that this student's full-time status and/or full-time equivalent meet requirements as contained in "note" p. 35. ROE
Art.V Sect. 1A - Same as every other full-time student. If so, then no reason to deny.
 
Q.: I have a question for you regarding a Foreign Exchange Student. We have a young man that has been approved to play JV level soccer only as the GAPP - German American Partnership Program is not CSIET
approved. I told them that I would contact you to see if there is an appeal process that we could follow, or if this move is simply not possible.
A.: No. Could practice but not compete. The residence and transfer articles do contain a waiver provision; p. 34, Section 5. What are the 'documented extenuating circumstances' associated with this student? To this point, the Board of Control has not waived any foreign student provisions. To do so would be providing opportunities and consideration to students who have no actual or legitimate status in our member schools, opportunities and consideration that is not available to domestic students.
 
9-21-07
Q.: My son was a starting quarterback and was kicked off the team for lying. Kids make mistakes. I have not seen anything that I have read about the coaches having the right to take this action. I believe it was not fair. Am
I wrong?
A.: Determinations of this kind are a local decision. Traditionally, coaches have been afforded considerable authority in determining who makes a team, who is let go and/or disciplined.
 
Q.: Could you point me in the direction of where I might find information to respond to the middle school parent who wants her son to be able to play on the fall volleyball team (girls).
A.: You will find this on the WIAA website under gender equity Q&A. The following is taken from that information: Question – boys are not afforded the opportunity to play interscholastic volleyball or to par-
ticipate in gymnastics within the sanctioned sports programs of the WIAA. Must a boy be allowed to participate on a girls' team? Answer – The courts have generally held that because of past inequities in girls' sports programs it would jeopardize participation opportunities for girls to permit boys to compete ongirls' teams. The U.S. Department of Education has interpreted the law to be permissive in this regard; that is, state athletic organizations may permit boys to play on girls' teams. However, the WIAA holds a philosophical position that agrees with many courts: Boys, because of many more years to develop skills and strength, will in many cases take over girls' teams and girls' opportunities will be limited.
 
8-20-07
Q.: We may have a freshman who is the best kicker on our team. However, as a small school we need to share players among levels in order to field teams. So, if this kid was not a kicker it is highly likely he would dress for
both JV and freshman games as an offensive and defensive lineman. Since he cannot play in three different level games in one calendar week does this mean we would only be able to use him on varsity as a kicker and then either on JV OR freshman level? Or, since he would only be kicking at the varsity level, could he compete as a lineman at the JV and freshman level also?
A.: You/the student need to determine which two levels this player will represent. Appearing in the game as a kicker counts as participation at that level - only one other level of play would be allowed.
 
Q.: I was looking in the Rules of Eligibility to see if I could find indication if a high school student-athlete could participate on two sport teams in the same season. Could you please direct me to rules that would allow or not
allow this possibility? Also, in reading on page 35-Article V-Attendance and Scholarship Section 1-Senior High A.3) A student .... b. & c. I was not certain what b & c meant. Would you mind providing me with clarification?
A.: WIAA has no text which prevents a student from being involved in more then one sport per school season. Typically, local control. When I had that sort of interest, I was, more concerned with academics and for the student being placed in rock/hard place. I met with parents and both head coaches and we looked at the 'plan' in advance of approving the request. Always made sure there were enough built-in escape hatches for the student...that it wouldn't be a 'failure' and that academically, the student would handle it. But again, it's your call. V-1A-3b: You will only have an opportunity for four seasons of football e.g., in your high school career. If you seek a consecutive semester waiver (5th year) and have already had access
to football in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th – if even for a day, and even if one of the seasons was cut short due to injury – you will not be provided a 5th year of opportunity in any given sport. Sometimes this same sec- tion is applicable when a student transfers in their senior year – across state lines, and at times connects/relates with V-1A-3c. Example: Male student (any grade) golfs in the fall in northern Illinois...folks move to Beloit at semester and he wants to golf in Wis., boys spring season, same school year. Not eligible to do so by this provision – only one season of 'school golf ' each school year. Example 2: Female student played basketball in fall season in Ironwood, Mich. Moves to Hurley and now wants to play winter bas-
ketball in Wis. – Denied. Example 3: This next example is one which we see periodically in soccer, tennis, swim, where we have fall/spring season in same sport, and the boys want to be "managers" for the girls teams – or vice versa. Then, the boys are in the pool, training along side the girls or the girls are doing dribbling, passing, shooting drills - or working the goal vs. the boys, etc. The Bylaws outline when the girls soccer team (e.g.) will/may assemble. Schools place a student in peril by allowing them an additional school season of practice in this manner, because of these provisions.
 
5-25-07
Q.: I have an 18-year old student in special education who could graduate but is choosing to continue her high school education as per state statute (allowed to do so through her 21st birthday). She would like to play sports
again but it would be her 5th year of eligibility. Is this permissible if her IEP states involvement in extra-curricular activities is in her best interests? Would the level of activity-varsity vs. JV matter in the decision?
A.: We would consider such a prescription in an IEP to be not acceptable. Given the scenario you describe i.e., that the student could graduate, it is unlikely that a consecutive semester waiver would be provided for any level of competition. Additionally, if a student has had access to 4 seasons of a sport while in school,
there is no provision for a fifth season.
 
Q.: I have a question about eligibility for a student-athlete that might be attending an alternative school that our school is associated with. The alternative high school is a combination school for three districts and we pay tuition for our students to attend the school. My question is: If a student is enrolled in this program would he be eligible to play football for our school in the fall? We have a student-athlete that would benefit from this pro- gram but will not go if he is unable to play football in the fall. What is the WIAA stance on the matter?
A.: As you've described, the potential for the student to be eligible would seem to clearly exist. Based only on what's thus far provided, I could not say with 100 percent certainty. The key 'fundamental' will be his status as a "full-time student." See Handbook, Rules of Eligibility, Art. V-1A-Note (p. 34). So long as this student is identified as 'your full-time student,' and is eligible for all the rights/privileges/benefits/services as all of your other full-time students and fulfills all eligibility requirements same as your other full-time students, there's a great chance he could be considered to be eligible. In the actual text, you will see reference to 'rights and privileges, e.g., student could be elected prom king, homecoming king, could be valedictorian and grand scholarship recipient, same as every/any other full-time student. Whether the student is in traditional attendance, a homebound student or a youth options or 'school to work' student, the clear determination that must be offered is that whatever the 'delivery mechanism' the student is 'your full-time
student.'
 
5-4-07
Q.: Our girls softball program this year does not have enough athletes to field a JV team (we do not have a frosh team), however, there are several 8th grade athletes that would be willing to play at the JV level. Is such a thing possible? Without a JV team the future of girls softball in our district is at risk.
A.: Sorry, no. Even when 8th graders were allowed to participate - it was never permitted beyond a 'pure' 9th grade level. Middle school students were never permitted to compete with or against students above 9th grade..and only in pure frosh level competition.
 
Q.: I would appreciate any clarification you could give on this issue: Article V Sec. 2 .1. states "following a period of 15 SCHEDULED school days and nights of eligibility", a student becomes eligible to compete on the 16th
day. My question is, what if one of the SCHEDULED days is later a snow day? Does the 15 days then extend out to actual student contact days?
A.: If/when a planned/scheduled school day is cancelled or shortened as a result of an unplanned 'emergency' - like a snow or severe weather day, e.g. The WIAA does not require an additional day(s) or extension of the ineligibility status. If a member school wished to do so, that would be their prerogative.
 
Q.: We have been contacted as prospective hosts for a foreign exchange student. He has just recently turned 17 and a non-graduate. We found out that he has been a national champion in the modern pentathlon (shooting, fenc- ing, running, swimming, horseback combination event). He is also competing for the European youth nationals. Will this status affect his WIAA eligibility to participate in high school sports during his exchange year here in Wisconsin? He wants to join track, cross-country and swimming. Can he participate?
A.: A student who has participated in sport in their own country is not automatically denied eligibility, out of hand, even if they have had success. However, the US is about the only country where high level athletes might still be amateurs. The amateur status requirement is NOT waived on behalf of exchange students. Would advise some careful/detailed review of your prospective student's participation background from an amateur status perspective. It is not uncommon that the most successful foreign athletes may
 
 
Q.: I have a question about accepting prize money from cycling races I compete in over the summer. I was wondering if it would be permissible that if I were to win any cash prize, that I could accept only the amount of entry for the race? 
A:  Since cycling is not a recognized sport by the WIAA membership, you may keep cash prizes.  In WIAA recognized sports, athletes may not retain any items not listed in the Rules at a Glance as acceptable.

Section 1 – Determining Residence for Public School Students
 
A. A full time student, whether an adult or not, is eligible for varsity interscholastic competition only at the school within whose attendance boundaries his/her parents reside, within a given school district, with these additional provisions:
1) Board of Education approved full-time student(s), paying their own tuition and residing full time with parents in their primary residence shall be afforded eligibility. (Transfer students are subject to provisions outlined in Section 3 of this article.)


2) The residence of a student's guardians shall determine eligibility in cases where both parents of a student are deceased. The execution of guardianship papers in situations where one or both parents are living does not by itself make a student  eligible.


3) In the event of a divorce or legal separation, whether pending or final, a student's residence at the beginning of the school year shall determine eligibility except in situations involving transfer after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into Grade 9. For the purpose of this rule, attendance at one day of school and/or attendance at one athletic practice shall determine 'beginning of school year.' Under this rule, a student who transfers after the beginning of the school year shall be ineligible at the new school unless approval is granted by the Board of Control in accordance with the transfer and/or waiver provisions as described in Sections 3 and/or 5 of this Article.


4) A student whose tuition is paid by the school within whose attendance boundaries parents reside or by the state and is enrolled in a district approved program may be eligible at either school (first priority to school of residence) but (a) may not participate at both schools in the same year and (b) academic ineligibility accompanies student upon transfer. The Board of Control may waive the requirements of this Section, upon request, for documented reasons of extenuating 
circumstances.
 
5) Except in situations involving transfer after a student's fourth consecutive semester, a student whose tuition is paid by the school within whose attendance boundaries parents reside or by the state or who is participating full time in a legislated open enrollment option must meet all statutory timeline requirements. This Section extends the opportunity to decline attendance at the new school and continue at his/her school of residence. If the student begins the school year at the new school and then transfers back to school of residence after attending one or more days of school or one or more athletic practices, he/she shall be subject to transfer provisions as outlined in Section 3 of this Article.


6) A student who has been in attendance in a school district for at least one complete school year prior to reaching Grade 9 and has not broken enrollment during that time is eligible in that school district upon entering Grade 9.


7) Duly enrolled full-time students in special state and county supported schools and in public and nonpublic member residential schools as defined in Article III of the WIAA Constitution are not bound by the residence requirements.


8) Students placed in foster homes, group homes, etc., by area social services agencies are considered the same as students residing with parents.


9) A student may continue being eligible in the same school even though parent(s) and/or student move from within that school's attendance boundaries, provided enrollment is continuous (unbroken in that school).


10) Except in situations involving transfer after a student's fourth consecutive semester, the Board of Education (School District) shall determine school assignment of a student in a district which maintains (a) more than one school of the same grades or (b) a special school so designated by the Board of Education (School District).


B. Except in situations involving transfer after a student's fourth consecutive semester, a full time student whose residence in a given district and attendance at a member school does not conform with any of the provisions outlined in Section 1-A above shall be eligible for nonvarsity competition only, for one calendar year, unless a waiver is provided as outlined in Section 5 of this Article.
Section 2 – Determining Residence for Nonpublic School Students
 
A. A full-time student, whether an adult or not, is eligible for varsity interscholastic competition only if the student is residing full time with parents in their primary residence with these additional provisions:


1) In the event of a divorce or legal separation, whether pending or final, a student's residence at the beginning of the school year shall determine eligibility except in situations involving transfer after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into Grade 9. For the purpose of this rule, attendance at one day of school and/or attendance at one athletic practice shall determine 'beginning of school year.' Under this rule, a student who transfers after the beginning of the school year shall be ineligible at the new school unless approval is granted by the Board of Control in accordance with the waiver provisions as described in Section 5 of this Article.
 
2) Residing full time with guardians shall determine eligibility in cases where both parents of a student are deceased. The execution of guardianship papers in situations where one or both parents are living does not by itself make a student eligible.
 
3) A student may continue being eligible in the same school even though parent(s) and/or student move from within that school's traditional attendance area, provided enrollment is continuous (unbroken in that school).
 
4) Students attending member residential schools shall be eligible at the member school provided they reside at the school or reside full time with parents in their primary residence, except in transfer situations occurring mid-year or after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9.
a. Note: Section 2-A.-1) above.
 
B. Except in situations involving transfer after a student's fourth consecutive semester, a full time student attending a nonpublic school but not residing in accordance with any of the provisions outlined in Section 2-A above shall be eligible for nonvarsity competition only, for one calendar year, unless a waiver is provided as outlined in Section 5 of this Article.


Residence Frequently Asked Questions
 
Primary Residence
Question:  What is a valid primary residence?
Answer:  Where the student and his/her immediate family reside when the student entered high school for the first time.  A valid residence is further defined as the location where the student's parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s) live with that student and thereby have the use and enjoyment of that location.  A student may have only one valid residence at a time.
 
Question:  We have moved, but would like to remain in the current school.  Is our child still eligible?
Answer:  Provided the enrollment is unbroken at the current school, the student would remain eligible.  (#9)
 
Question:  I'm 18 and have moved out of the house.  Am I eligible?
Answer:  You are eligible at the school where your parent(s) live and have had unbroken enrollment.  If you transfer to another school, the transfer rule applies.


Section 5 – Waivers

A. The residence and transfer requirement may be waived according to the following provisions:

1.    After a student has not participated and/or has been restricted to nonvarsity competition for one calendar year because parents do not live within that school's attendance boundaries, he/she becomes automatically eligible under this Section regardless of parents residence and for as long as enrollment is continuous (uninterrupted) in that school.

2.    The residence and transfer requirement may be waived, if requested in advance, by a member school on behalf of one of its students and upon presentation of documentation detailing extenuating circumstances. Such documentation must include communications from (a) parents, (b) person(s) with whom student is living within requesting school's attendance boundaries and (c) school officials within whose attendance boundaries parents reside. Depending upon the nature of extenuating circumstances, eligibility may be limited to nonvarsity competition except in situations involving transfer after a student's fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9.

3.    In cases associated with Section 1, A, (2) and (4), Section 2, A, (1) and Section 3, A, (1) of this Article, first-time 9th grade students will be permitted one transfer upon appropriate petition to the Board of Control if the student has attended no more than three days of practice and/or has attended no more than three days of school.
 
NOTE:  Extenuating circumstance is defined as an unforeseeable, unavoidable and uncorrectable act, condition or event which results in severe burden and/or involuntary change, that mitigates the rule.
 
In considering a waiver request based on extenuating circumstances, the element of events outside a student or family's control vs. choices/decisions/actions which contain knowable/predictable outcomes or consequences, is always an integral part of the review. Denial is made when it appears this student's situation has come about largely as a result of choices, decisions and/or actions made by the student or his/her family.

Waiver Frequently Asked Questions

Total and Complete Change of Residence
Question:  What is considered a valid change of primary residence?
Answer:  A family makes a valid change of residence into a new school boundary when the student's immediate family relocates and takes with them the household goods and furniture appropriate to the circumstances.  For eligibility purposes, the family unit may not maintain more than one valid residence which would create a secondary residence.  Evidence of that a valid change of residence must be provided to the member school.
 
Question:  What is a valid primary residence?
Answer:  Where the student and his/her immediate family reside when the student entered high school for the first time.  A valid residence is further defined as the location where the student's parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s) live with that student and thereby have the use and enjoyment of that location.  A student may have only one valid residence at a time.
 
Transfer Made Necessary
Question:  What is meant by the phrase "the transfer is made necessary" in the transfer rule?
Answer:  When looking for "the transfer is made necessary", we would want to know why this student NEEDED to leave A to go to school B.  The answer to that question is a great place to begin in so far as trying to determine what was extenuating/making that transfer necessary. And, quite frankly, remains the overarching and an essential question.
 
Waiver Information
Question:  Can you review my situation if I transfer, will I get a waiver?
Answer:  We do not provide "waivers in advance." We are not able to speculate on prospects and possibilities. If and when the student would transfer and become a full-time student at the school, then you should schedule to meet with the school athletic director to discuss the circumstances of the transfer. 


They can help to determine whether the circumstances meet the member's definition of extenuating circumstances – and whether they find the reasons compelling, thus making them willing to advocate for their new student.
 
Social & School Issues
Question:  My child is having trouble making friends at her school of choice. She wants to transfer to a school where she has friends and the course offerings will be better for her.  Will she be eligible?
Answer:  It is reasonable to expect that there may be social adjustment problems or scholastic problems when a students chooses to attend a school of their choice or a school with a rigorous curriculum.  Such circumstances do not satisfy the criteria for a waiver.
 
Question:  I want my child to attend a different school because the scholastic program is better at the school.  He also feels he will fit in better at that school. Will he be eligible at the varsity level?
Answer:  Defining a better school scholastically or socially is subjective.  Parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregivers are urged to research schools prior to enrollment.  Transfers for these reasons do not meet the extenuating circumstances requirements.
 
Question:  Can my child apply for a waiver if she has been subject to a disciplineary action?
Answer:  Transfers as a result of disciplinary action or pending disciplinary action by a school do not meet the criteria for consideration.
 
Question:  The school my child attends is not a safe environment and I want to transfer him to another school.  Will this transfer limit his eligibility?
Answer:  Any waiver request MUST be substantiated with documented evidence.  In a claim of an unsafe school environment, there must be documented school reports of incidents involving the student that makes remaining on that campus a dangerous situation that is beyond the control of the student.
 
Discontinued Programs
Question:  The school my child attends has discontinued a program which she participated.  Can a waiver be granted if she transfers to a school that offers the same program?
Answer:  When a transfer is made as a result of a school discontinuing a particular program in which the student had previously been enrolled or participated, a waiver is not granted. 
 
Financial Considerations
Question:  I can no longer afford to send my son to a private school.  I want my son to return to the public school of attendance and compete at the varsity level.  Is that allowed?
Answer:  Under certain circumstances, a waiver of the transfer rule may be granted because of financial situations.  However, there must be evidence of unforeseeable, unavoidable, and uncorrectable circumstance that necessitated the transfer.  The family will need to provide evidence to show that a hardship has occurred.  Evidence that the family attempted to address the situation with the private school and aid or assistance by the private school was insufficient to address the hardship.  Increases in tuition or additional costs at the private school are considered foreseeable and, therefore, do not meet the criteria.
 
Transportation Considerations
Question:  My child is enrolled in a school outside the public school attendance area.  It is becoming more and more difficult to travel this distance.  If we transfer, will he still be eligible?
Answer:  Generally, no.  Transportation problems are foreseeable, as are instances of difficulty because of weather or changes in car pools.
 
Question:  The price of gas has gone up dramatically and limited our ability to transport our child to our school of choice.  We are considering changing to a school closer to home.  If we transfer, will she still be eligible?
Answer:  Generally, no.  The fluctuations in fuel prices, as with most transportation issues, are foreseeable and must be considered when making your initial choice of schools.
 
Divorce or Change of Guardianship
Question:  We are divorced and my child wants to move to live with his father.  Will he be eligible at his new school?
Answer:  A student who has established residential eligibility with one parent would be ineligible if the student moved to live with the other parent at a different school.  The student would remain eligible at the original school with the first parent.

Section 3 – Transfers

Download the WIAA Transfer Rules Quick Facts PDF

Transfer Rule Summary

"A student who transfers from any school into a member school after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9 shall be ineligible for competition at any level for one calendar year, but may practice, unless the transfer is made necessary by a total change in residence by parent(s)."

Interpreting the Rule

Open enrolled and/or tuition paying students entering 9th and/or 10th grade at the beginning of the school year and who are within the first four consecutive semesters of high school will be afforded unrestricted eligibility provided all other rules governing student eligibility are met.

Open enrolled and/or tuition paying students entering 11th and/or 12th grade as transfer students are ineligible to compete at any level for one calendar year, but may practice.

9th grade students who transfer after the beginning of the school year and with written consent from both schools directly involved shall be restricted to non-varsity opportunities for the remainder of the school year.  Restrictions are removed upon entering 10th grade.

10th grade students who transfer after the beginning of the school year and with written consent from both schools directly involved shall be restricted to non-varsity opportunities for one calendar year (365 days beginning with first day of attendance at the new school).

Schools are reminded that district policies with respect to intra-district transfer do not supercede WIAA transfer rules in situations involving post-4th semester transfers.  Intra-district transfers occurring after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9 result in the student being ineligible for competition, at any level for one calendar year (365 days beginning with first day of attendance at the new school), but may practice.

A. A full time student may be afforded up to eight consecutive semesters of interscholastic eligibility upon entry into Grade 9. Transferring schools at any time may result in restrictions being imposed on eligibility, or in some cases a denial of eligibility. For the purpose of this rule, attendance at one day of school and/or attendance at one athletic practice shall determine 'beginning of school year.' These additional provisions relate to transfer cases:
1) A student who transfers from any school into a member school after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into Grade 9 shall be ineligible for competition at any level for one calendar year, but may practice, unless the transfer is made necessary by a total change in residence by parent(s). The calendar year (365 days) will be determined from a student's first day of attendance at the new school.

2) Open enrolled and/or tuition paying students entering 9th and/or 10th grade at the beginning of the school year and who are within the first four consecutive semesters of high school will be afforded unrestricted eligibility provided all other 
rules governing student eligibility are met.

3) Open enrolled and/or tuition paying students entering 11th and/or 12th grade as transfer students are ineligible to compete at any level for one calendar year, but may practice.

4) 9th grade students who transfer after the beginning of the school year and with written consent from both schools directly involved shall be restricted to non-varsity opportunities for the remainder of the school year. Restrictions are removed upon entering 10th grade.

5) 10th grade students who transfer after the beginning of the school year and with written consent from both schools directly involved shall be restricted to non-varsity opportunities for one calendar year (365 days beginning with first day of attendance at the new school).

6) In the event of divorce or legal separation, whether pending or final, residence at the beginning of the school year shall determine eligibility for students entering 9th and/or 10th grade. In situations involving transfer after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9 the student is ineligible to compete at any level for one calendar year, but may practice.

7) District policies with respect to intra-district transfer do not supercede WIAA transfer rules in situations involving post-4th semester transfers. Intra-district transfers occurring after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9 result in the student being ineligible for competition at any level for one calendar year (365 days beginning with first day of attendance at the new school), but may practice.

8) Unless transfer, including an accompanying change of parents residence, is effective at the outset of a semester, a student cannot establish eligibility at his/her new school until the fifth calendar day of such transfer.
 
9) If within the first four consecutive semesters following entry into grade 9, a student who transfers more than once in any given school year shall be ineligible for all interscholastic competition for the remainder of that current school year and will be eligible for non-varsity opportunities only for the balance of one calendar year. In situations involving transfer after the fourth consecutive semester following entry into grade 9 the student is ineligible to compete for one calendar year.

10) A student may not have eligibility in more than one member school at the same time. A parent or parents who move from a primary residence within one school's attendance boundaries, to a secondary residence within another school's attendance boundaries, may be required by the Board of Control to provide evidence of a total move.
 
11) A student who transfers from any school, whether or not a member school, with a status of ineligibility for disciplinary reasons, academic reasons and/or as a result of another State Association's regulation or sanction, retains such status at his/her new school for the same period as decreed by the former school.
 
12) No eligibility will be granted for a student whose residence within a school's attendance boundaries, with or without parents, or whose attendance at a school has been the result of undue influence (special consideration due to athletic ability or potential) on the part of any person, whether or not connected with the school.
 

Code of Conduct/Health/Supplements
2-29-12
Q:  We have a player that did not dress because of grades last nighty in our 1st tournament game. Does he remain ineligible for the remainder of the WIAA  BB tournament. At mid term our code states they become eligible as soon as they correct the grade. At the end of the quarter or semester we follow the 1 week or 15 day scenario. Can't find this in the book and want to make sure  we follow procedure - I believe they are ineligible for the remainder of the tournament. Please confirm.
 
A:  There are three types of rules:  NFHS & Season Regulations, Academic, and Code of Conduct.  1) If an athlete is ineligible for behavior (p. 39, Article VII, Section 3), the athlete is out of the entire tournament (p. 39, VII-3-D).  2) If an athlete is ineligible because of an ejection, it is the result of an NFHS rule and Season Regulation and he/she may return to the tournament once the ejection penalty is served.  3) If an athlete is academically ineligible and your code of conduct allows return, the athlete may return on the 16th scheduled school day if two or more F's (p. 36, V-2-A-1) or when your code of conduct allows if less than two F's.


Keep in mind that athletes who are ineligible during the WIAA tournament (for any reason) may not appear in uniform, participate in warm-ups, and may not participate in the awards ceremony at the WIAA tournament (p. 39, VII-3-E).  In this question and situation, the athlete may return when they become academically eligible.  Always apply your code as written.
 
12-15-11
Q.: We have some athletes that made some poor decisions resulting in having been suspended for code of conduct violations.  We received a request from a parent of one of the athletes requesting that one of the dates which is parent's night is skipped and the suspension is applied to the following game instead.  This is not something we have any interest in doing and we will deny the request regardless of this inquiry.
I am writing though to see if there is specific WIAA wording or regulations in one of the handbooks that prevents schools from picking and choosing which contests a student athlete will be suspended from.  If we were to have that backing along with our current reasoning, I feel the parents might accept the decision and see that it really was out of our hands.
A.: Students who have violated the code of conduct are ineligible as soon as the school becomes aware of the violation.  They are in eligible until they have served the required penalty completely.  Therefore, the number of contests to be missed by the penalty must be served consecutively.   Should a contest be cancelled due to weather or some other reason, it does not count since the opportunity was not available to your athletes and may be made up on a different day later in the season.  If a contest is not completed (rain suspension in baseball), it does not count since it was not completed as well.


Schools may not pick and choose which games they will apply them.  I'm sure you can imagine how that would be used to manipulate wins and losses.   I would also direct your attention to Article I of the Rules of Eligibility (p. 31) and strongly encourage you to review Section 5 for use of an ineligible athlete.  Simply stated, all contests in which an ineligible athlete appears shall be forfeit – in this case, until the suspension has been served. Related narrative and interpretation of the rule can be found in Article II-I of Rules At A Glance. 
4-24-10
Q.: If an athlete has a code of conduct violation [drinking], is this athlete eligible for any post season all conference awards?
A.: Your message references Code of Conduct procedures and conference selection procedures. The mem- ber schools of the WIAA require a code of conduct with minimums. However, many schools have a code of conduct which is more stringent than the minimums required. Conferences and coaches determine the selection process for conference awards. The WIAA member schools do not determine those procedures at the state level, but rather at the conference level. Therefore, your best resource is your local athletic director as our office is not familiar with the code of conduct which you refer or the conference selection process.


3-15-10
Q.: A student breaks our athletics code and self refers. Code says he misses five basketball games. The season is ending and we are into WIAA tournament playoffs prior to five games being played. If he is suspended early in the tournament games, can he rejoin the team after his suspension is served and we are still alive in the tournament?
A.: If a student is ineligible at the beginning of the WIAA tournament for code of conduct violations, that student is ineligible for the rest of the tournament (p. 39, Art. VII, Sect. 2, para D). If a student is ineligi- ble for academic reasons, that student may return after becoming academically eligible.


Q.: Does the WIAA condone a basketball team (after a victory) from joining their parents and some admin. peo- ple at a local bar from celebrating a victory even if only the adults drink?
A.: Our member schools do not have a rule against this type of activity; however, your initial reaction is understandable. Appearances can pose problems in the community and our office would urge caution. I suggest talking it over with your principal/administration and see where your school wishes to line up. Students and parents can be vulnerable if they even act silly and just "pretend" to be consuming alcohol, etc. They will be in the public eye. They may also feel pressured by friends to provide or participate.


Q.: I believe that I read in a recent WIAA newsletter that the WIAA is considering making athletes with tattoo's cover them in some way. Is my memory correct? Is anything being considered regarding this?
A.: The playing rules of sports are determined by the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS). While the WIAA office and our member schools are involved in the process of the review and determination of rules in the sports recognized by our member schools, the WIAA does not determine by itself the rules of sports. I am unaware of tattoos being illegal in all sports, but some sports may require tattoos to be covered. In order to answer your questions, I would need the sport in question since some sports may have rules against tattoos.
2-5-10
Q.: How does the WIAA view non-alcoholic beer in connection with athletic eligibility? Apparently, legal for minors to purchase in WI even though contains some alcohol. Please advise.
A.: The determination for this area is made by the school administration. We get involved once the school has made a decision on what is allowed and there is a violation. Other similar situations may be wine at mass or a toast at a wedding. The nonalcoholic beverage would be a local decision. My suggestion would be to see what other schools in your conference are doing.


1-15-10
Q.: Can a student that is 18-years old sign off on the alternate year card?
A.: Our membership rules state that the student must have parental permission, therefore, a parent must sign the physical and/or alternate year card.


12-18-09
Q.: I have a student that wants to bartend. She is 18 years old. Can she play basketball and be a bartender accord- ing to the WIAA rules?
A.: We do not restrict employment of students with the exception of self-employment for skills camps. Provided the student refrains from breaking any code of conduct regulations of the WIAA and your school, there would not be a problem. However, your school and athletic director may have concerns about the image this occupation may project.


Q.: I have read the available section/information on concussions. Is there something in the School Center that says that three concussions ends an athletes participation permanently? What is the WIAA policy on recurrent concussions?
A.: There is no WIAA policy on recurrent concussions. Management of recurrent concussions is best left to a physician specialist that has significant experience with concussion treatment. That specialist can help the athlete and family with the difficult decision process on the risks and benefits of returning to play after (multiple) concussions. One of the difficulties regarding concussion management is that every injury is unique and can affect athletes differently. So the question of "how many concussions are too many?" is very difficult to answer without learning more about each concussion: How did it occur, what were the symptoms, how long did they last, when did they occur, etc. We all know that multiple concussions are not a good sign and continued play may be unsafe for a particular athlete, but that decision is best made with a physician.


Q.: Just a quick question on body painting, spectators at events, is it "legal"?
A.: During the regular season, there is not a WIAA rule. However, during the WIAA tournament series, body paint other than on the face is not allowed (Sportsmanship guide, page 8).


10-23-09
Q.: Last week the television cameras were on the student section at a volleyball game and they did not have shirts on and had painted their chests. Is this okay to do? Are there any songs that are prohibited for the pep band, like "Tequila?"
A.: During the regular season, the rules about shirts and paint are up to the member schools and their respective conferences. During the WIAA tournament series, the fans are allowed to remove their shirts, but body paint is not allowed except on the face. All audible music used before, during, and following a contest must be reviewed and have school administration approval. Lyrics may not be lewd, offensive or profane and must be appropriate for an educational setting. Both rules can be found in Sportsmanship Reference guide (pp. 8 & 9).


9-18-09
Q.: I'm working on a form for a foreign exchange student and the host family was wondering if he needed to do another physical if he just had a complete one before he came here as part of the program?
A.: No. If student had physical exam for compliance with his exchange program requirements - AND so long as the form is signed by an M.D. there is no need for an additional physical - unless your school wished to require it. It would not be required by WIAA. Again, the two essential keys are that the date of the physical conforms with WIAA requirements AND that the physical form is signed by an MD.


Q.: My son had his physical taken during his normal annual exam (Jan. 08). I filled out his alternate year card for 2009. He plays football and basketball. I was informed that he needs to have another physical before bas- ketball season starts. Is this true? Our insurance will only allow him to have one exam per year. He will have his physical during his normal annual exam.
A.: Our rules state that a student-athlete must have a current physical with April 1 the earliest date. Article VII – Health and Behavior/Compliance, Section 1 – Physical Examination, A. A student may not practice for or participate in interscholastic athletics until the school has written evidence on file in its office attesting to (a) parental permission each school year including an acknowledgment of receiving the school athletic code and WIAA Rules of Eligibility, and (b) current physical fitness to participate in sports as determined by a licensed physician or Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP) no less than every other school year with April 1 the earliest date of examination. School policy determines when an athlete may return to competition following an injury, except where Rule Book or WIAA tournament policies apply. Physical examination taken April 1 and thereafter is valid for the following two school years; phys- ical examination taken before April 1 is valid only for remainder of that school year and following school year. A physical administered in 1/08 is good for the 2007-08 school year with an alternate year card for the 2008-09 school year. A new physical will be needed for the 2009-10 school year.


Q.: My daughter is going into 9th grade this year. She had a physical 08/13/08. Her AD at the high school insists that she needs a new physical because she is a freshman and that is the WIAA rule. The rules documentation just says every two years with no exceptions for high school freshman. Is she misinterpreting the rule? A.: In the WIAA rules of eligibility, the WIAA rules state: A student may not practice for or participate in interscholastic athletics until the school has written evidence on file in its office attesting to (a) parental permission each school year including an acknowledgment of receiving the school athletic code and WIAA Rules of Eligibility, and (b) current physical fitness to participate in sports as determined by a licensed physician or Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP) no less than every other school year with April 1 the earliest date of examination. School policy determines when an athlete may return to competition following an injury, except where rule book or WIAA tournament policies apply. (ROE, Art VII, Section 1, Para. A) The clarification is: Physical examination taken April 1 and thereafter is valid for the follow- ing two school years; physical examination taken before April 1 is valid only for remainder of that school year and following school year. Member schools, however, may have a stricter policy or guideline which their local board of education may have instituted. This may be the case with your local school.


8-21-09
Q.: What is your feeling on having physicals done by D.C.'s, when using the same guidelines as requested of MD's. Some families do not have PCP's that are MD's or nurse practitioners that work under an MD's license, but do have DC's that are their families PCP.
A.: Our members have determined that they will only allow students who have been cleared by an MD or APNP to be allowed to practice and compete. It is their provision, their policy. Chiropractors have not been approved by our members for providing participation clearance.


7-10-09
Q.: Does the student-athlete and parent only have to fill out the HS Athletic Eligibility Information Bulletin one time during their athletic era at our school, or do they have to fill out this form for each year of participation in athletics?
A.: Text in Rules of Eligibility, Art. VII, provides that parents must sign each year. (Keep in mind it is most typical that there will be changes - at least editorially - to text of Rules of Eligibility each year.)


Q.: This spring while updating our Student Handbook and Co-Curricular Code, I found that our school's policy on the co-curricular appeals process is in conflict with the WIAA rules. We are a very small school and have very few Co-Curricular Code violations. We've had only two appeals in the past five years. Our Co-Curricular Code states: "During the entire co-curricular appeals process, the student is entitled to all the rights of a co-curricular participant in good standing." The 2008-09 WIAA Handbook p. 39 (Article VII, Section 2C) states: "Note: The school must provide an opportunity for the student to be heard prior to any penalty being enforced. If a student appeals a suspension, according to the school's appeal procedure, the student is ineligible during the appeal process." Our athletic director has told me that he always speaks to the athlete about participation during the appeals process. He informs them that if they appeal and the suspension is upheld, then our team has to forfeit any competition that the student-athlete has participated in. He discusses possible team consequences with them. In his (many years of) experience, he said that students do not want to put their teams at risk. Can you give me examples from other schools or a suggested way of bringing our Co-Curricular Code into compliance with the WIAA rules? We would like to preserve the students' good standing during an appeal, but we do not want to put our athletic teams at risk or violate WIAA rules. We do understand that the point is to avoid having students appeal simply to "beat the system" and participate in a big game.
A.: First, about the only way your code can be written in compliance - is to identify that if a student appeals a code of conduct suspension – that they are ineligible during that process. Keep in mind that the reason for the appeal is due to the fact that you have already determined that you believe the student vio- lated your code. Thus the status of ineligibility is to protect the interests of the rest of the team/students who have followed your rules. You owe as much to them as to the accused. Second, your AD is correct in that if a student who has violated your code is allowed to play – with a status of ineligibility, which you have already determined by your pronouncement – then that contest would be seen as a forfeit. Your cur- rent text is playing roulette with the other students; should a student appeal, choose to play and still be found to have violated your code. Lastly, friendly advice since you are in a review process – be sure your appeal process text clearly identifies the scope and authority of an appeal group, as well as where the appeals end. Does the appeal board have the authority to exonerate, to increase or decrease a suspension? Or, is their role only for procedural review – that your stated process was adhered to? Whatever the authority of the appeal panel – it should be clearly articulated in your text if it is not. Does your appeal end within your building, with the supt., or with the school board? Hope some of these thoughts might be helpful.


5-26-09
Q.: I'm preparing for next year's fall season and was wondering if all incoming freshman require a physical to participate or if a physical at the beginning of their 8th grade year will work. What is the cut off date in which a new physical is required for the 2009-2010 athletic season?
A.: You may reference p. 3 of the Athlete Eligibility Information Bulletin – or – p. 39 Sr. High Handbook; ROE ART. VII, Sect. 1A. There is not a "flat requirement" (at least not WIAA) that entering 9th graders must all have a new physical. If a student had a PPE (pre participation exam) after April 1st of 7th grade – that exam would be acceptable by WIAA standards for 8th and 9th grade (9th grade would require the alternate year card).


4-10-09
Q.: What is the rule regarding a coach threatening a player with physical harm. Or calling out that player's par- ents in front of everyone?
A.: A coach has no status in the WIAA. The coach is an employee of the school district. Such threats should be reported to the school's administration - immediately.


2-13-09
Q.: I am a parent. I am looking for clarification on WIAA policy. What is the intent of the policy as it pertains to the use of alcohol at family celebrations. For example having a glass of champagne to celebrate a wedding, New Year's, etc. Also, what is the expectation of the student if they are with family where alcohol is being served? For example, going out to have a fish fry, attending a wedding or family get together.
A.: Our member's code does not exempt alcohol consumption at weddings and/or New Year's Eve, if accompanied by parents or not. There is no problem for a student to eat a meal in a restaurant where alco- hol might be being legally served to others of legal age.


12-12-08
Q.: There is a situation at our school while during the skinfold/hydration wrestling tests, someone was caught cheating (not sure what he did). Somehow it was determined then that everyone who took the test must have cheated (although there was no evidence of this) and so all tests were thrown out, but the rest of the team would be allowed to stay and take the hydration test and skinfold measurements. Those who had not yet taken the test did stay and take it. Those who had already gone through the hydration test, left as they did not think they would be able to go again for awhile. Some of the team then went to a local hospital and had the test retaken two days later by a certified technician/trainer. Now the AD at our school wants the whole team to retake the test again at school. Most parents and the coaches think this is ridiculous. The whole team is being punished for one kid's mistake. Are there rules on this type of situation?
A.: Our membership's Bylaws provide that school administration is 100 percent responsible for the eligi- bility and compliance of their school's teams and programs. Since this is a health and safety related rule, if school administration determines that the best way to assure the safety and well-being of their students and to restore credibility and integrity to the program's reputation is to require a complete re-testing, it is completely within their authority to do so.


Q.: I have a transfer student that moved here from Michigan this year. He had a physical last year in Michigan on May 6, 2008. The physical is on the Michigan High School Athletic Association card. Does this physical card work for this student for this year, or does he need to get another physical in Wisconsin on the WIAA card.
A.: There is not a requirement that a physical must be on the WIAA form - only that the student have a valid/current physical that has been signed by an MD and/or APNP (double check that on your student's form) You may allow the Mich. physical so long as it is appropriately signed. Since it was taken after Apr. 1, it will be good for the 08-09 and 09-10, school years.


Q.: A student came in and has been working at a nice restaurant for the past five years. The owner asked if he would bartend when he turns 18. He asked if it was OK as he turns 18 in the middle of the swim season. I told him that I would get back to him. We do not have anything in our code specific to that and I was wondering what the WIAA would say about that subject. Philosophically I am leaning towards saying no due to our presence at a party clause and asking him to wait until his athletic career is over.
A.: Your initial reaction is understandable - and it may be where you end up on this when all the dust set- tles. I suggest talking it over with your principal/administration and see where your school wishes to line up. It's great the student or parents are coming to you to ask. As far as what we see, this is not altogether uncommon. Kids working in their family's restaurant, bartending at the country club, selling beer at the grocery as a checkout, e.g. So long as the student is acting within the law, the WIAA does not equate employment and the legal selling or serving of alcohol by a student as part of their employment, to be an automatic violation of the members rule. We recognize the legal vs. illegal dimensions within different sce- narios. Friendly advice if you decide to allow, meet with student and parent and remind them of how vul- nerable they will be if they even act silly and just "pretend" to be consuming alcohol, etc. They will be in the public eye. They may also feel pressured by friends to provide.


9-19-08
Q.: Can we accept physicals for freshmen (establish an alternate year) if the student received a physical before April 1 of their 8th grade year. We are running into insurance companies that are only allowing one physical every two years.
A.: Yes. Please See Senior High Handbook, p. 39, Article VII, 1A- boxed text. A physical taken in 8th grade would be acceptable for 8th and 9th with use of the alternate year card this year. There is not a WIAA requirement all students must have a new physical upon entering 9th grade.


8-15-08
Q.: I am holding our school's code meeting tonight and it dawned on me that we may have a little issue with our code. Academically speaking, one F means a student-athlete is ineligible for 10 percent of the contests in their sport, as well as proof of passing at the end of their suspension. The WIAA states 21 consecutive days for a fall sport (spring grades) or 15 days any other time during the year. It also states "member schools may adopt aca- demic policies...which are more stringent...school requirements prevail (over the WIAA)...", but it appears our school's policy is not more stringent, in fact, less. So, my question is this, do we need to alter some language in our code or are we ok?
A.: When schools have a no-F policy – which is what you have, in effect, then following your policy of 10 percent is OK. It's when a student receives –MORE- than one F that you must adhere to minimum WIAA requirements. So long as you at least do that when a student receives more then a single F, you will be fine. When a school independently, makes the student academically ineligible, then the school can also estab- lish the terms for return to play. If/when the student gets more then one F, then the WIAA 21 calendar days (fall) and 15 school days – during the school year – may not be lessened.


7-18-08
Q.: Is there a mandatory requirement for all athletes and parents to attend a meeting explaining a schools ath- letic code?
A.: There are requirements both in the Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility that members are responsible to educate students, coaches, parents and others in the rules and operations of the Association and your own school rules. There are requirements that you get signed confirmation from parents for approval to com- pete, approval for emergency treatment, acknowledgement of school and WIAA rules... And that you verify student eligibility prior to competition. There is not a requirement that you host a meeting to accom- plish these administrative procedures. While it certainly is grown common and I think popular as an effi- cient means to make certain that students and parents are receiving your message – the reality is - the method to accomplish those requirements identified above, is not defined for you.


5-22-08
Q.: My question concerns the addition to Article VII - Health and Behavior/Compliance. In the receiving by par- ents of the WIAA Rules of Eligibility, does that mean they have to be given a paper copy of the rules or can we inform them where they can be found on the WIAA website. I informed my administration of that change today and they questioned the paper usage of it. We have approximately 700+ athletes out for sports, plus there are nine pages of rules listed in the WIAA Handbook. When you start adding that up that is a lot of paper being used. Maybe you have heard what other schools will be doing to fulfill this requirement, if so please pass that on to us.
A.: The actual text of the new rule requires you to have on file written acknowledgement (parent signa- ture) that the parents received your school code and the WIAA's rules of eligibility – how you chose to pro- vide them that information is up to you. We will provide a form – it's use is not mandatory, but that the parents receive WIAA ROE and you keep their signature is now required.


5-1-08
Q.: I am a concerned parent from a member high school. There is a girl on the girls track team that was arrest- ed for hosting an underage drinking party, she was also drunk. This happened on Feb. 23. As of today April 4, she is still on the track team. I thought there was a code and this definitely breaks it. Why is she still allowed to be on the team?
A.: If you are sincerely and genuinely concerned – you would schedule a meeting with your school's administration and share with them any first hand information you have. It is a requirement of member- ship that a school have a participation code and that school administration shall apply that code as writ- ten, when they determine the code has been violated. Our experience is that most member school admin- istrators are not reluctant to apply their codes despite the bluster of those who would obstruct. If you can make a contribution, stand up and do it. Your school's administration will appreciate any quality infor- mation you can provide them.


4-11-08
Q.: I am a nurse practitioner and requesting clarification of the WIAA rules regarding athletic physicals. Under 1. Medical Examinations a. general requirements, it states that the card must be signed by a physician or advanced practice nurse practitioner [prescriber]. Two paragraphs later it states that these exams can be done by physician assistants or nurse practitioner but this can be done only if verified by a physician. Physician assistants practice under the license of their supervising physician. Nurse practitioners are licensed to practice independ- ently. Are we able to do these exams and sign these cards without verification or do they need to be stamped or co-signed? Please provide clarification on the rules for N.P.'s and P.A.'s as we have both in our clinic and will be starting these physicals very soon.
A.: That's correct, our member's current requirement states that exams can be done by physician assis- tants or nurse practitioner but must be verified by a physician. Our members have authorized only (and specifically) MD's and APNP's to independently perform and sign pre-participation exams. As it is writ- ten -- N.P.'s and P.A.'s might perform all or part of the physical examination but the card must be signed or stamped by the MD or the clinic he/she works for. Lastly, we have no text that identifies a nurse prac- titioner or advance practice nurse practitioner. Our text specifically identifies APNP as advanced practice nurse prescriber. These two nursing credentials are different and are not one in the same.


Q.: Our code is an activities code and covers all activities including sports. If a student got a "Conduct unbe- coming a student/athlete" code violation, according to WIAA, he/she would have to sit out one WIAA contest. Is that correct? If we apply our code and the next contest would be a forensics contest, that student would be required to sit out the forensics contest. Would he/she still be required to sit out one WIAA contest?
A.: Yes to both questions. The rules of eligibility specifically identify, a minimum of one/the next game, meet, event. The WIAA does not sponsor forensics. Our membership text does not address anything other the WIAA sponsored interscholastic athletic programming.


2-8-08
Q.: We have a student athlete who suffered a broken nose in a basketball game about a month ago. He is two weeks removed from surgery to repair it. The doctor will not see him until two weeks from today, it is that time when he will be evaluated and either released to participate or still have restrictions. Here is the question: The parents want the student to play now and are willing to sign something saying that he is released. We are not going to honor that and we are requiring the doctor's release. Once a student-athlete is under the care of a doc- tor no form or release is valid except from a physician, correct?
A.: WIAA text/provisions indicate - it is up to school administration to determine when an athlete may return. As described, we understand and are supportive of the position your administration looks to be taking on this matter. When you consider - the MD's clearance on the "green card" might be a year old. Following significant injury - that sort of "approval" may be viewed as invalid, outdated; as it was based on assessment of "a different student"!! (in a manner of speaking.) When there is a significant change in student's health status - it is not unreasonable for AD to seek info/approval/assurance from MD which is more current and "post event connected." At times the sort of decision you're making will not be popular with parent. We consider it wise to require current medical professional's opinion and clearance follow- ing injury or illness which has required a student to be "seen." It may also be advisable to consult with your district's legal counsel on issues of this kind.


Q.: Foreign exchange student physical – If they had a physical before they came to the U.S., do they need to get another one in the U.S before they can participate in a school sport? Is this a WIAA decision or something each school would decide?
A.: The FE students must have a U.S. physical.  Our member's rule regarding a pre-participation exam requires that; it be 'cur- rent/recent' - i.e., within the dates/timelines outlined in the Rules of Eligibility (Sr. High Handbook, p. 39) and; The 'physical form' - must be signed by an MD and/or APNP (only). Our members have voted to accept only those credentials as indicated - to provide examinations acceptable to this membership. Many
times the 'physical' an exchange student has had just prior to travel is completely acceptable within those WIAA standards. The final determination and whether-or-not to accept a non-US form will rest within the authority of the school and/or district. A member certainly could request a physical from a local MD.... if that was more in their comfort zone and/or district policy or preference. Lastly/additionally, we have developed an informed-consent form for biological parents of exchange students (p. 3 of the online foreign student form) that many of our members are now requiring prior to approving participation in their districts. Use of the form is not a WIAA requirement, but a tool we provide our members should they find it helpful.


12-21-07
Q.: I have a question about eligibility and the use of medications. It is my understanding that if it is a prescribed medication that is being used for a medical condition, there should be no problem with eligibility. My son will be seeing a specialist and may be going on growth hormone. He is concerned that he would become ineligible to play sports. I would like to assure him that there would be no problem.
A.: You are correct. When medicines and treatments are prescribed by an MD and the medicines are used by the individual they are prescribed to - and used, as they have been prescribed - they will not be con- sidered a violation of the WIAA's steroid/supplements prohibition.


10-27-07
Q.: I have a student who has approached me about the possibility of working for relatives in a bar/restaurant. He is currently 18. He would be in a position where from time to time he would be working behind the bar. I don't like the situation, but was wondering if there is anything written that could be used to apply to this situation.
A.: 'No' – Have addressed this numbers of times in Q/A. WIAA rules would not prevent student from being employed in this manner. It is key for the student and parents - to have it explained straight-up and plain – how vulnerable they are to the perception of drinking, providing, simply by being around it. You might also explain it to 'uncle' too...that not only the team but 'nephew, too' could get dinged if all involved aren't clear, thoughtful and careful. It's not the setting for goofiness but WIAA rules would not prohibit legal employment.


9-21-07
Q.: Is the product/line out there called Advocare a supplement we should be aware of? I was asked about Advocare and went to some websites for information. However, is this a line of products that should be on the WIAA's banned or questionable list?
A.: In my opinion - yes/absolutely. Have not heard or read recently about the product - at one time it was my understanding that they sold one product line to NCAA - that was creatine-free, in order to allow col- lege strength coaches to 'endorse/promote'...and to conform to NCAA rules – And that the high school product line they market - did in fact, contain creatine. Our restricted list is not able to ever be 100 per- cent all-inclusive, the market changes literally every night and day. As a result that's why we provide some examples of what is/are supplements which are fundamentally categorized as 'restricted' by our member's policy. Look at the list – if the product/supplement contains creatine, more caffeine then a normal can of soda and/or any of the other types of supplements as identified out in the policy tri-fold consider it restrict- ed. If you're not certain send me a list of the ingredients and the claims. With the marketing of this stuff
ever-changing and always trying to grip the athlete and especially adolescent athlete market - is exactly why we try to always indicate - READ THE LABEL. In some parts of the state coaches were actually tar- geted for recruitment as sellers (their spouses) and a pyramid gig, much like Amway was born. We advise caution.


Q.: I have a runner who will be taking a drug for a nasal problem, it is "Veramyst" (fluticasone furoate- which is a man-made corticosteroid). Will this be a problem with the WIAA?
A.: If this is a prescription medication - and if it is used by the student it is prescribed to – in accordance with the prescribed use/dosage, there will be no eligibility concerns registered here. Our medical advisory members concurred: "Absolutely no contraindications to participation for this young man. He has a pre- scription for this medication to treat his allergies. Also, the nasal steroids are not performance enhancing like an anabolic steroid. I applaud the coach's knowledge of the athletes (and their medical conditions) on the team."


Q.: Here in western Wisconsin we are on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. So when athletes bring in their physicals, some go to a physician in Minnesota. My question is: Is it ok to accept a Minnesota High School League physical form or are we to require that the green Wisconsin physical form be filled out? First year phys- ical in Minnesota gives an in depth exam with both the doctor's signature and the parents. The subsequent year only a follow up form was given with no signatures. Please let me know what we are to accept.
A.: YES* (SO LONG AS THE FORM IS SIGNED BY A MD AND/OR APNP and the date coincides with WIAA requirements. WIAA members have not approved any other medical professionals to perform school sport physicals in WI, e.g., chiropractors have not been authorized by our members. The form is provided as courtesy to members. You may accept any recognizable form that indicates a physical exam has been provided. You could accept another form..from military physical..from foreign country as will accompany most exchange students, e.g. But still must have MD or APNP's signature/credential. Would recommend using/providing a WIAA alternate year card though, parents still must sign.


Q.: I was recently asked a question if a school nurse can administer the skinfold test for wrestling. Our school has a full time nurse presently, would she be able to perform the skinfold test instead of us having to pay an out- side person to perform the test? If not, what would she have to do to become certified in this area?
A.: No. Only skinfold measurers trained by the WIAA are authorized to do wrestling minimum weight measurements. With all involved, there's more to it then just pinching...that is a key part of our training. We identify/select and train new measurers every other year. We will be seeking new measurers next spring (2008) for next fall's class. You or your candidate can get back in touch next spring and we'll be glad to get an application out.


Q.: If our school policy is stronger/stricter than WIAA (we have a no F policy) and if someone is deemed inel- igible, then are we as a school bound to implement the WIAA penalties of the 21 days starting on the first day a game/match can be played?
A.: When it is 'your' academic policy that has made the student ineligible, it could/should be your policy that identifies when eligibility is restored. Understand that with a No-F policy, you could return the ath- lete in less then the WIAA's prescribed timelines and periods. BUT DO KEEP IN MIND that you must have in effect, a two tier policy, because if/when a student gets more then one F, the WIAA suspension (or your own, if it is more strict) must then be applied.


Q.: Is there a distinction between a varsity and non-varsity athlete as to when someone is serving the 1/3 games penalty? Or doesn't it matter. Just wondering because for example what if a senior athlete plays JV tennis would she be following the varsity schedule for game dates when indeed there might be one or only two JV games dur- ing that stretch of the probation.
A.: If a student is purely a JV player, apply the JV schedule. Some folks get into trouble when they try to apply both JV and varsity schedules to creatively get student returned, sooner. Recommend apply the schedule that student actually plays at.


8-20-07
Q.: Is there a requirement for annual meetings to review the code of conduct for students? We are revising our athletic code to incorporate co-curricular activities and one of our committee members asked if we were required to meet with students to review the code annually or if it is something that we could do once during their high school career and just have them sign a new one each year.
A.: The Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility of the association make it clear that school administration are responsible to educate, coaches, students, parents and others in the rules/requirements of the association. There is not a specific directive on how you must do it. That's left up to you, the individual member school to decide. Some members do it once annually, at the start of the school year, others conduct fall, winter and spring sport season meetings every year. Some only have orientation for 9th graders and new trans- fers and 'sign the pledge' from then on. It will be for you to determine what will work best for you and your school.


7-13-07
Q.: In late May a student athlete's name was given to me as a possible violator of our code of conduct. I began the investigation, but could not determine the outcome prior to our team competing in sectional play. I, there- fore, deemed the athlete ineligible and did not allow participation. An appeal process and continued investiga- tion has taken place and it has been determined that according to our code a violation did not take place. As a result, I am reinstating the athlete's eligibility based on the WIAA and our code of conduct and appeal process which is built into the code. In other words, the athlete will be reinstated based on the fact that no violation took place and as a result will be in uniform at the State Tournament. Obviously this has been a pain filled experience for the family and they have been very cooperative although saddened by the experience. Our coaches and play- ers have been supportive and cooperative in this whole experience as well. I guess, more than a question I am asking for support in this process and the results.
A.: If upon conclusion of your investigation you have determined there has been no violation – student could be restored and allowed to return to competition without peril.


5-25-07
Q.: We have a situation pertaining to a golf meet. There were two student athletes that were busted after the golf meet for smoking cigars during the actual golf meet. They were suspended for the proper amount of meets by their educational institution after the infraction. Our question is, do or should the scores count from the meet in which they committed the infraction?
A.: One might argue that with the tobacco in their possession and/or certainly, as soon as the students 'lit- up' they were no longer eligible to participate – and when an ineligible player takes part, Rules of Eligibility, Article I, Section 5A-2 (Handbook, p. 31) provides that all points etc. are eliminated.


Q.: After a presentation Jane Foos made on the WIAA Steroid/Supplement policy at our school recently, there were a couple questions on the supplement 5-Hour Energy. The question came from a cross country/track/base- ball athlete and the cross country coach. One of the runners asked if 5-Hour Energy was "ok" to take. He said after drinking the 2 oz bottle he felt some energy boost. He did not know the ingredients other than it was "high in B vitamins" and didn't have any sugar. Do you have any more information about this product?
A.: Jane Foos has provided the following information: I remember responding that the product likely con- tained caffeine and as the main "energizer." That has turned out to be the case. The bottle provides 15 calories of "energy" mainly from amino acid derivatives. This will fuel about 50 meters of running so the actual "energy" contribution is miniscule. However, a 2 oz. serving of this product has as much caffeine as an 8-oz. cup of coffee. There are several concerns with using this product: 1) 5-Hour Energy is classi- fied as a Discouraged Supplement by WIAA policy because it's a "caffeine enhanced beverage." Its use by the athlete should not be allowed in conjunction with a school practice/game/meet. 2) As I mentioned in the program on "energy drinks" the caffeine will give a short term boost but is followed by the caffeine crash. The risk of course is that the athlete will take "another dose" to keep going. A caffeine overdose can cause jitters, anxiousness, elevated heart rate, difficulty concentrating. 3) Caffeine is a diuretic and with hot baseball games/track meets dehydration will decrease performance. 4) The product contains a high dose of Niacin which could cause "niacin flushing." 5) Caffeine is a stimulant that may interact with other medications athletes may be prescribed. As an alternative, for "increased energy and endurance" I would recommend this athlete increase/improve what he eats/drinks for lunch, have a bottle of his favorite sport drink before practice/competition, and take fluids on a scheduled basis during practice/games/meets.


5-4-07
Q.: With underage drinking and tobacco use in the news almost daily, and three-game suspensions the usual penalty, I would like to see the WIAA set a precedence, and deliver a full-year suspension from all sports! I think this would deter our students from using these substances. I have heard of students getting picked up in their off season, so they sign up for another sport so their penalty does not have to be served during their regular sport.
A.: The idea you propose is doable in two possible ways. First, the entire membership could pass and adopt such a sanction – only with a majority vote of the over 500 member schools – who are the WIAA. Secondly, your own school could adopt such a policy – with direction from your own school board. Those of us who work in this office – the WIAA Executive Staff have no unilateral authority to pass or require any provi- sion without the procedural review and approval by our member schools.
Q.: I am a family physician, and am affiliated with the University of Wisconsin. A question has come up in our practice, now that we have moved from paper charts to electronic records. In previous years, we have used the form form the WIAA (and originally from the AAFP) for recording sports physical exams, and then used the top "tear-off" piece for sending back to school with the athlete. Since our electronic system does not have a good means for keeping the physical exam record from the larger section of the sports PE form (which has spaces for medical history information from the parent and the athlete, and space for documenting the exam), we are won- dering: Does WIAA require that the sports PE physical exam form be used and completed, or is the only require- ment that athletes have the "cleared to participate" form (the tear-off smaller section) completed?
A.: To be clear; the Association requires that a student have an (preparticipation) exam - at least on an alternating year basis. That the exam – must be performed/signed and indicate the student is 'cleared to participate' - by an MD or APNP (only). Member schools are required to have evidence of the exam, the doctor's clearance - and parental permission to participate - on file, in written form. There is no require- ment beyond the bold text – or that a member must use the 'green card.' We provide it, keep it current/rel- evant, as a service to our members (and their health care providers.) But, there is no requirement of the
green card being the only acceptable form/instrument. Each year there are many foreign exchange stu- dents who have had pre-travel physicals in countries all over the world and - so long as the athletic direc- tor can identify that the form indicates the student is cleared to participate and it's been signed by an MD and is within the time/date requirements, the student can be allowed to participate given that form. Some students are cleared using a military physical exam record, etc.


4-13-07
Q.: I have been doing the entering of our students forms required to participate in a sport. I had some parents challenge me about the alternate year card, so I thought I should have you clarify it with me so I have it right. If a student has a physical after April 1, I know it's valid for the following two school years. The way I took it, if a student had a physical in a previous school year (say they had one 4/2/06), then in the following school year they need an alternate year card. So they would need an alternate year card for the 2006/2007 school year and for the 2007/2008 school year. Is this right? If not, what would they need for the 2006/2007 school year? If they participate in a spring sport which goes from March - May, wouldn't they need to have at least an alternate year card on file with us to say their health hasn't changed? – or does the WIAA rules state the physical card is good from 4/2/06 through the end of the school year 2007. Then for the 2007/2008 school year they would need an alternate year card?
A.: School years should not be mixed up with calendar years, nor as meaning, 'from date of exam,' etc. It is a 'face value' statement – 'good for the next two (complete) school years.' In this situation, the original green card is good for 06/07 and the alternate year card required for the second, i.e., 07/08. Presumably, student may likely either have a previous physical or alternate year card that carried them to /through the spring of 06, or you would use the 4/2 green card to do spring of 06 and the rest of the 06/07 school year.


3-30-07
Q.: I am a sophomore in high school. I am an athlete and work out during the off-season. Me and my fellow weightlifters at my local gym have many debates on banned substances. We all want to check before we would ever take a supplement, but we can not find a banned substance list for WIAA. If you could please give me a link or a list of , and most notably, substances such as creatine, magnesium stearate, and L-Leucine-ketoiso- caproic acid calcium. Furthermore, if their is a list of products such as leukic and creakic, stuff found at GNC stores, that is banned, please give a link of that or a list of some of their most notably banned products.
A.: First, go to our home page (wiaawi.org) In the left hand margin see the 'HEALTH' icon. In that menu you will find both the current banned substance information and a dozen articles and links to good infor- mation in the areas of your interest. Second, we have also provided your school with a considerable amount of information on the WIAA's Banned and Restricted substance list. Your school should have wal- let cards, a tri-fold with more detailed information - as well as an outstanding power point/DVD that, given your interest I'd suggest you ask to borrow or copy from your AD.


Q.: Our school nurse has been contacted by a local chiropractor that insists that she is a licensed physician and should be allowed to do the WIAA sports physical. I was under the impression that it was not acceptable for a chiropractor to sign the physical card. The Handbook specifically says licensed physician or APNP and that to me does not include a chiropractor. Could you please clear this up for us.
A.: You are correct. Our members have determined that for sport physicals to be acceptable they must be signed by an MD and/or APNP. No other provider has been approved by the member schools.


1-19-07
Q.: I have two questions: 1) Can physician assistants do sports physicians? 2) Can physician assistants fill out the skins sheets for wrestlers?
A.: 1) YES - but ... A PA may do all or part of the pre-participation exam as directed by an MD. MD's sig- nature or stamp must be affixed. A PA can not 'sign-off' independent of a MD. 2) I am not completely cer- tain what exactly, you mean when you say 'fill out the skin sheets' - so as a result will respond - NO. MD/DO – specific/only.


12-22-06
Q.: I'm confused as to the eligible date for physicals. My child had a complete physical on March 18, 2005. When would she be required to have another complete full physical?
A.: Given the date indicated, this physical exam would be accepted for participation in 04-05 school year and 05-06 school year. Student would require new physical prior to being allowed to practice in 06-07 school year. The date requirements are printed right on the top of the 'green card.' This text is identical to the text in the Member's Senior High Handbook provided to our schools in print and is available on- line (under Publications icon, p. 39).


Q.: I have looked in your 2006-07 Senior High School Handbook and could not find any information regarding addressing a coach's responsibility for turning in student/athletes involved in an athletic code violation. Do you address this issue in any of your publications or do you suggest we address this in our own coaches and faculty handbooks?
A.: We have no such language or guidelines. Should you actually need such language? Technically, we have no such authority to create them – The coach is your employee - and subject to your contract/bargaining agreement and - I presume would reasonably be expected to uphold your board policies, school codes and the spirit of their intent. Wouldn't a failure to do so arguably be insubordinate? We have responsibility and authority over the 'membership of schools' and indeed, we do have a Bylaw (Art VII, Section 1) which does require one member to report another member who is in non-compliance. Thus the failure to report a violation places two schools in non-compliance.


Q.: I am a student at a member school and I'm writing an article about the list of banned and discouraged things for athletes. My question is why ginseng is on the "discouraged" list?
A.: I've included a response to your specific question here: "Ginseng has a stimulating effect that can increase blood pressure and cause low blood sugar in some people." This comes from the diet/nutrition professional that advises our Sport Medical Advisory. Another M.D. from our committee added that Ginseng should also be avoided in asthmatics, people with recurrent headaches, pregnant women, and anyone with any mental health disorders (depression, etc). Also if you look at and consider the text of the tri-fold, we have provided a 'broad' rationale for the reasons certain items were placed on a restricted list - marking them as not an acceptable component to/for a school program.


12-6-06
Q.: 1) Our school will be competing in wrestling as a JV team, no varsity. Do the athletes still need skinfold tests? 2) Can a coach in anyway dictate appearance (beards, long hair, etc.) of his/her athletes?
A.: 1) Yes. 2) Typically, yes - though would recommend that 'team rules/requirements' be approved by dis- trict admin. - if not your school board. These should be in writing and provided to students/parents early on. Might also run them past legal counsel. In addition, NF wrestling rules have specific grooming rules/requirements.


Q.: We have a foreign exchange student, whom we have approved to play basketball. Does the physical form that he had to do his foreign exchange program from his country count here or does he need a new physical in this country?
A.: If the dates of the physical are 'current,' and you can see the form was signed by a U.S.  M.D.


10-25-06
Q.: Can you explain to me how it works when an athlete is caught or accused of a drinking offense? Who deals out the suspensions? How long is it to be? Are these rules in writing? Where can they be found?
A.: As a requirement for membership in this Association a school must have a school board approved, extra-curricular Participation Code. The member is required to follow and apply their code - when they feel/believe it has been broken - and it must be applied as written. Most typically the AD and/or building principal enforce the school's code. A student must be provided an opportunity to be heard prior to a sus- pension being applied. (This is also the area where at emotional times many become confused with 'right vs. privilege' and some will wrongly insert the standards of - 'innocent until proven guilty'... 'beyond a reasonable doubt' and other perspectives associated with law, "rights" and civil liberty which do not apply in participation code application as they do when one is facing the potential of the legal denial of civil rights and incarceration.) The minimum penalties associated with specific violations is outlined in our Senior High Handbook, (on our website under Publications icon). Individual school codes can be and often times are more strict. The best place to begin in knowing the terms and conditions of suspension is to read and know one's own school's code. Be advised: There is also a rule of the membership which states if a student misses one or more tournament competitions as a result of code violation the student is ineligible for the remainder of the tournament series in that sport. You may also review a narrative on the subject in the Rules At A Glance, see Art. II- I.


10-6-06
Q.: We are revising our athletic code and during our discussions came a question regarding athletic eligibility. Here is the scenario – an athlete has a code violation and must miss three games. The athlete plays on JV and spot time on varsity. Can a school count games in both varsity and JV? For example, if an athlete misses the first two varsity games and a JV contest he/she has fulfilled their suspension?
A.: This will end up being largely your determination. The WIAA requires that a student miss one contest for a code violation. It is however, fairly typical for our members to be more strict than the minimums. If you look at the "ejected athlete Q/A" on our web site...you will see some examples to guide the think- ing/decision. Certainly, you would not "count" a contest the athlete would not ordinarily/regularly be expected to appear in – to satisfy a suspension. If the student is a "regular" and would be "expected" to play and contribute in a contest, then it would seem reasonable to "count" the game. Otherwise, no.


Q.: Regarding high school football games. Is there a rule that states an ambulance needs to be physically pres- ent on stand by at all varsity, junior varsity and freshman football games in case of injuries?
A.: No. (would be impossible for many schools and communities... due to local resources and/or budget). You may review prescribed medical coverage for all WIAA sports in the Season Regulations publications. For football, it is found on p. 12 of the Fall Season Regulations.


Q.: Does the WIAA have a written policy outlining guidelines for lightening during outdoor activities. All I have been able to find regarding football is the NFHS page in the meeting folder, Rule 3-1-3,4,5; Case Book 3-1- 5A,B; and Simplified 3-1-5, pg 52. I have found nothing specific to lightening in the Officials Manual. I give game management lightning information if threatening weather is possible. The back page is Rule, Case, and Illustrated examples, cut and pasted. This gives game management an idea of what type of assistance we expect from them and documentation for it. From my experience, including 30+ years of reading rule & case books and various handouts and attending clinics, it seems to me the people involved in suspending/terminating a game are the referee, both coaches, and HOME game management. The question has come up, "Does the visiting team athletic director have a say in these matters?" Any information/opinion you have in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
A.: WIAA lightning provisions are outlined in the Sport Medical Policy and Procedure manual – p. 49. This publication is also on-line. In addition, virtually every year since I've been on board, have provided information in FB rules pre-season meeting materials – as outlined on p. 25 of this year's booklet. Related, though not lightning specific – is Policy for Authority of Contest Manager – contained on p. 46 of WIAA Senior High Handbook. I like the fact that you are giving the AD/game manager "something." Have a plan. Talk about it - anticipate. Timely communication. It's the only way to get things done. Does the vis- iting team AD have a voice? – As you know the rules provide authority to the contest manager before the contest begins and - once begun, the rules say you have control. There is no reference made to authority of visiting team AD. One could create countless "hypotheticals" that would end up with "too many cooks in the kitchen," certainly. But if you come here for "practical" advice as well as reaffirming what you already know - you won't find it "spelled out" this way in any NF or WIAA literature, but my response would be - At least unofficially and from a practical perspective - "Yes of course." If present, her/his con- cerns should not be dismissed, ought to be recognized and added into the decision making process. Contest officials would not be expected to seek them out however.


Q.: Can a licensed chiropractor conduct physicals on student-athletes for students to begin participation? I see according to Article VIII Section 1 and what it states, but I was told by a parent that it was allowed before in the district?
A.: In a word - no. Our members have identified that only MD and APNP's can do sport physicals for our membership. This rule has not changed in the past 6-8 years and that was only to allow/include APNPs. If a chiropractor's physical was accepted in the past – it was not in compliance with the provisions of membership.


9-15-06
Q.: We are in the process of writing language to our athletic code regarding the use of performance enhancing substances and the issue of creatine came up. Even though it is not mentioned on the banned list by the NCAA, are we correct in saying it should be banned per the WIAA policy?
A.: Two perspectives: First, you would not be the first member school to place creatine on their own school's code. I am familiar with another school that has creatine identified as a not acceptable supple- ment by their code and is treated like any other prohibited substance. Second, the WIAA's Medical Advisory PES Sub Committee identified creatine as a "discouraged" substance. Meaning, much like the NCAA, the WIAA has not banned the substance per/se, but it may not be a part of a school's program. Not provided by/endorsed or sold by school staff, not in the dug outs, not in the cafeteria, not allowed on the team bench or around the school based program and athletes. Schools may not allow it to be a part of the school's team/program.


Q.: I was asked by the mother of one of our swimmers if it is OK if her daughter is taking methylin (ratilin) and clonidine per a doctor's prescription. I believe one or both substances are on the current NCAA banned substance list.
A.: Those medications prescribed by an MD - and used by the individual they have been prescribed to – and used as prescribed, should NOT be viewed as violating the controlled substance/supplement provi- sions of your code.


Q.: We have a question concerning the timeline for implementation of a potential athletic code violation. The example is: A student is playing hockey in the winter season when they are given a citation for a potential ath- letic code violation. Parents, coaches and a school administrator are aware of the ticket and the nature of the violation as the administrator was in court when the ticket was paid and met with the parents regarding the incident. Not until the last meet of the spring track season is the student written up for an athletic code violation and told they must sit out that meet for a violation in November. Is there a timeline for executing an athletic code viola- tion when administration is aware of this during the season it occurred?
A.: On our website – under the publications icon you will find the Senior High Handbook among the menu items. Provisions relating to Code of Conduct will be found in Article VII (p. 39). Answers to your ques- tion are found in Section 2 of that Article. Section 2C-1 specifically indicates in part: "In-season violations of the school code will result in immediate suspension of the student." Not knowing any additional details or perspectives of this concern other then what has been thus far shared, I would also direct your atten- tion to Article I of the Rules of Eligibility (p. 31) and strongly encourage you to review Section 5. Simply stated, all contests in which an ineligible athlete appears shall be forfeit – in this case, until the suspension has been served. Related narrative and interpretation of the rule can be found in Article II-I of Rules At A Glance.


Q.: Is the physical that a foreign exchange student receives in the U.S. acceptable when it comes to participa- tion in sports, or does that student need a physical from an area physician?
A.: Provided the dates are "recent" , i.e., within guidelines as outlined (HB p. 39, ROE, Art. VII, Sect. 1) AND the physical is signed by MD (or APNP). You may allow student to participate with physical they received to satisfy exchange program requirements. Generally, the physical will be recent/current and generally they will be performed by MD's. Always double check, anyway.


Q.: If an athlete had a physical in the 8th grade in August, does that meet the requirements for eligibility for his freshman year in high school? He would then need physicals before his sophomore and senior years.
A.: In a word - "yes"! Both on the "Green Card" (physical exam form) and the Senior High Handbook (on our website under publications) provide that: "A physical exam taken April 1 and thereafter is valid for the following two school years; physical examinations taken before April 1 is valid only for remainder of that school year and the following school year." Thus, an exam in Aug. '05 is good for '05-'06 and '06- '07 school year (alternate year card req. in '06-'07).


Q.: Would it be OK for a Native American to use tobacco in a ceremonial context?
A.: Within the setting of the religious ceremony - I am inclined to agree, same as some faiths incorporate alcohol in their services. Advise getting something in writing that you might know specific context and set- ting more clearly. Also advise student and elders respect "school code" and your efforts to enforce, that it might be understandable that it is not acceptable for student to be "in possession" of tobacco and etc. out- side of specific time/place of it's ceremonial use - certainly, not on/around school campus and school events.


7-7-06
Q.: Situation: A student has participated in football for the past two seasons and will be a junior during the upcoming school year. The student's physical has elapsed and he has not yet, nor will he have a valid physical on file prior to the "summer contact," but will have a valid physical on file prior to going out for football in the fall. Is this student eligible for summer contact? If so, where is the liability for the school in case of injury since the summer contact session is being run by the coach on school property?
A.: WIAA rules require a valid physical on file before the start of the official school interscholastic season. Rules are silent on needing/requiring "physical" for summer program participation. I would say it's up to school...local determination. Might be a little difficult to address liability. Certainly, would be influenced by if the event is seen as "school sponsored" or, is privately run by coach or boosters or other nonschool entity..and the voluntary nature of the participation. The WIAA does not require students to have their physicals on file before undertaking any other summer activities, including strength/speed summer school offerings. Just must have physical on file before being allowed to practice or play in the official school sea- son of a sport. However, if the school wished to make that a prerequisite and/or for participation in phys. ed. they certainly could, and/or for the 6th grade cheerleader workshop/fund raiser and half-time per- formance, they certainly could make it a requirement. Also, keep in mind that for years WIAA Bylaws have allowed schools to sponsor programming for grade level and middle level students. Did those schools require pre-participation exams for that student population? If so, then certainly it would seem reason- able to be a part of school programming requirements for students in gr. 9-12.


Q.: What is the WIAA position on physical examinations being conducted by chiropractors?
A.: See Handbook, p. 39. Article VII, Sect. 1-A. Our members have authorized only licensed physicians and Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers (APNP) to perform/approve pre-participation exams for WIAA interscholastic athletic practice and competition. Our members have not authorized that a "physical" per- formed by a chiropractor may be accepted for WIAA sports.


5-25-06
Q.: We have a student who violated our code of conduct policies (use of alcohol). He admitted to the infraction and has been issued a suspension in the next sport that he participates in (a percentage of the season as outlined in our athletic code). It turns out to be a three-game suspension, and I am expecting him to participate in sum- mer baseball - the problem is that the third and fourth game of their season will be on the same day in a tourna- ment - his question is: Is he eligible for the second game on that day, as it represents the fourth contest of their season?
A.: Unless your code would direct something other, WIAA would say "yes, no problem." In sports where each game is "counted" as one of the season maximums, a student could be allowed to return with eligi- bility restored in the second game of a double header, e.g. In those sports where there are still multiple exposure dates, e.g., volleyball and wrestling - where "one" of the season maximums happens to be a multi-event but still is only counted "one" of the season max exposures .... now the student must miss the entire day.


Q.: Our athletic code does not cover fighting directly. It covers conduct unbecoming of an athlete. We have had some athletes in the past get involved in fights over that past 10 years and all have been handled via a school suspension where warranted, but none have resulted in an athletic code violation. Obviously, the athlete would miss anything on the days he/she was suspended. My question is do athletic codes need to cover something like fighting specifically or is "conduct unbecoming of an athlete" acceptable and then the schools can handle each situation as they feel they need to?
A.: For those schools that believe fighting in/around school, or on a playing field is not acceptable, it is my impression that most simply interpret and apply their "conduct unbecoming" provisions. To suggest that "fighting" and/or each specific "deed or act" somehow needs to be itemized on an all-inclusive list is absurd. In the highest of expectations we hold for our student athletes, where/when/how could one seek to justify, argue or rationalize that "fighting" is somehow, acceptable and "becoming" behavior? Why would a school not want to leverage the privilege of sport participation in efforts to diminish and extin- guish such behavior? Bottom line, it is your responsibility to interpret your code. So long as it is done in a consistent manner it is not unreasonable to view fighting as conduct unbecoming. Most of us would.


Q.: We are currently adding performance-enhancing substance (PES) language to our athletic code. Will the WIAA be sending us some kind of list to define the exact PES substances that we are talking about so that we can include that information in our athletic code also? Our school board wants that specific information includ- ed in the code.
A.: The WIAA Medical Advisory Committee recommended adopting the NCAA banned substance list. I anticipate Board of Control approval (end of June) but will know better after Sports Advisory, June 12. If approved, we will move caffeine from NCAA banned* status to a "WIAA discouraged" category (since you likely won't drug test to determine caffeine in excess amounts). Same with creatine and a small num- ber of other substances. In the weeks ahead and over the summer we will also be creating some addition- al information/materials for you to use, which I think will be better then just giving AD's the NCAA banned list, but that tool is not built yet. You could just add/incorporate the text that was added at the Annual Meeting and then provide the "specifics" of the banned substances at the start of classes in the fall.


5-5-06
Q.: I was informed by a business owner that one of our athletes was involved with a police task force that sends underage people into businesses to buy alcohol. He was directed to enter a bar and try to buy beer. If he is successful, then the business is issued a ticket. I feel that this practice puts us in a difficult situation because our pol- icy states that a student is suspended from co-curricular activities if they use or possess alcohol. I will contact the police to see if they can stop the use of co-curricular participants. I wanted to get your take on this situation.
A.: The WIAA would not view this activity - working voluntarily in cooperation with, and under the direct supervision of law enforcement - in the same light as illegal possession and/or consumption. We would not view this as a violation of the participation code. In fact, might be described and "counted" in some dis- tricts as civil/community service. Second, you've gotten a story "second hand" from a business owner. I strongly suggest you have the police verify. Otherwise, you may have a clever alibi being offered.


3-29-06
Q.: I am a parent of an athlete. Last June my son attended a free sports physical in June that was put on by a group of providers. They completed a thorough exam and an MD signed a form; however, it is not on the yel- low WIAA card. I am being told that this will not be accepted for this spring track season, and that I must get a new card signed again. Is this true or can I attach the original signed form to the schools green card and at the physician signature line write in 'see attached'?
A.: You may find the WIAA's requirement for a pre-participation exam in the Rules At A Glance docu- ment. See: II-J. The WIAA prints and distributes the green physical exam form to our members as a service. The requirements we prescribe are that the current physical be signed by an MD or APNP...Dates be current/valid and that it be on file before a student is allowed to practice. There is not a WIAA require- ment that the physical must be on our form. Many students will use a military physical, foreign exchange students will use the form provided them in their home country. Some clinics use their own form for their own filing convenience. There may be some other valid reason your school has chosen not to acknowledge the physical taken last June - but it need not have anything to do with the paper it's recorded on - at least from the WIAA's perspective.


Q.: 1) What are the guidelines that a school has to follow when developing their athletic code? 2) Can a school have an athlete with three violations still be eligible to play sports? 3) Can they change their athletic code to make this athlete eligible?
A.: 1. Rules of Eligibility Code requirements are found in the Senior High Handbook (Under Publications icon) Art. VII Health and Behavior. 2. It could be possible. By a third code violation - in most schools a third confirmed violation is usually a fairly severe consequence – entire season or a three strikes and out provision – but not at all schools. 3. School Boards do have authority for addressing all school policy via procedural review. Athletic codes are school board approved - or adopted. When administration or others arbitrarily alter what is written - don't apply their rules as they are written - that's typically when teams forfeit games and/or are removed from tournament eligibility.


12-16-05
Q.: We have a student who turned 18 and is no longer living at home. Does this student need a parent signature on the WIAA athletic cards to participate?
A.: Yes. Access to sport remains a privilege..and "whether an adult or not"...style provisions apply.


Q.: Are school-sponsored "club teams" (such as our soccer team) under the jurisdiction of our athletic code? The team receives very little from the school other than a field to play on.
A.: WIAA membership requires code and signature for interscholastic competition in WIAA sponsored sports. Though it may not be required for e.g., a lacrosse team (non-WIAA program) or a club soccer team most schools require/apply participation codes to any clubs and activities sponsored by the school. Also, many student athletes participate in clubs outside their sport season. Those youngsters are still bound by the sport code.


Q.: We have an athlete who is currently under doctor's care and taking a prescription medication.    I understand that this is classified as a "narcotic" and would more than likely show a positive on a drug test if taken. Under current guidelines, I believe this athlete would be able to participate in basketball without peril. Is that a correct understanding?
A.: Yes, prescription medications are not viewed as any sort of violation by the WIAA - when used by the student the meds have been prescribed to - in accordance with the directions and prescription of the doc- tor. Caution: With some prescription meds, especially asthma related inhalers, students might be inclined to "share" - as unwise and inappropriate as it might be. If/when a prescription medication is used by any- one other then the student whose name is on the prescription, then you have a "code" issue (at the least).


11-11-05
Q.: Where I can find information on athletes who wear medical ID bracelets? Are they allowed to wear them during competition?
A.: You can check the National Federation Playing Rules books for the sport specific requirements with respect to medical alert information. They are allowed in most sports, but may require some taping, etc. Also see the WIAA Sport Medical Policy/Procedure manual, either in your school or on-line. Page 24 has a matrix of allowable auxiliary equipment. Medic alert medals/bracelets are not considered jewelry.


10-21-05
Q.: I am the principal of a combined middle/high school. Students in grades 6-12 are in one building. We recent- ly had two students violate the athletic code by being at an alcohol party with an older sibling. We are enforcing our code for the two middle school students. The siblings had graduated from high school last year. Should these students start "fresh" their freshman year of high school? In a larger district, this would most likely be the case. What is you opinion on this matter?
A.: This is your call. The WIAA does not have a "requirement" that middle level code violations be car- ried over/forward on into high school. One of the fundamental reasons the WIAA does not have the carry over requirement is for the simple fact that in some of our larger districts students may be coming to the high school from several middle schools. In that setting and given the diverse and variable athletics admin- istration and record keeping at the middle level, the chance for using an ineligible player, now in high school is greatly enhanced. It's for this reason - primarily - that there is not a carry over rule. In districts where record-keeping is solid and communication less likely to break down, it may be appropriate for an un-served code of conduct violation to be served. Otherwise, you will eventually encounter a situation where due to the sport seasons of involvement of individual students, there will be students involved in the same violation setting, some who are "in season" others who may not be until their "next season" in 9th grade, thus some will be penalized while others will appear to "get off." This impression makes the code appear arbitrary to parents and students. If you wish to give a fresh start from the "counting/recording" aspect, again - up to you. In other words, once all middle level codes are resolved the student goes back to "first" violation status. Some feel this is contrary to their communities/districts expectations - since the code is the same at the middle level as at the HS, and once the students are made aware, they are expect- ed to observe the code throughout their school competition careers.


Q.: I have a question regarding an athletic code violation. If a student is suspended for half of a season and the last regular season game of the season fulfills his/her half season requirement, is that student eligible for the tournament series?
A.: Yes. Just can not miss one/any - of the tournament series contests for a code of conduct suspension.


10-7-05
Q.: A youngster on one of our teams informed the coach of a medical situation. The student is HIV positive. The coach found out earlier today, and the athlete is not participating in practice tonight. What are your thoughts. What is your best advice? What would be our best practice?
A.: If I am reading between the lines, correctly. Your student has practiced, others have possibly been exposed. Best advice: Gather as much clear/complete information now....re-trace prior days of practice, wounds, etc., do as much reconstructing as may be possible. Use the student, coaches, managers, parents. Focus - in advance. If things get busy/emotional later on, have as much "good" info as you can piece together now. Get accurate information for all communication later on. Your district may wish to consid- er constructing a thoughtful/helpful informational statement anticipating the questions that may arise. You will want to consult with medical experts, and possibly DPI may prove a helpful resource. Identify ONE source to speak for the district. Perhaps our medical advisory team will have a source for help, too. If this student has been in contact and participating to this point of the season - best advice will come from our sport medical advisory team and will be forwarded ASAP. You may anticipate that those students who were in contact – they and their parents may need to be informed/tested. Did the student participate in a scrimmage? First game? vs. who? Whatever the final direction you choose to go, it is advisable to discuss your district's plan with your legal counsel.


Q.: My concern is in regards to Doctors of Chiropractic being allowed to perform school (high school and mid- dle school) physicals. There are a few chiropractors that may be performing the physicals on behalf of a previ- ous principal that had stated "chiropractors can perform them and they will be accepted by the school" and this has been over three years since our previous principal left. I have been on your website and viewed the Medical Policy Manual as well as the Senior and Junior High Handbooks in regards to the physicals and they all refer to the statement," Current physical fitness to participate in sport as determined by a licensed physician or Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP) no less than every other school year....". Which in simple english states noth- ing about chiropractors. I believe that the governing body, i.e.: WIAA has the final statement and I would like to make sure that none of our athletes are being put at risk for eligibility.
A.: First, the WIAA's rule has not changed. ONLY MD's and/or APNP's have been thus far, authorized by our member schools to provide WIAA school sport pre participation exams. This is not a local control issue. It is a provision of membership. Noncompliance with the requirement would place a member in a vulnerable position both in respect to their liability, should a student, be injured, but also with respect to their membership in the Association. For your more complete understanding, allow me to go one step fur- ther in explaining. If an area middle school/jr. high (or any other school) is not a WIAA member, techni- cally WIAA rules do not apply. A nonmember school and/or district might choose to allow what ever form of screening they wish. They might not require anything at all - except what's necessary to allow a child to attend school.


9-15-05
Q.: I don't know whom to address this issue but I am interested to hear if this is happening at the state level or just in our school. In the last year we have had four students get serious aggressive staph infections. Two wrestlers got it during the season after away tournaments, one football player got it after he sprained his knee, and another wrestler picked it up at a college wrestling camp. I have seen numerous articles in national publica- tions about the rising cases around the country. Are there some things we can do as coaches state wide and in our school to help protect our students or recognize an infection?
A.: Glad to see you're reading some materials. The WIAA has put numbers of articles/alerts in the Bulletin and on the school center site as this topic has surfaced across the country. The WIAA's Sport Medical Advisory discussed this topic as recently as this past June. To my knowledge it has not become widespread in WI but it has been seen here. Those things which a coach and school can do - that can make a differ- ence begin with cleanliness...uniforms, facilities and bodies. Shower promptly after practices/games. Use soap. Be certain practice and game apparel (including elbow/knee pads/sleeves, etc.) are laundered. Wash/sanitize duffel bags. Carry apparel inside plastic bags in duffels. Keep the locker room environment clean and dry. I must imagine that most of the products your maintenance staff uses are appropriate to combat staph and other related concerns. Be observant/create awareness and educate your athletes, coaches and parents. Properly treat all scrapes, including "minor" ones. No scratch is too small to ignore. Anything which persists, get to a medical professional promptly. The CA-MRSA (staph) that you are like- ly reading about is aggressive. I have not heard of any "magic cures or silver bullets" for this strain. The preventative measures of clean bodies and clean environment and prompt cleaning of all scrapes/wounds - is probably the same "best practice" information you will get just about everywhere you research. If I receive any additional tips or updates you can rest assured we will make every effort to get the information out to the membership, ASAP.


8-22-05
Q.: We are conducting sports physicals and a pediatrician would like to use a form other than the WIAA green card. If unclear, ,I could also get a copy and let you review it.
A.: It is the pre-participation exam (by an MD/DO or APNP) which is required. We print the forms as a service and convenience for our members and many clinics. If the school wishes to make their own form for recording, or accept a different form from a local MD or clinic, that is the school's prerogative. The fundamental requirement is that proof of a current exam is on file...and parents provide written authori- zation that their child may participate.


Q.: My son is 16 and is interested in using creatine as a supplement. I do not think this is a good idea and am looking for guidance on how to discourage the use of creatine. I know some states have issued statements against the use of supplements for team athletes and was wondering if Wisconsin has thought about this.
A.: The discussion and debate on the topics of supplements, performance enhancement, steroids, drug testing - and many other related subjects is a regular occurrence in this office. We believe the vast major- ity of school aged athletes would be far better served with time/money and attention being paid to great nutrition and hard work. With creatine being a "legal" food supplement, we find that to place it on the same list as alcohol/tobacco and other legally - controlled substances - to be a difficult "stretch" of our authority. A stretch which may be unenforceable for our members. You can find our "Position Statement" in our Medical Policies and Procedures manual - on our website/ Left Margin - HEALTH, p.25 (we sup- port and have adopted the National Federations position).


4-14-05
Q.: Does the WIAA consider junior high as a separate code than high school? In other words, if an athlete would have an athletic code violation in junior high and sit the appropriate suspension, does that carry over into high school, or does the athlete have a clean slate? That would mean any violation in high school would be considered as the athlete's first.
A.: This is an area that school's have control of the decision. The WIAA does not require codes carry over from middle school to senior high. I have heard sound arguments for carrying them over. There are some sound arguments for the "clean slate" to begin 9th grade. It's your call.


Q.: I am asking your advice about a request from a parent to waive physical examination, hearing, vision, and/or screening. I have a written waiver request from the parent of a student who plans to participate in sports this sea- son. What should my response be?
A.: For Reference See: WIAA Senior High Handbook, p.39, Article VII Section 1 A. "A student may not practice for or participate in interscholastic athletics until the school has written evidence on file in its office attesting to (a) parental permission each school year and (b) current physical fitness to participate in sports as determined by a licensed physician or Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP) no less than every other school year ...." There is no waiver or exception to the requirement for a physical exam.


3-25-05
Q.: Are managers of teams required to have a current physical on file?
A.: Not by WIAA rules. Only students who will be competing interscholastically...are required. If as a school policy you wished the added "insurance" nothing would prevent that.


10-26-04
Q.: I have a question regarding concussions. Someone in a different conference told me that there is a WIAA rule that states if you have a certain number of concussions in a football season, you can no longer play. Could you please let me know if this is a WIAA rule?
A.: I don't want to read too much into your question, but I must be candid. What might lie at the "root" of your question causes me great concern. The WIAA does not have a specific rule on number of concus- sions before a student may not continue participation. That determination needs to be made between the family, the school and the student's doctor. The help of an experienced MD is essential if you're looking at multiple concussions. Please work closely with your physician. I understand the pressures and emotions which can be a part of this decision-making process. Do not allow emotions to weigh out over good judge- ment. No game is worth never walking again, no hindsight can bring a youngster back to life.


Q.: My son has been suspended from sports for one school year. He has an under age drinking citation and broke the school code of conduct by a nonlawful act, as a matter of fact, the only reason the school dismissed him was a parent called into school, otherwise nothing would have happened. Since it was his second offense he was then suspended from all co-curricular events for this school year. What I would like to know is 1. Do you dictate any rule for the above or is it strictly a school rule, and 2. If he were to transfer to another school district next year would these offenses go with him and stand up at a different school?
A.: The WIAA requires a school have a code of conduct. It is most typical/common to see the sanctions increase when multiple or more serious violations take place. The school's suspension will follow your son to any school - for the same length of time as he would be ineligible at his present school.


10-8-04
Q.: Does the WIAA have any rules concerning an accusation made against a student and at what point that student should become ineligible? For example: someone accuses a student of drinking at a family gathering. It was ok for the student to be there, but not to drink. Is it ok for the student to participate in athletics until the circumstances are being investigated and substantiated or should the student be immediately suspended from athletics while investigation is ongoing?
A.: A school must have a code of conduct as a provision of its membership in this Association. The mem- ber is required to apply their code, as it's written, when they believe it has been violated. Obviously, they should not suspend a student if they are uncertain. But when they reach a stage in their investigation that brings them to the point of believing the code was broken, then they should apply the provisions of their code. WIAA rules would not prevent a student from practicing while an investigation is underway. A coach may have second thoughts about playing a student if there's the distraction and/or potential for forfeitures, etc. (Most schools will attempt to expedite this investigation and determination to the extent they are able to legitimately do so...in order that these sorts of uncertainties may be prevented as much as possible). Don't confuse the school code with a standard of innocence and guilt that would be neces- sary and appropriate in a court of law. We're not talking about State or Federal law here, or about depriving anyone of personal freedoms or civil rights as afforded by law. We're talking about the priv- ilege of sport eligibility and being held out of a game...if it comes to be determined that the code was violated.


Q.: I was wondering if the WIAA has a ruling on the eligibility of a high school senior who has been criminally charged with a sexual offense? Are they still allowed to continue playing high school sports while the case is being tried, or pending? Are they still allowed to play high school sports if they are convicted?
A.: A member school is required to apply their participation code, when they believe the code's been vio- lated. This should be done independent of the courts since the privilege of sport participation (or its restriction) is not the same as considering whether someone should be denied civil liberties. We are not addressing civil rights with school participation codes. Some school codes will have a more substantial penalty for addressing more serious violations. Many schools codes have not been updated to account for the more serious sorts of "legal" offenses and schools may find themselves embarrassed when a stu- dent, who has a very serious civil offense is allowed to return to competition with only a one or two game suspension.


Q.: A student was planning on participating in football but was suspended from the first nine weeks because of grades. He had a code violation for alcohol this past summer. He is going out for basketball. Does he have to sit a game in basketball for his alcohol violation?
A.: Many schools and ADs would say "yes" to this, by virtue of the fact that the students status was one of not being "eligible" to serve the suspension. The WIAA has left that determination to the schools. Has the student attended every single football practice and games could be a factor in helping you decide. You might consider a formal report from the football coach on whether the student may be considered to have served the suspension, etc.


9-16-04
Q.: My son is a high school sophomore, and is diabetic. In July, he was put on a insulin pump. Is he able to wear this while playing in WIAA sports?
A.: An insulin pump would be allowed to be worn during competition in all WIAA sports (legal - non required equipment). I need to caution you that some sports will require some additional padding. You might encounter a sport official who may have reservations in allowing it due to either being improperly covered/padded, or due to the official's inexperience and certainty. Be patient. Educate. You and your AD can do some things to help assure an opportunity might be as successful as it can be by reviewing the matrix on p. 24 of the WIAA's Sport Medical Policy/Procedures manual...and even duplicating the infor- mation for your child's coach to carry to contests. You might also have your son's MD jot a brief note indi- cating the "authorized" use/need for the pump to be worn. If these steps are taken, I will anticipate your son would have few, if any, minor setbacks.


Q.: Do poms and cheerleading need physicals like the rest of the athletes and secondly, do the coaches need to be ASEP certified or a teacher?
A.: WIAA is not an activity association. We do not sponsor or regulate cheer and pom. Schools will regu- late these activities as they see fit. It is most understandable and defendable to require all the same ele- ments for participation as you do for other similar/comparable activities. At many schools the cheer/pom are very active and competitive, their training and performance comparable in some ways to gymnasts, subsequently most schools will require preparticipation exams and all other requirements same as for all other athletes.


Q.: A question has arisen about WIAA sports physicals – we abide by the dates set forth on the card, i.e. exam- ination taken after April 1 is good for the following two years and examination taken before April 1 is good for the remainder of that school year. A nurse at a surrounding community clinic called and said that "other" school districts go by the date of the physical. For example, if a student has a physical on Feb. 1 (which is before April 1), his physical would be good for the remainder of that school year and then the next year he would be required to get a parent permission card signed and so on. What this nurse is saying is that a physical should be good from the date it is given for two years from THAT date.
A.: As you have described your "understanding and application" of this WIAA Rule of Eligibility it appears to me you have the correct understanding. As I understood your description, it appears you are in compliance with the Handbook text found on p. 39, Article VII Section 1A. Note the statement con- tained in the "box" below Section 1A. Please share this information with the nurse and if possible with those schools who are mis-informed and in non compliance.


Q.: If a student who hasn't participated in sports since his freshman year, and has had an underage drinking violation, decides to go out for a sport his senior year, is he ineligible per the rules of the schools athletic code?
A.: There would be no WIAA rule which would prevent the student from "going out" for a sport in the scenario you describe. The school would need to determine if the suspension for drinking needed to be served by a review of their schools code.


8-23-04
Q.: Like many schools, some of our coaches have created additional consequences for behavior violations that are more strict than our code. This right is communicated in writing in our code. Sports that do, must also have those additional consequences in writing to parents. You were quoted in the paper here saying, "If expecta- tions....are not fairly, uniformly and or consistently applied, that's not right." Are you suggesting that we should not be creating additional consequences because that means they are not uniform?
A.: No, not at all. The difficulties which arose at another school, at least from our perspective, were not singularly or simply due to the coach having their own "team rules." (Though it may be a fair question: Why should/must the expectations in one program be higher then in any other? Are high standards/expec- tations not universally desirable?) As you know, policy which is more restrictive then the membership's minimum are permissible. If you/your Board of Ed, wish to provide coaches with a certain amount of autonomy, that is "do-able". Two succinct points: 1. Be certain the policy and authority for coaches to cre- ate their own team rules is documented, universally communicated/understood/approved and supported at all administrative levels, by the Board of Ed, all appropriate parent groups and by the community at large. 2. If a head coach adopts added "team rules", then those rules must be consistently/uniformly and equitably applied w/in the team....from the "All-Conference, senior/captain on down to the 4th teamer. The quotes you mention were offered from that perspective, i.e. the coach administering the team code consistently/uniformly within the team level.


7-2-04
Q.: We are in the process of revising our Activity Policy. In reviewing a number of policies from other schools, I noticed that some of them had a statement within their policy that warned students and their parents of the risks inherent in participation in athletic competition. Some also had a sheet which the parents/students signed, indi- cating that they understood those risks and accepted them as a part of competing. We have discussed including such a statement(s) in our new policy and my school board has asked me to find out if the WIAA has their own statement of this type or what exactly your position is on such a statement. I have looked over the website and the Handbook and have not found any such statement. Do you have something on this order or do you have any guidelines that we should use in determining whether or not we should include such a statement and if so, what that statement should consist of?
A.: The trend in recent years is to have some sort of cautionary statement which might be included in order to participate in school sports among the items parents sign, in efforts to create a level of awareness, an informed consent. Some have encouraged the cautionary statement to be sport specific; that the risks inherent in track/field will be different then those in gymnastics, vs. football or hockey, e.g. Some districts are satisfied to have a single general statement. The WIAA does not have a statement that it recommends. It is quite often developed with the assistance of a districts own legal counsel, or might be taken or pat- terned after one developed by another school. While the WIAA does not have an "official position" on this topic, it seems to be a reasonable idea to inform students and parents of potential risks involved in sport participation.


Q.: During the five days of coaching contact does the health insurance from the regular season apply? If it does, how do we get 8th graders that will be 9th graders in the fall, included on that insurance?
A.: First, the WIAA has no health insurance requirement for participation in WIAA programs. The stu- dent is covered by whatever the family has/or doesn't have, in the way of health/accident protection. Some member schools own participation policies may require the student/family carry some protection in order to participate in school programs. Most schools will at the least have information on an economical policy for students whose families do not have adequate health care coverage. For non-school/summer pro- grams it would be up to the event sponsor whether to require the participant to have health insurance cov- erage and how much, etc., as a condition for access to the opportunity.


Q.: We are currently dealing with a situation where a student may be suspended from competition during the WIAA tournament. If they were to be suspended for conduct unbecoming a team member, and miss a WIAA tournament game would they be eligible for the remainder of the tournament?
A.: If a student misses a tournament series game as a result of a code of conduct violation as explained on p. 39 of the Handbook (See section 2, letter B). The student is not eligible for the remainder of the tournament series.


Q.: My softball coach informed me that he was told during a softball game the starting pitcher for our opponent is pregnant. Apparently our coach also addressed the opposing coach if he was aware of the fact, the coach said yes. My coach is not questioning this school and their policy but wondering what the conference felt on matters like this. Obviously the safety and well being of the mother and child is at hand. I am not sure if the conference wants to get involved in situations like this or should it be left up to the school and their athletic dept. Again my coach is not looking for a decision effecting the outcome of the game, we won. He is just concerned if a young woman should be playing high school sports while carrying a child.
A.: This is not all that uncommon. The 'WIAA' does not have a rule that prohibits a pregnant student from participating. Friendly advice is...It would be ill-advised to deny the student participation due only to the fact that she is pregnant. This has been affirmed as "discriminatory" on multiple occasions. It may be reasonable to ask for the written approval of the MD. The young woman has certainly had a change of health status since her "physical"/participation exam was likely placed on file with the school. It is not unreasonable for the school to request such medical clearance/reassurance, or a more current physical exam to be on file in order to play and to allow the school to protect themselves. The opinion on weather the prospective mother should or shouldn't play and any potential health concerns for a fetus are not with- in the authority of this coach to make or influence.


4-30-04
Q.: I have reason to believe that an athlete at our high school is using ephedra and possibly steroids. The athlete has improved dramatically in sprint times and has made comments about taking whatever the parent instructs, including drugs "that aren't illegal to use, just illegal to buy." There is history of steroid use in the family. Is there anything we can do to trigger an investigation of some kind? Is there any advice you can give us on this matter? I know it is very difficult to prove this, and that these are serious allegations. I don't want to start anything that will have adverse effects on my family, I just want to make sure that what is going on is legal and fair for all stu- dents involved throughout the WIAA. If the athlete is taking illegal supplements, athletes from all over the state will be affected.
A.: Both ephedra and "steroids" are controlled substances and as such, are subject to the school applying its code of conduct should an athlete be found in possession or using either, in violation of that code. Certainly "fairness" and "competitive equity" are an understandable "part" of this concern. Candidly, the far more distressing concerns are the potential health risks associated with both ephedra and steroid use. Bluntly, they are of a far greater concern to me then any race or medal. The BEST way for you to address this is to bring your proof of this concern to the attention of your school's administration. When I say "proof," keep in mind that you are correct in that this is a REAL serious issue of concern, that your "proof" ought to ideally, be "bullet-proof." However, even if it isn't, if you are convinced that a child's life might be on the line...then you contact the school administrator and ask of an opportunity to visit "confi- dentially"... and begin by acknowledging that you don't have concrete evidence to back up your concern, only circumstantial, and that you realize the school may have a difficult time acting upon circumstantial evidence and/or speculation...but that it is important enough that your conscience requires that you make them aware of your concern. As a former AD, I had any number of these types of meetings...while I may not have been able to take immediate action on a concern, the information will always allow a school administrator to "look with informed eyes," and that's a big PLUS! I direct you towards your school since your school's administration is obligated to maintain "institutional control" over their coaches, athletes and programs as a provision of their membership in this Association. If your AD brushes off this concern, you must bring it to your principal and/or school nurse. If you are correct, this has the potential of life and death consequences. If you have concrete evidence to support your concern there will be no way the school can ignore it. It is understandable and acceptable that you might choose to address this with another school official, other then AD or Principal, if there's one who you feel particularly confident, would respect your confidentiality on the matter, etc. and yet "act" on your evidence. But as I said, this is serious and can not be ignored.

12-16-10
Out of Season Clarification
The membership rules do not permit reduced team competitions during the school season (3-on-3 basket- ball or soccer, etc.). However, during the school year out-of-season, the reduced format would be permissible with 3-on-3 basketball or soccer leagues or tournaments. The assembly of students resembling a school team practicing or competing does still apply during the school year out-of-season.


4-24-10
Q.: Can I put my JV boys basketball team in a spring basketball league right now without getting into trouble? No coaches would be coaching them. It would be one of the kids dads. It's a seven week league playing on Sunday nights. It would start on March 28 and go though May 9.
A.: You've pointed out that coaches may not have contact out-of-season with the exception of the five unre- stricted days in the summertime. Athletes may voluntarily participate in a league out-of-season during the school year. But keep in mind the member schools of our Association have the following rule: It is the phi- losophy of this Association that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resem- ble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season. No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The way you advanced your question, the answer is no that a team could not be in a league unless diversified. "An acceptable non school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – non school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a school's team practicing or competing out-of-season." Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non-school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season.
 
Q.: I am going to run a summer basketball camp and am currently the JV boys basketball coach at our high school. I will be running the camp at the high school and need to know if students entering the 9th grade can attend the camp. I will be doing all of the instruction.
A.: Schools are allowed to provide/create summertime clinic/instructional opportunities for students that have just completed 8th grade or below. Varsity and JV coaches can have coaching contact with students who have just completed 8th grade or any preceding grade up until these 8th graders actually start their 9th grade year.
 
Q.: We are planning a basic basketball skills development physical education class to be offered during summer school. I just want to confirm with you whether schools are allowed to do this or not. 
A.: My reference is to the WIAA Handbook and the membership Bylaws (page 26). The Bylaw (Art II, Sect 2, Par A, #1) states: A school may not assemble athletes or prospective athletes in physical education classes, or some other manner, for purposes of teaching fundamentals, techniques, plays, etc., except dur- ing the designated school season of a sport, and during the approved summertime contact period noted below in B – Exceptions. The exceptions are the five summer contact days and six days of clinic for 8th grade and below. Therefore, it appears that the class suggested by your middle school physical education teacher would not be appropriate.
 
Q.: I have a question regarding the rule about use of school equipment - out-of-season - nonschool use/sum- mertime (Art. III, Section 1, A.) I have a parent who contacted me that her son is attending a baseball clinic at a business that works with kids on things like hitting, pitching, catching, etc. He is a catcher. She wants to know if he can use school catchers equipment - for safety reasons. Based on what I am reading in the rule - we can only issue the safety equipment in the summer. We can allow the use of implements such as bats, balls, etc., but not safety equipment like batting helmets and catchers gear. I am struggling to see the logic in this rule. We can allow them to use some of the equipment, but not the stuff to keep them safe and healthy. How are schools respecting this rules as it comes to open gyms? I know our softball coach uses helmets from the summer pro- gram team for their open gyms during the winter. We don't have a summer baseball program to go to - as we play WIAA summer baseball. Please advise on this.
A.: You are correct in the rule. Protective equipment and uniforms may only be issued during the actual sport season and the summer. To the best of my knowledge, our member schools respect the rule, and I have answered many inquiries about the rule. The mom may wish to check with a local American Legion team for equipment if you do not have a summer program with baseball.
 
Q.: I have a question regarding FFA basketball games. I had a request today from my FFA president to schedule an FFA basketball game (high school students) between our FFA chapter and the neighboring high school FFA chapter. Is this type of thing allowed?
A.: I would caution your school about holding an interscholastic event outside of the basketball season (Bylaws, p. 26, Art II, Sect 2, Par A). The best advice since this is an interscholastic event is to limit par- ticipation to only those individuals who have used their eligibility up (seniors) in basketball. Since both teams have completed their school season, this event constitutes a second season of the sport (p35 Art V, Sect 1, Par A, #3c) and participation would eliminate another year of basketball for (freshmen-juniors). Athletes are limited to four different seasons in their career (p. 35, Art V, Sect 1, Par A, #3b).


Q.: The high school basketball club is sponsoring a girls all-star game on Sunday. One of our volunteer coach- es has been asked to announce the game. In looking at the language found in the rules at a glance it says schools can have no involvement with these games in the school year. Therefore, my thought is that our volunteer coach could not do this. Am I correct or could he announce the game?
A.: You are correct. Administrators, athletic directors, coaches (paid or unpaid) shall not become involved directly or indirectly with the coaching, management, direction, and/or promotion of any kind of all-star game during the school year (Handbook, p. 28, Bylaws, Art IV, Sect 1, Par A).
 
3-15-10
Q.: I am a first year head boys basketball coach. Our booster program wants to sponsor a team tournament as a fundraiser the last weekend in March. I am hearing that there are restrictions on how many players from a school's varsity team can be on a team. For this tournament, anyone would be able to put together a team and play. There would not be restrictions based on school or team status. We do not want to violate any rules so please advise us on the regulations.
A.: Your best resource is your athletic director. There are restrictions, and they can be found on page 37 of the membership's WIAA Handbook in article VI, Section 2, Paragraph A: It is the philosophy of this Association that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school sea- son of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season. No pre-season or post-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The rule applies outside the sport season during the school year and not during the summer. Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non-school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season.
 
2-5-10
Q.: I had a few questions regarding a high school athlete's participation in track & field Collegiate "Open" Meets: I plan to coach in the spring in this sport but am currently under contract as a teacher and basketball coach for the school. There are a few track meets at universities this year that are "open," meaning, whenever some- body signs up for the meet, they pay a small fee and they can run, so long as they are a certain age. The age is usually at 18 years old. At our school, there are a few seniors that might greatly benefit from getting an experi- ence to compete early in the season and have colleges notice their talent. I plan on going to at least one of these meets. I am wondering what the rules are in regards to a student/athlete participating in one of these meets (even if not "representing" our school), what the rules would be concerning travel (if I am going to the meets, may (an) athlete(s) travel with me), and – if this is allowed – is there a limit on how many miles away a track meet may be or other stipulations regarding travel or competition?
A.: An athlete may participate in meets outside of the season, but must report to the school team when the school practice/contest season begins. Coaches and schools may not have contact with athletes and pro- vide transportation of athletes outside of the season during the school year. In season, this type of oppor- tunity would be acceptable only if the school coach attends and the meet is counted toward the maximum allowed meets on their schedule.
 
Q.: We are in the process of organizing a summer AAU basketball team. We need clarification on something. It is our understanding from reading RE, Article VI, Section II that there are no restrictions as to the number of stu- dents from one school district being on a team, as long as there is no practice or competition during the actual school year and there is no coach/school involvement with this team.
A.: You have the basic details correct. Students may assemble in any manner during the summertime (from the last day of school until the first day of school). Coaches may only have five days of contact between the last day of school and July 31.
 
Q.: I'm not sure how to interpret summer baseball rules and just wanted verification. Our high school team com- petes in summer baseball but several of the guys would like to compete in a spring league; the team would be made up of players that play at different levels (varsity, JV, freshmen) and would not be coached by any of the high school coaches – is this permitted? Can I have a tournament team after the season that is compiled from players at the same high school?
A.: The summer season begins on May 14, 2010. During the school year, the membership rules limit stu- dents when they resemble a school team practicing or competing. No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from the same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The rule applies outside the sport season during the school year and not during the summer. During the summer (after the last day of school and before the first day of school), baseball has unlimited "non-school" con- tact. Therefore, baseball players could assemble in any manner and their coach could coach them provid- ed the team is based as a non-school team without any school involvement in transportation, costs, etc. "An acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and non school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season."


12-18-09
Q.: Just double checking on something: A school can issue protective equipment in the off-season to a student who intends to go to a camp – Article III in the Handbook says that a school can do this in the summertime butwhat about if the clinic is during the school year – for example, a baseball catcher wants to go to a clinic/camp in December – he requests the use of the catching equipment from the school – can the school allow the student to use this protective equipment for this clinic, as it is out-of-season?
A.: Our rules indicate that member schools with school board of education approval may issue protective equipment during the summertime and sport season only. The student might check with your local recre- ation department to see if they would allow students to check out their equipment for a camp, or they may check with the camp host to see if participants may use or rent their equipment.


10-23-09
Q.: Our local YMCA Director has arranged for the UW-Platteville men's basketball team to come to put on a free one hour clinic for any boys & girls basketball players in our community. My question is, can middle school/high school age basketball players participate in this? The date is Tuesday, Nov. 3 and they are going to use the HS gyms.
A.: So long as it is an acceptable non-school opportunity with UW Platteville and available to any/all inter- ested students, not restricted based on school or team affiliation, is voluntary and does not resemble a schools team practicing and/or competing out-of-season. If school is still in-session, coach contact restric- tions must be observed. Use caution with the camp fees - A "free camp" opportunity would be acceptable so long as it is advertised as a "free camp" and so long as it is a free camp to all kids who come from all over your region (not just free for your students). Coaches from your school should be cautious if they plan to attend and observe that they do not appear to violate any coaching contact rules. Note it has to be open to anyone from anywhere and voluntary.


Q.: I run our local fastpitch organization and am looking for clarification on players that will be on their respec- tive high school teams in the spring. What restrictions are there for players to work out/train with our club team in the winter and can they also practice with us during the high school season and/or participate in a spring week- end tourney? We have no direct contact with the high school coaching staff.
A.: We have several rules which govern the athletes participation depending upon the time of the year. During the school year and out-of-season: The rule: "an acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – non-school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." (ROE, page 37, VI-2-A.) No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The question to ask yourself is – does this feel like compliance or circumvention? You can recognize that having my nine returning players from the same school and adding one guy, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past – stands; i.e. Non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. You are aware of the 'hard numbers' the board has already advanced one time. They were quite narrow. By the same token, the attitude of the "token wrestler" seems to no longer be acceptable. I can tell you there has also been dis- cussion of not more then 50 per cent of the roster and 50 per cent of participants on the floor/field at any- time should be from same school. So that may be a guide. Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions created by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible. During the school year and in-season: A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in non- school game, meet, or contest in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. (ROE, page 37, VI-1-A). During the summer: Teams may assemble provided the experience is voluntary and not based on school affiliation. Q.: Has anything been finalized on the legality of pre-season basketball tourneys (prior to Nov 16)? I know I heard about 10 different stories from 10 different coaches last fall. I have received some invites and don't want to do anything until I find out we are not breaking any rules. A.: The question is not whether the tournament is legal or not, but rather than whether the teams which are playing in the tournament are comprised of players properly. The nonschool participation out-of-sea- son rule states: "It is the philosophy of this Association that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during any actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season" (ROE, p. 37, Art VI, Sect 2, Par A). Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non school team is diverse and is not able to be iden- tified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions created by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible.
 
9-18-09
Q.: Our PTO group is having the Harlem Wizards basketball team here for a fund raiser in September. They asked if members of the 2009-10 high school team could play against the Wizards. What is the response?
A.: Keep in mind that the out-of-season assembly rule states, no activity in which they are engaged dur- ing the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season. (ROE, page 37m VI-2-A) "An acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" – and – non-school activities in which students are engaged "may not resem- ble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." Best friendly advice, best practice - an alumni team or a staff team.
 
Q.: Can athletes who are out-of-season (basketball) use their activity account (overseen by the coach) for a team building activity (ropes course) as long as they are voluntarily assembling? The school will not be providing any type of transportation to this event.
A.: The easiest answer is to hold the activity during the sport season. However, if the school wants to offer this opportunity to any and all students as a voluntary activity, then it would be acceptable. It cannot, however, be offered by the school (coach) for only the basketball team out-of-season.
 
8-21-09
Q.: A college coach called me and wanted to know if high schools in Wisconsin will be able to participate as a team in fall basketball leagues this year of 2009-10.
A.: Schools may only assemble as a school team during the WIAA designated sport season. Schools may conduct sport competition and practice only during the defined respective sport season as specified in Season Regulations and during Board of Control approved unrestricted contact days in the summer (up to five days in all WIAA sports), between the end of school and July 31. This means schools and school organizations, such as the letter winners club, the senior class, etc., cannot be involved in running any competition or practice in WIAA recognized sports outside the defined school season for that sport and those five days in the summer identified as unrestricted contact days. WIAA Bylaws prohibit member schools from competing against school teams that are post secondary schools and/or academies and schools that are not members of their respective state associations. Please reference the Rules At A Glance and the Bylaws on p. 26-27 of the Senior High Handbook regarding competition and practice restrictions.
 
Q.: My daughter participates on the varsity team of her H.S. basketball program. This week a parent from a 6th grade girls basketball team asked her if she was interested in working on ball handling skills with their daugh- ter. Is this illegal? Will this get our daughter in trouble with the WIAA? We are waiting for your answer before we decide. This would be strictly voluntary only, but we would like clarification if this is against WIAA rules. Practice would be approx. two times a week for an hour to an hour and a half.
A.: Your daughter can work with the sixth grader on her basketball skills. As long as she is doing this on her own, she can do so when ever. If the skills are being taught under the guidance of her high school coach and she is a clinician, then WIAA rules take effect with some limitations.
 
Q.: Our volleyball team and coach want to know if it is okay for them to ride on a float in a parade together dur- ing the local community's festival. They want to make sure that they are not violating any rules. It would take place the day before the season began. There would be no coaching done or practice. It would be just riding the float in the parade.
A.: You may have your team and coaches together (organizational meeting) provided there is no practice, competition, instruction, drilling, etc., going on.
 
4-10-09
Q.: I have a question for you about an all-star game for conference basketball players (all seniors of course). The date is scheduled for April 19 - so it is for sure "out-of-season." My question is this: We have five teams that we pick players from for each team (five team north; five team south). We would like the coach from the best team (according to the season ending standings) from the north and the coach from the best team from the south coach these seniors boys for the all-star game. Is there any problem with this? They are all seniors - out-of-season, is there anything wrong with this? Or should the coaches switch teams so they don't coach any of their players?
A.: Bylaws, Article IV (All Star Prohibition) states, "A school, including its administrators (district admin- istrator and principal), athletic director, and coaches, shall not become involved directly or indirectly with the coaching, management, direction, and/or promotion of any kind of all-star game or similar contest involving students with remaining WIAA high school eligibility in any sport, if such all-star games or similar contests are held during the established school year." I don't believe that either of the scenarios you might have hoped for may be do-able. Sorry. Some of these sorts of events are bringing back some retired/area "coaching legends" to serve in these events.
 
3-27-09
Q.: Can you please give me your interpretation of this proposal? A teacher in charge of our student government would like to have a combination of our girls' and boys' basketball team members play a game vs. the faculty? He would arrange it so that we have a mix of our girls' team members on the floor with boys' team members. He'd like to have this game on March 27. Do you see any potential for violations? Is there something we can do to change it to ensure that we are in compliance?
A.: To Begin: See HB, Bylaws, Art. II, Section 1 and 2. There are a couple ways you can get this done within the mem- ber's rules. 1) If you hold it on the date first identified, then you could run it but participation must be limited to sen- iors only. They will have used up their school sport eligibility and would not "burn" one of their four allowed school sponsored sport seasons. If held on March 27, do not allow underclassmen, students with past status in the program and remaining eligibility to participate. It would in effect - be another season of school sponsored basketball. 2) If you ran the event by or before March 14 then any boy/girl regardless of grade could participate. Schools are able to conduct intramural basketball during the designated school sport season - and at that date both the boys and girls seasons are still in progress. 3) If run on the 27th, but sponsored by a non-school entity, then it could include all students. Then you must keep in mind that "an acceptable non-school program is one not limited/restricted to students based on school and/or team status (ROE Art.VI, Sect. 2C-1).
 
Q.: There is another all-star basketball game starting in Duluth that wants our players to play. I know my senior basketball play- ers can play in it and still be eligible for spring sports. Here are three questions I have: 1) Can they only play in one all-star game per sport? Now we will have two in Duluth. 2) Can these players keep jersey they get for game for free? 3) I believe myself or my coaches cannot have any involvement in these all-star games. Is that correct? They want my coaches to coach the Wisconsin team. They are setting it up as a border battle, MN vs. WI.
A.: 1) No. There is not a number limiting post-season events of this kind – for seniors who have exhausted their basket- ball eligibility. 2) No – not if they are intending to do a spring sport – would be amateur status violation. If not doing a spring sport – ok. Could also purchase the jersey if they wanted it. 3) You are correct. See Handbook, Bylaws, p. 28; Art. IV.
 
Q.: What are the restrictions for coaches having out-of-season meetings with just parents? How about with just students? How about students and parents together? A.: The rules governing out-of-season organizational meetings has relaxed considerably. Used to be just one preseason meeting was allowed. Now, if you review any of the sport season regulations, you will see in the first article, #1 - coach- es can have as many organizational meetings as school administration wishes to approve. Coaches could meet with ath- letes, parents, alone/together - as you wish to allow. Obviously, organizational/informational meetings are about summer opportunities, team rules, fundraisers, open gyms and the like. They are not about film study and fundamental skill instruction and/or offensive and defensive package insertion.
 
Q.: My son is a freshman at a member high school. He would like to get a tournament team together for a couple of basketball tournaments in March and April after the season is over. My question is, how many players does WIAA allow on a tournament team from one school district? I would like to have four boys from our school and four boys from the neighboring district. Would we be able to have that many?
A.: The members present text for teams assembling during the school year, but outside of the season provides that no assembly may resemble in any way, a schools team practicing or competing outside of the season. Our recommendation to members has been to see that the non-school teams should be as diverse as possible - to avoid allegations of non-com- pliance. The configuration you have described would be seen as acceptable provided the eight boys actually attend both different high schools.
 
Q.: Does a high school student invalidate themselves for swimming, cross country or track if they compete in a triathlon dur- ing the summer? I was told that since girls swimming is in the fall, there is a rule about them competing in a swimming event within 90 days of the swimming season (not being allowed). I would like to be able to advise these kids properly so they do not loose there eligibility, but if this is the case, maybe this should be looked at as a possible exemption since the sports are quite different, and I would think you would want to encourage their participation.
A.: There is no 90-day rule. In the summertime, there would be no WIAA rules preventing a student from participating in a triathlon. In the time between a school's spring sports season is over (for track athletes) and before the fall sport seasons begin (swim, cross country), WIAA rules would not prohibit participation in these non-school events.
 
Q.: We are looking at running a pitching clinic for local kids (I'm the HS coach). We'd like to invite kids currently in grades five thru eight. It would be organized by the HS baseball staff. What parameters do we have regarding running this on a weekend or two in February or March? Can we include our JV/varsity kids as staff?
A.: Essentially what the rules provide is that a "school" may not sponsor camps/clinics except in the summer time. During the school year ideas like yours must be sponsored by the boosters, or police or Recreation Dept., e.g. (non-school entities). Kids can assist the sponsors. Coaches can assist the sponsors - but if the clinic is outside of the actual school season - coaches and players may not assist at the same times. (Thus, some folks wait to run this sort of camp until the early days of the actual season - when you can have contact with players in an instructional setting.) Bottom line: You can get this done - but maybe not in the straight line manner your initial thoughts may have been formed in.


2-13-09
Q.: Baseball parent is looking to organize a once a week training session for baseball players at our school. He has an organization who would be renting gym space here and then would be the group responsible for con- ducting baseball training sessions. Our head coach is not helping with this organization.
A.: Certainly non-school groups/organizations might secure use of school facilities in accordance with dis- trict policies. See II-C of the Rules At A Glance. Related: II-A. Keep in mind that an acceptable non school program may not be limited to students based on school and or team status. Best practice would be to see
that this didn't end up just students from your school – practicing out-of-season.
 
1-16-09
12-12-08
Q.: At our conference AD's meeting on Wednesday we had a lengthy discussion about the "out-of-season" hand- book language, specifically "that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season." What we couldn't get our arms around was the defi- nition of a "school team." Would a school be in compliance of this rule under each of the following situations: 1) a team has at least one member on it from a different high school, 2) a team has at least one member on it that is an incoming freshmen and this individual has not been out for the school sponsored sport yet (example - a freshmen plays on a fall league softball team and wasn't on the high school team the previous school year)?


A.: No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The way the questions you advanced are framed – I am inclined to say that neither conform with the spirit and intent of the rule as we have heard the members discussion in this office. The question to ask yourself is – does this feel like compliance or circumvention? You can recognize that having my nine returning players from the same school and adding one guy, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past stands; i.e. Non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. You are aware of the "hard numbers" the Board has already advanced one time. They were quite narrow. By the same token, the attitude of the "token wrestler" seems to no longer be acceptable. I can tell you there has also been discussion of not more then 50 percent of the ros- ter and 50 percent of participants on the floor/field at anytime should be from same school. So that may be a guide. If the members wish to allow year around assembly of their school teams then they should be prepared to voice those sentiments in the Area Meetings. It has not been what we have heard. While the "hard numbers" limits given earlier this spring for defining non-school teams have been placed in mora- torium and are not in effect in this school year. Thus the status quo prevails; i.e. The former rule: "an acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" – and – non-school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." Given the current text then, our members must still acknowledge that the status quo does not diminish the very real threats to them, their teams and tournament opportu- nities. But, they have been advised. Best friendly advice, best practice we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/non-school team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions cre- ated by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible.
 
Q.: I received a request from a player on the baseball team to borrow the catcher's equipment to use while attend- ing a catching clinic at Ripon College over the holidays. Does the WIAA have a rule covering this?
A.: During the school year protective equipment may not be issued except during the actual school season itself.
 
Q.: At our conference AD's meeting on Wednesday we had a lengthy discussion about the "out-of-season" Handbook language, specifically "that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season." What we couldn't get our arms around was the definition of a "school team." Would a school be in compliance of this rule under each of the following situa- tions: 1) a team has at least one member on it from a different high school, 2) a team has at least one member on it that is an incoming freshmen and this individual has not been out for the school sponsored sport yet (exam- ple - a freshmen plays on a fall league softball team and wasn't on the high school team the previous school year)?
A.: No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The way the questions you advanced are framed – I am inclined to say that neither conform with the spirit and intent of the rule as we have heard the members discussion in this office. The question to ask yourself is – does this feel like compliance or circumvention? You can recognize that having my nine returning players from the same school and adding one guy, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past – stands; i.e. Non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. You are aware of the "hard numbers" the board has already advanced one time.. They were quite narrow. By the same token, the attitude of the "token wrestler" seems to no longer be acceptable. I can tell you there has also been discussion of not more then 50 percent of the ros- ter and 50 percent of participants on the floor/field at anytime should be from same school. So that may be a guide. If the members wish to allow year around assembly of their school teams then they should be prepared to voice those sentiments in the area meetings. It has not been what we have heard. While the "hard numbers" limits given earlier this spring for defining non school teams have been placed in mora- torium and are not in effect in this school year. Thus the status quo prevails; i.e. The former rule: "an acceptable non school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – nonschool activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." Given the current text then, our members must still acknowledge that the status quo does not diminish the very real threats to them, their teams and tournament opportu- nities. But, they have been advised. Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/nonschool team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions cre- ated by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible.
 
10-24-08
Q.: We have a female soccer player (spring sport) that is being recruited to play collegiate soccer. The coach of the collegiate team would like to bring our player in to scrimmage against some of the players currently on the college team (this fall). Is this permissible for our high school player? Can our girl's soccer coach also take part in the scrimmage?
A.: As described, this would not violate WIAA rules. Must caution you, to have the family get it in writ- ing from college AD that doing so would not compromise the student's NCAA eligibility. My understand- ing is that only those schools who are allowed to give "partial" scholarships are able to work out a high school athlete while on their official visit. DI and DIII programs are not able to work out a recruit.
 
Q.: At our conference AD's meeting on Wednesday we had a lengthy discussion about the "out-of- season" Handbook language, specifically "that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season." What we couldn't get our arms around was the definition of a "school team." Would a school be in compliance of this rule under each of the following situations: 1) a team has at least one member on it from a different high school, 2) a team has at least one member on it that is an incoming freshmen and this individual has not been out for the school sponsored sport yet (exam- ple - a freshmen plays on a fall league softball team and wasn't on the high school team the previous school year)?
A.: No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The way the questions you advanced are framed – I am inclined to say that neither conform with the spirit and intent of the rule as we have heard the members discussion in this office. The question to ask yourself is – does this feel like compliance or circumvention? You can recognize that having my nine returning players from the same school and adding one guy, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past – stands; i.e. Nonschool teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. You are aware of the "hard numbers" the Board has already advanced one time. They were quite narrow. By the same token, the attitude of the "token wrestler" seems to no longer be acceptable. I can tell you there has also been discussion of not more then 50 percent of the ros- ter and 50 percent of participants on the floor/field at anytime should be from same school. So that may be a guide. If the members wish to allow year around assembly of their school teams then they should be prepared to voice those sentiments in the Area Meetings. It has not been what we have heard. While the 'hard numbers' limits given earlier this spring for defining nonschool teams have been placed in morato- rium and are not in effect in this school year. Thus the status quo prevails; i.e. The former rule: "an accept- able nonschool program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – nonschool activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team prac- ticing or competing out-of-season." Given the current text then, our members must still acknowledge that the status quo does not diminish the very real threats to them, their teams and tournament opportunities if their teams are assembling to practice or play during the school year but outside the season. Best friend- ly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be cer- tain the club/nonschool team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions created by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible.
 
Q.: We are in the process of purchasing new baseball uniforms. Do we need to spend money on new uniforms for the coaches, or is there such a thing as a "waiver" to be able to wear an "old" uniform of the same color.
A.: The National Federation baseball rules require coaches to be in team apparel if they wish to be able to coach from the base paths. There is some precedence for providing emergency and short term relief, emer- gency waivers, when a school's administration has made us aware of unusual circumstances, e.g. high numbers in turn outs, unusual number of "big kids" and a shortage of large uniforms, or some such thing. If when a school is purchasing new baseball team apparel they should plan to equip their entire team and program in accordance with the rules.
 
Q.: Can our girls basketball players "coach" at our youth clinic out-of-season? This rule "changed" or was "tweaked" last year, but I can't remember if they changed it back again. For whatever reason I think they did? We start our clinics Saturday and I want to make sure before asking the non-fall sport athletes to help?
A.: Caution. You can achieve desired outcomes within the rules, but be sure your coaches understand the rules. First, schools may not sponsor camps/clinics except in the summer. Nonschool groups may rent/reserve school facilities in accordance with school board policies. I presume this is an opportunity being run by the "back court club" or the youth basketball group in town. If they wish to solicit help from students and/or employ them, they could do so. If this event takes place outside of the high school season, your players and coaches may not be present at the same time. School coaches may use their players as clinicians - only in the summer, prior to July 31. See Rules At A Glance, IIA and C.
 
Q.: I would like to know whether it is ok to have the players who would probably be on our high school varsi- ty team play 7-8 games together this fall against teams from other schools before the basketball season starts.
A.: Simple answer is, no. During the school year, the assembly of students in a manner that resembles the school's team practicing/competing outside the season is prohibited.


9-19-08
Q.: I am working on a potential project for the future and before it gets off the ground I would like to know if, through the WIAA, it is possible. For the 2009-10 basketball season our district is going to institute a three person crew for all boy's and girl's basketball games. As a result, there is a great deal of desire to ensure that all con- tracted officials in the area are certified and trained to work in such a capacity. The recreation department is inter- ested in hosting an officials clinic that has two main parts. One part is classroom instruction for officials. Second, is the practical experience with on the court with live play. It is our desire to offer this officials training in June of 2009. It is also our desire to bring in local high school basketball teams to participate with the on-court expe- rience for the officials. We would need to charge those teams a nominal fee to cover our gym rental fees as well as class room rentals. Would we be in compliance managing such an event?
A.: This could be accomplished in compliance with association provisions. The cleanest/easiest way for "school teams" to assemble in June is if those participating schools use a day of their unrestricted summer contact. However, outside of the unrestricted days the rules also provide that kids can voluntarily assem- ble in the summer – in any configuration they wish – without school and coach involvement.
 
Q.: At our conference AD's meeting on Wednesday, we had a lengthy discussion about the "out-of-season" Handbook language, specifically "that while athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out of season." What we couldn't get our arms around was the definition of a "school team." Would a school be in compliance of this rule under each of the following situa- tions: 1) a team has at least one member on it from a different high school, 2) a team has at least one member on it that is an incoming freshmen and this individual has not been out for the school sponsored sport yet (exam- ple - a freshmen plays on a fall league softball team and wasn't on the high school team the previous school year)?
A.: No pre-season team should be made up exclusively of students from same school. Merely grade level diversification is not acceptable. The way the questions you advanced are framed – I am inclined to say that neither conform with the spirit and intent of the rule as we have heard the members discussion in this office. The question to ask yourself is – does this feel like compliance or circumvention? You can recognize that having my 9 returning players from the same school and adding one guy, somebody's cousin from another school – does not address the desires or discussions we have heard from our members. I would advise organizers, especially in pre-season leagues to see that teams are as diverse as as they can possibly be. The best practice advice we've provided in the past – stands; i.e. Non-school teams should be as diverse as you can possibly make them. You are aware of the "hard numbers" the board has already advanced one time. They were quite narrow. By the same token, the attitude of the "token wrestler" seems to no longer be acceptable. I can tell you there has also been discussion of not more then 50 percent of the ros- ter and 50 percent of participants on the floor/field at anytime should be from same school. So that may be a guide. If the members wish to allow year around assembly of their school teams, then they should be prepared to voice those sentiments in the Area Meetings. It has not been what we have heard. While the "hard numbers" limits given earlier this spring for defining nonschool teams have been placed in mora- torium and are not in effect in this school year. Thus the status quo prevails; i.e. The former rule: "an acceptable nonschool program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – nonschool activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team
practicing or competing out-of-season." Given the current text then, our members must still acknowledge that the status quo does not diminish the very real threats to them, their teams and tournament opportu- nities. But, they have been advised. Best friendly advice, best practice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club/nonschool team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the season. The distractions cre- ated by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to strive to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible.
 
Q.: I recently contacted the WIAA about a proposed 2008 tri-state (MN-WI-IA) all star volleyball game for high school senior girls after their season is over. Would a senior girl be allowed to play in this event on Nov. 22-23, 2008 and still be eligible for her winter and spring sports. I'm also considering a 2009 tri-state (MN-WI-IA) all- star boys and girls basketball game tentatively scheduled for April 4-5, 2009. Are Wisconsin senior boys and girls eligible to play in this event and not lose eligibility for their spring sport?
A.: Yes to both questions.
 
8-15-08
Q.: It has come to my attention that the varsity football coach at an area high school has handed out equipment in the second week of July. Per your Website, this is non-compliant. I might be wrong but kids should not get "left overs" when they try out on time for football season. Could you please confirm?
A.: If your school board has given approval - schools may issue uniforms and protective equipment in the summertime. Many member schools are taking advantage of this rule to provide economical/affordable skill camp opportunities to local kids. Pads issued during the summer unrestricted contact days must be collected and returned to storage, since they can not be issued for the actual school season until Monday, Aug. 11 (2008).
 
Q.: I've noticed a number of people organizing pre-season basketball tournaments again. Can you again clarify the rules pertaining to out-of-season competition? What as an organizer people should be aware of?
A.: Page 4 of the Athlete Eligibility Information Bulletin outlines our members rules for club and/or other non-school teams during the school year. To protect the eligibility of students and interests of our mem- ber schools we would encourage you to see that teams are made up of students from more then just one school and work with area athletic directors at member schools.
 
Q.: I'm inquiring about members of a co-op WIAA girls hockey team, playing fall hockey (pre-season) with a league in Minnesota during the months of August-September. I understand there is a WIAA rule of not more than three or more players playing organized games. I was also told that it is not being enforced at this time. Could you please advise me of whether or not this is allowed or not?
A.: The "hard numbers" limits given earlier this spring for defining non-school teams have been placed in moratorium. They will not be in effect in the next school year. Status quo prevails; i.e. The former rule: "an acceptable non-school program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status" - and – non-school activities in which students are engaged "may not resemble in any way a schools team practicing or competing out-of-season." In saying the most recent interpretation will not take effect, our members must still acknowledge that the status quo does not diminish the very real threats to them, their teams and tournament opportunities. But, they have been advised. Best friendly advice, best prac- tice - we can offer to make sure the school's team is not placed in peril – is to be certain the club team is diverse and is not able to be identified as just the school's team assembling and competing outside the sea- son. The distractions created by the allegations of violation we receive at tournament time would seem to me to be reason enough to make the school's team as bullet proof as possible.
 
Q.: Our girls play in a summer league for basketball. Our district has rental agreements in place for facilities and they want to use the gym free of charge. I am thinking that they have to pay the rental fee like anyone else. Our coach claims that we are the only school that charges for the rent to our own girls. What is the ruling? Can we let them use the gym for free. Our coaches are not involved with this. It is run by parents. I was thinking that the only way we could not charge rent is if the coach used her contact days for this league. I may be wrong but then, other schools are not charging rent.
A.: As a non-school assembly - the parent and group of girls must secure use of your facility the same as any other private citizen - consistent with your board's usage policies. It may be possible that other dis- tricts have other policies which regulate facilities usage - by local groups, student groups, for profit groups and so on. Thus, the rental by/for local folks working with kids might see nominal or free use, as opposed to a group that wants to use your facility for a for-profit craft sale, or the Parks and Rec Department's programs, e.g. It is not uncommon for board policy with respect to facilities usage to have two or three dif- ferent rental schedules. See Bylaws II, Sect. 3 and 4, p. 26 (important). Also IIC-3 of Rules At A Glance is relevant, even though you're not talking about a camp or clinic in this case. If your community is not sat- isfied with current policies regarding usage, your board has authority to change its policies.
 
7-18-08
Q.: We have a group of kids from our school in a summer basketball league. I made sure it was advertised and available to ALL boys. The question is - can they use a school van for transport to the league games? There are a few kids who aren't able to drive yet. The person "coaching them" is a former coach who is no longer a part of the program/on the coaching staff. Also with gas at $4 per gallon it is more economical to take five or six kids in one vehicle. I know the restrictions on our coaches would prohibit because they are using their contact days in a different way. How is it with someone who is not part of the program?
A.: No. "Schools" may not be involved in students non-school pursuits. Bylaws allow schools to transport during the actual season and during unrestricted contact days. See HB, p. 26 Art. II, Sect. 2 and 3.
 
Q.: I was told by another coach that his AD indicated that it is illegal for teams to be involved in seven-on-seven tournaments or leagues. Is this true? Many universities and high schools run seven on seven passing tournaments or leagues during the summer months. We have previously participated in some of them and do not want to be involved in any illegal action.
A.: The simple answer would be "no." At least in the summertime, passing leagues generally are not seen as a problem, unless they are funded improperly, participation is mandatory... or coaches are improperly involved. While there are some ways in which problems could arise – ordinarily very few actually arise and kids can most often take part in passing leagues without peril.
 
Q.: Our basketball program would like to host a four-to-six team boys basketball tournament at our high school this summer for high school-aged boys. Teams would not be coached by their high school coaches, and kids from other schools could play on teams other than their own home cities if they choose to. My question is: Our coach would like to also invite an AAU sponsored team to participate in the tournament as well. I don't believe that this would be any type of infraction, but thought I would check with you first to verify.
A.: This could be accomplished within the rules - in a couple of ways. However, it is important to clearly recognize the differences inherent to both. First, (perhaps) best and easiest way would be to count the event as your contact days - that way the school could be involved, use of facilities, liability etc., stream- lined. Or - if non-contact days - then the event must be sponsored/provided by a non-school entity - who would be 100 percent responsible for securing use of facility, liability, organization, promotion, etc. An AAU team entering the tournament is a non-issue.
 
5-22-08
Q.: Have you come up with the "Rules of Eligibility" that we should give our parents that they will "sign-off" on for next year? We are preparing our materials for the fall and they are on hold until I get that information. My other question is will the rules of eligibility include information on roster limits for club teams during the school year? This limit is not in affect during the summertime – correct? Does this rule only cover school teams – for example – fall ball, spring leagues. How are we suppose to track what club teams our students are on? For exam- ple – there are a bunch of different club volleyball programs in the Milwaukee area – how am I suppose to make sure that there are not more than three of our athletes on one team? We have nothing to do with these teams ,and I am not sure I can dictate who can make what team.
A.: We have just recently put finishing touches on a sign-off form and have emailed the document to all schools, as well as placed it on our website. School year club team roster limits are included in this docu- ment. We are also adding the nonschool competition roster limits to our handbook for next year, which addresses nonschool participation during the school year. a. During the unrestricted summer contact days, coaching contact is permitted and assembly may resemble the school team. b. Outside of the five unre- stricted days, students can voluntarily assemble without school and coach involvement. During the school year, no assembly can resemble the schools team practicing and/or competing outside the season...the numbers came as a response to requests for something more clear than the "token wrestler." School administration is responsible to educate coaches athletes, parents and others. We advise you to begin with your coaches and proceed to athletes and parents at every/through every available channel.
 
Q.: I have a quick question for you pertaining to football. With our five contact days during the summer, if I opt to have our kids wear football helmets (for protection), and they currently are all certified and reconditioned by the way, when the kids hand them back in, do I have to get them certified again? What are my options? What does WIAA recommend?
A.: You essentially have two choices on how to handle this: Get helmets reconditioned again following their issue and use (you might choose to have the users pay for the second). When the helmets comeback, put a wire/twist name tag (or tape) on the face mask with the player's name and see the same student is re-issued the same helmet in the fall that he used in the summer. That keeps it within the locus of control of the stu- dent. Of course, always good/wise to ask the student when he returns the helmet if he experienced any problems and to perform thorough inspection of the helmet and a full re-fit – even though its the same stu- dent and same helmet, in the fall.
 
Q.: I have a couple of questions regarding football: 1. They now get five days and can be non-consecutive dur- ing the summer (done by 7/31) correct? 2. My coaches have heard rumblings of team camps where teams go and scrimmage at a university with full gear. I told them I find this hard to believe, but I just want some clarification. If there are indeed "team camps" out there can a team go to it, fully suit up, and actually scrimmage live? I know there are position camps where kids get equipment from their schools and go to the camp, but team camps and scrimmaging I found hard to believe.
A.: You are correct on the change in summer contact days in football. With respect to team camps, poten- tially – yes. Your school board has to authorize issue of pads. Opportunity must be part of unrestricted contact days. Lastly, keep in mind just because you "can do" does not mean you should. At least not with- out what you must decide to be proper acclimation.
 
5-1-08
Q.: We have had our school trainer that is contracted throughout the school year provide summer agility and con- ditioning classes for our student-athletes. He does this through a healthcare facility and is a certified strength and conditioning coach. My question is this; the cost is becoming very expensive for the student-athletes that want to participate in this summer program and it has in fact deterred some from taking it (the cost). If this is open to all students enrolled at the high school, is it possible to have a club or the school pay for a portion of this cost to lower the overall cost that the student-athlete would have to pay? There would still be a fee for the participants, but it would not be as much as it would be if they had to pay all of it themselves.
A.: If a group or benefactor wished to underwrite a camp and provide it free or reduced – to everyone interested, they could do that. Key is in uniformity – if it's going to be 25 bucks for the third teamer, it's got to be 25 bucks for the all-state player. And that each player or their family cover 100 percent of the costs associated in order to attend the camp.
 
Q.: My volleyball coach has asked me a few questions about summer league play and starting a non-school club. I want to check with you to make sure my understanding is correct. First, is there any way a school can sponsor a summer league or tournament for high school aged students? My understanding is that something like this has to be sponsored by a non-school group and they in turn can reserve district facilities. I'm not 100 percent sure if the recent summer contact days would allow anything like this. Also, am I correct to assume if a non-school group wanted to have funds held in a "school account" would this group then be considered a "school sponsored group"?
A.: Yes to your first question. A school can do what ever it wishes (almost) on the five unrestricted days in the summer – sponsor five tournaments, e.g., or five days/nights of league play, five days of camps and competition . . . Outside of those unrestricted days, NO. See Bylaws II, Art. II., p. 26. Regarding your sec- ond question, no, but the funds are "school money" and subsequently may not be used to fund non-school opportunities. This ties into who may be allowed to pay for "what" – and when.
 
3-28-08
Q.: For the summer contact days in football, are coaches allowed to issue and practice in pads, helmet, etc?
A.: Yes – so long as it has been approved/authorized by school board (Handbook, p. 28 Art. III). If you have not done this before, I recommend thoughtful discussion on the collection of equipment if issued: How to address re-issue. To recondition or not to recondition. Proper fitting. Acclimation.
 
Q.: The basketball coaches in our conference are proposing a senior-based all-star game between divisions that they would like to play within two weeks after the basketball season. Is there any eligibility concerns for spring sports participation if these boys and girls play in this basketball game if this game is played at the desired time- line or do they need to wait until after the completion of the school year before they play this game?
A.: The Rules of Eligibility (Senior High Handbook) Art. VI, Sect. 3B-4, p. 38-39, allow seniors to partic- ipate in post-season, all-star events without jeopardizing the next seasons' eligibility. Caution: Advise coaches, AD's to read carefully Bylaws Art. IV Sr. High Handbook, p. 28. These events can be organized by clubs and others, but member schools, their staff and employees should have awareness of this Bylaw..which limits involvement of AD's and coaches.
 
Q.: I have a former volleyball player that is a junior in college and would like to hold a volleyball clinic at our high school on Sundays after spring break. She would like to open it to all interested middle and high school stu- dents. None of our high school coaches would be involved with the clinic. Looking at the Handbook, I do not see where this would be illegal to do, but I wanted to check with you first. She has filled out the necessary paper- work with the school, but I have put this on hold until I hear from you.
A.: Good call. Non-school persons and/or groups can use our member's facilities for private purposes. See II-A, II-C,3 of the Rules At A Glance. Also, text in Sr. High Handbook pgs. 37-38, Art. VI, Sect. 2A, 2C and 1. As a private business venture – this woman is a non school provider – just like a YMCA, e.g. Must advise the advertising for this opportunity can not be limited to just students in your school (best prac- tice).


Q.: I want to be sure I interpret Article VI, Section C-5 correctly. Does the note at the end provide for the school to cover the cost (or at least part of the cost) of a team camp, provided it is during the five contact days allowed during the summer? Does it have to be the school, or can it be an organization or individual covering the cost?
A.: To begin, – see the text of II-F in the Rules At A Glance. It is also important to note that 'a school' can provide camp/training/clinic opportunities – for all interested students during the actual school season AND during the unrestricted contact days in the summer. What the boosters or others could do is to 'GIFT' the school (if your school board allows earmarked gifts of this kind) the school could then cover costs for any/all students interested in attending a team camp. The school would typically make an announcement to notify all interested 'girls' who might want to have access to a camp opportunity. All other camp/clinic/specialized training and instruction students wish to pursue must be covered 100 per- cent by student and family.


Q.: I am running a small indoor soccer clinic for kids the next two weekends and was planning on having some of my high school kids help. My AD questioned whether or not it was "legal" as far as WIAA contact standards and I admit, I didn't consider it. While the high school kids will technically be working with me, it's more that we'll be in the same gym while they are playing with the kids. Is this a problem according to the WIAA for the girls who will be beginning the H.S. season within the next few weeks? I certainly hope not as this is a win-win fun way to get younger kids involved in soccer.
A.: You have a wise AD and I'm glad you're working with her. There are several potential concerns held within your simple idea. There are several ways you could achieve your hoped for outcomes - within the rules the member schools have established. There are several ways you can step on a land mine and blow up.
First, schools may not sponsor camps or clinics during the school year. Non-school groups are able to use school facilities in accordance with school policy. So a non-school sponsor needs to be identified. You may use HS students as clinicians, in the summertime. During the school year you are not allowed coaching con- tact except during the actual school season.


Q.: Two former high school coaches and one assistant coach at a suburban school were going to work with our kids on fundamentals of the Wing-T over a couple of Saturdays between basketball and track. Of course, no pres- ent coaches (or former coaches) would be involved. This would be completely voluntary for the kids and open to all interested students. My question is, would it be legal to let the coaches use the high school gym or would they have to find a neutral site.
A.: An acceptable non-school opportunity may not be limited/restricted based on school or team status (Sr. High Handbook, p. 38, Art. VI, Sect. 2C-1). The sponsor of this Wing-T camp will need to advertise more widely then just your school. School facilities can be rented/reserved by non-school providers in accor- dance with school district policy. (See IIA and C of attached) It is not uncommon for districts to require hold harmless agreements and proof of liability protection when activities of this nature are held. If you were to organize this opportunity - in the summer - and used it as part of your five unrestricted contact days, then the school could be involved and the camp could be limited if you wished, to just your students.


2-8-08
Q.: We have a baseball player that has been invited to work out at MATC before the baseball season starts. Is this a rule violation?
A.: A student practicing at MATC in the manner described would not violate WIAA provisions, unless the opportunity is one provided as perk/benefit because of athletic ability, potential, performance...(amateur status). So long as "my son" and any other interested student can go work out at MATC too, then there is no peril of any kind.


1-18-08
Q.: Can a person (coach or volunteer) have a meeting with a track team (participants) out-of-season to let them know of some indoor meets that they could participate in?
A.: I would not be so casual in allowing 'just anyone' to assemble the school's team - typically that's a head coaches duty. But bottom line is that if you refer to p.47 Spring Season Regs. Or first page of any winter sport regs...item # 1 addresses pre-season organizational meetings - Answer is "YES." And school admin- istration can approve as many as you wish - or think needed and reasonable. Must advise you review and be 'crystal' with coach about instruction.
 
Q.: I have a question about eligibility of WIAA volleyball team players playing in a school sponsored intramu- ral VB tournament. My daughter wants to play in this tournament and was told that since she is a member of the VB team for the school she could not as it was a violation of WIAA rules. I don't want this to jeopardize her status so I'm asking.
A.: It would appear you have been correctly informed. WIAA Bylaws prohibit members from sponsoring sport training and/or competition outside the actual/approved school season. Thus, if volleyball conclud- ed this past Nov. and a member is now running/sponsoring VB competition out side the season - it should not include students who have a past status and remaining eligibility in the sport (or it would be construed and counted as one of a students maximum of 4 seasons of school sponsored volleyball competition). There are times and occasion when a member may have some specific and more/less legitimate purpose to have out-of-season, school sponsored sport event of this kind. If/when such takes place as "self contained with- in the school" - there is not typically WIAA sanction involved. BUT...It may not turn into/result in one member sponsoring year-round basketball/volleyball/ soccer, etc.


12-21-07
Q.: My son is a junior in HS and has been invited to participate in the US Army National Combine Jan. 3-6, 2008. There is a registration fee that covers cleats, apparel, lunch, bus transportation and a ticket to the US Army All-American Bowl. Would his participation affect his eligibility for participation in his HS sports?
A.: Combines have generally presented no problems - from either amateur status perspective, all-star competition, or from non-school competition perspective. On the surface I am not able to see an obvious WIAA eligibility concern - but I have not seen/reviewed any text/literature on this opportunity.


Q.: A local sports club offers the following leagues: 7v7 18 and under indoor passing league; 8v8 18U, 16U and 14U indoor softball leagues; 6v6 18U, 16U and 14U indoor baseball leagues; 9v9 U18, U16 and U14 indoor soc- cer. All of these have very different rules than the WIAA version of football, softball, baseball and soccer that are played at the high school level not to mention are all played indoors. Would you interpret that these four sports are different enough from the ones played at the high school level, therefore, would not be looked at by WIAA as a violation to the rules of teams gathering during the school year to play in these indoor activities?
A.: I would respond by requesting assistance from the club/business to be certain any student groups from my high school were not placed on a singular team. Would try to educate the local business of the Association's rules as well as the real risks and ask they help me look out for the school and kids interests by protecting them. It's not that hard to do if I really want to. When an AD comes asking for - "best prac- tice / best advice" - our response must always be shaped and influenced by what we experience when com- plaints/assertions come in here at tournament time. That advice will always be to make the schools programs and interests bulletproof. At this time and unless/until the members would vote to change the cur- rent rules we would suggest you advise students, coaches, parents that club teams contain kids from out- side your/one single school and at least – certainly, include kids who are not part of the school's sport pro- gram. Though the text is not framed for application to this specific question – If you look at text of Art. III-D non-school participation – when applied to concerns for in-season violation of school loyalty provi- sions, modified and/or gimmick competition is viewed no differently then traditional competition...in the times and context of this rule's application.


12-06-07
Q.: For a pre-season tournament, is it acceptable to co-op with another school? Some of our girls have friends in neighboring schools and we would like to know if they would be allowed to join us.
A.: We have recommended and endorsed this idea previously. I believe that it is as near, bulletproof as you can get. When kids/friends from more then one school get together, e.g., to make up team #1 made up from students at school A and B - or more, to make team AB1 then play AB2. We support that model and can defend the member's who use it.


9-21-07
Q.: Our boys golf team members are interested in having "Captain's Practices" this fall. I told my coach I am checking with you but that it would most likely be okay as long as: 1. Neither our varsity or JV coach provided any instruction to them - that this is to be a voluntary activity (attendance isn't taken, etc.). 2. The kids cannot receive any perks, such as free play at the course because they are members of the team (students who have their own membership/family membership, etc., at the course would have those rights to use, but others would have to pay greens fees). Please advise.
A.: Current rules and interpretations - would prohibit this. Rules of Eligibility Art. VI, Section 2 - Out-of- Season, p. 38/ C-2. Indicates there are no restrictions against student's voluntarily assembling - in the sum- mer time. This is the specific text that allows for "Captains" practices. From there then, go back and read Section 2, Preamble A ('may not resemble school's team practicing/competing'). Also then read over Bylaw Art. II, Section 1 and 2. This text and interpretation may be coming to the membership in April for some revisions. Bottom line, I must advise great caution and diversity of athletes when assembling during the school year, outside of the season.


Q.: My volleyball coach would like to put together a league team for the park and rec. winter league. The team would consist of himself, a few adults and two or three high school players. The coach says that other coaches from other schools say they have done this. I am not so sure it is legal.
A.: First, I must request that you please identify those schools and coaches – who have done this, to me. Second, if the players have any remaining high school eligibility such coaching contact would be viewed as a violation.
 
7-13-07
Q.: Our school is offering sport classes as a part of summer school, and the question is could the coaches teach fundamental in these classes?
A.: First – it is important for you to begin by reviewing the Association's Bylaws in the Senior High Handbook; see: p. 26, Article II, Section 1 and 2. These provisions along with the Rules of Eligibility Art.VI, Section 2 is the basis for the following response. A member school can provide summer school sport instruction to students who have just completed 8th grade and/or below. You can do this 'all summer' and your JV and varsity coaches can teach the class. (Rules At A Glance, Art. I and II-A and C). HOWEVER – it has only been in the past 2-3 years that member's are now allowed to provide/sponsor sport instruc- tion opportunities to H.S. students in the summer (for grades 10, 11, 12). There are some key elements you must be aware of in order to be in compliance. In most sports, the maximum number of days you can spon- sor high school level programming is up to max of five days AND those days must fall between the end of school and conclude no later then July 31.


5-25-07
Q.: One of our coaches would like to put a newsletter out to the athletes who participated in the sport this past school year. He wants to split up the team in four groups with a captain leading each group. This is done to pro- mote leadership and some team competition. My concern is if he gives points for certain things throughout the summer. We offer speed and agility twice a week to all athletes on Monday and Wednesday nights. Can they get points for attending? Can they be given points if they help out at a youth camp? In the rules it says "It would be a violation of WIAA rules to mandate attendance at open gyms or provide incentives for athletes to attend open gyms" – would these points be considered incentives? At the start of the season they will total up all points from the summer and establish the winning group. I said I would check with you but I don't think this is going to work. The coach said he read about the practice in a coaching magazine.
A.: I have heard about the point idea...and in some instances the thought was to connect, equipment issue to it – who got new/preferred equipment. I'm with you, I don't like 'points.' If not viewed as incentive – what are they for? The rules of eligibility allow students to VOLUNTARILY assemble in the summer, without school or coach involvement. The Rules At A Glance (Art. I) further indicates, "or having basi- cally anything to do with athletes' non school pursuits..." (with respect to coaching/coaching contact). Points, taking attendance, e.g., are almost always going to cause a problem for the coach if/when a com- plaint is lodged.


3-30-07
Q.: A question for you that I did not know the answer to and could not locate in WIAA literature. Can the foot- ball coach compile a quarterly newsletter for the team? It would contain no instruction, no plays, no audibles, etc. Only schedules, reminders, fund raiser information, important meeting dates, school tips, etc.
A.: On the surface and as described, I see no obvious red flags or peril in this.
 
Q.: I just heard that there is a rule change allowing coaches to participate with their athletes in out- of-season "open gyms". I understand no "coaching" contact is still the rule but specifically as it relates to tennis, can I play with one of my players out-of- season? This has never come up before, but I would like a clarification before it does.
A.: In order to be thorough and clear, there are several possible responses to the question as posed: In the summer, yes! Tennis coaches are still permitted to have coach contact in the summertime in non-school settings above and beyond the five unrestricted contact days. During the school year – outside the school season – in a local tournament, or other non-school event, e.g., outside of a school sponsored Open Gym environment – NO! In school sponsored Open Gyms, coaches are now able to recreate along with students. Given that determination as made by the Board of Control and only from that perspective, the response to the question could be - 'yes.' The new interpretation does not alter or affect any other interpretation
relating to coaching contact – it only addresses Open Gyms.


Q.: I coach a high school team and was recently asked to coach a local club team. The only player that plays for both teams is my sister. I know that coaching my own children would be safe and was wondering if that carries for family in general or only children.
A.: Thanks for checking. As your note indicates you know - "Parents" are always able to coach their chil- dren. This exception to coaching contact has needed to be very 'literal' and does not/has not extended to siblings, relatives or others.


Q.: I just have a general question. As the head boys' freshmen basketball coach, can I coach the incoming fresh- men boys in summer league? I was told I can do it until July 31. Is this true?
A.: In a word - NO. See article I of the Rules At A Glance and more on our home page under Regulations Icon. See Eligibility Q/A.


Q.: I am a privately paid pitching coach. Girls come to my residence (basement) for pitching help. This year, for the first time, I have several high school pitchers. I am aware of WIAA rules regarding coaches coaching out-of- season not being permitted to coach in season, and vice-versa. Do I fall under that criterion? Must I withdraw my help during season? Coaching pitching is my only income. If I am unable to work with these girls, my income will be seriously affected.
A.: WIAA rules would not prevent students continuing private skill instruction during the school season. Some schools and/or their coaches might not be supportive - but that would be the coach's prerogative. See III-D of Rules At A Glance.
 
Q.: I am a JV volleyball coach and run a youth camp (incoming grades 4-9) the second week of August for our parks and recreation program. My daughter is going to be a sophomore on the H.S. varsity volleyball team. My question is: Can she still work the camp with me even though contact dates end July 31? What if our freshman coach works the camp?
A.: 1. YES - you are always able to have contact with your own child...and athletes are able to be 'em- ployed'...just not self-employed in sport skill related business. See Art. I of the Rules At A Glance. 2. If frosh coach takes part - they are not able to have contact with incoming-9th graders - except as part of the five unrestricted program contact days your head coach will identify for the volleyball program. Technically, this coach could still work with lower grade students (Art. I). If that's your path, come up with a time schedule or facility arrangement that protects the frosh coach from assertion of out-of-season coaching contact. Having the coach on one side of the net with a 7th grade group - but the 9th grade hope- fuls on the other side of the net - will not render the coach or school - 'bullet proof.'


Q.: Our boys' basketball team would like to do a team camp in North Carolina. Question 1: What are the restric- tions for using school vehicles during summer contact time? In the 06-07 Handbook it states this contact period is "without restriction." I assume we are allowed to use school vans if it is during our five contact days? (If the school allows, of course.) Question 2: Would simply riding home with the players in a van constitute a contact day providing no instruction is going on? I ask this because it's a 4-day camp, and at least three days will be needed for transport there and back and there's only five contact days. Question 3: I assume riding or driving back is OK, otherwise wouldn't it be violating the Handbook to, for example, drive your team back on Sunday morning after the state tournament--season has expired, therefore, we shouldn't be transporting athletes.
A.: 1) Yes. 2) Yes. In the summer unrestricted contact period, travel to/from an event/opportunity must be counted/included within the five days. There are no extra travel days allotted. 3) This is not an accurate interpretation or assumption. The rationale conveyed for looking upon the school season and associating the school year-season and summer contact would be ill advised. There are numbers of elements and inter- pretations which will be the same – however not all. The summer provision is new...it stands alone as an addition the Membership has chosen to allow. The summer contact opportunity has it's own qualities and
characteristics.


2-9-07
Q.: We are getting new uniforms and I'd like to have a patch of our school mascot sewn on the left sleeve. It would look similar to the one in the picture of the defensive player on the WIAA – Baseball page on the web- site. Is this acceptable?


A.: We do not have particular problem with this - in light of the patch being the school mascot/emblem or logo. Our preference is that it will conform with National Federation specifications for other patches, 1-4- 4 (4 sq. in.). If the size presents a problem, let me know.
 
Q.: Is it OK for me to meet with some of our seniors periodically who will probably be on the team this spring to talk with them about being good role models and develop their leadership abilities? I'd also like to give them some reading material about good leadership skills. Is this acceptable?
A.: Yes. Teachers/coaches have always been allowed to meet with students individually. To provide or make available, leadership materials, to students individually or in large group, pre-season organization- al meetings does not cause alarm.
 
Q.: Our football coach would like to start their annual "passing league" in May, while school is still in session, instead of in June, once school gets out. Two questions--can a league that is loosely "school sponsored" be during the school year? Second--can football equipment (helmets) be issued for use during the school year, but in the off season?
A.: Schools may not sponsor opportunities of this kind, except during the season and within the approved summer contact 'window'. As this question is framed the response must be - "No." An opportunity - espe- cially when brought here in the form of a concern for violation - will be determined to be either school sponsored – or not. There really is no gray. Something which will be described (by an upset parent, or a rival coach) as "school sponsored" – in my opinion is an ill-advised undertaking. It is also appropriate to keep in mind that the membership's approval for a summer contact opportunity – was virtually a 50/50 opinion all the way through the deliberation phase. Since this past fall we have been hearing expressions of concern for what was specifically approved as a "voluntary opportunity," now becoming a compulsory part of making a team. It remains a topic – not universally embraced. Pushing the envelope, or applying "loose" interpretations might lead to unexpected/undesired backlash. Use of helmets during the school year but outside the school season is not an option.
 
Q.: Earlier this year we had a phone conversation concerning our desire to offer a speed and agility program for students at our school during the school year. I have a couple of coaches that would like to start this next week. In looking over my notes, I had written down a couple of things that I just wanted to bounce off you before we start this program. I have down don't use sport specific implements. My question is this, would we be OK with using dummies as something students stepped over in agility drills? Also, in my notes it says no stopwatches. This doesn't seem to make sense to me. Can students use watches to keep their times in each drill?
A.: We do not have enormous concerns about students monitoring their own progress in open gyms – including their use of a stop watch. Will continue to say "no" and advise against introduction of imple- ments – like football blocking dummies into a generalized, speed, conditioning, agility environment. There are alternatives available. Review Bylaws – Art. II, Section 2A-1&2. It is the interpretation of this section, combined with existing Open Gym text (Rules At A Glance, II-D) that provide the synthesis for how and why a "general conditioning" opportunity is made available.


Q.: I want to confirm that I'm understanding a Bylaw correctly. Article III covers school equipment and my understanding is that school equipment can only be given to an athlete for training during the summertime. I recently had a student/athlete ask for a bat to use in a training session during February. My interpretation from this would be "no" because it is during school time. Am I correct?
A.: Thanks for reading the Handbook. Bottom line: Bats/balls, kicking T's, shot put, discus and the like, can be issued at school's discretion, anytime. These items are considered "implements." This Bylaw had always prohibited issuing apparel (things which are worn) and protective equipment – except during the season and in the summer (provided your school board approved summer issue).
 
Q.: Our student council is holding a fund raiser basketball and 3-point tournament here at school for prom - if our varsity players participate in it, does it jeopardize their eligibility? I believe it does.
A.: Yes – Student Council is "school sponsored." if the 'school sponsors basketball' in May...be sure that students with a past status in basketball and remaining eligibility - DO NOT PARTICIPATE. A student can only have 4 seasons of school sponsored basketball competition...you don't want to 'burn one' for a season of this kind.


1-19-07
Q.: I had a question in regards to a winter camp we will be hosting at our high school in January. I was won- dering if I had my players assist in the baseball camp if that would be a WIAA violation. Our players work all of our summer baseball camps and I was hoping to utilize them as instructors for our upcoming winter camp for grades 1-8. Please let me know the ruling on this as soon as possible.
A.: First, you can achieve the 'end result' of this within the rules, but – a school is not able to sponsor camps/clinics, except in the summer. If a non-school entity, i.e., the local YMCA, booster club, optimists, firemen, etc., wished to sponsor this sort of opportunity, they could. You and your coaches could assist them, coach the little ones, help develop the clinic model and so on. Using your players as clinicians – would be possible if this non-school sponsored camp was offered during your school baseball season (obvi- ously, you can have coaching contact during the season) and players can serve as clinicians in the summer time.


12-6-06
Q.: There is a running club at our high school (basically kids who like to run) that gets together during the sum- mer and winter months (when CC and track is not in-season). Can any of our coaches run with them? I am guess- ing this would be considered out-of-season contact – just want to clarify for my coaches.
A.: You are correct. Article I of the Rules At A Glance addresses coaching contact. "Open Gyms" are also clearly described.
 
10-26-06
Q.: A parent came to me and asked if her son can wrestle and workout with a college student at his school prior to the start of the wrestling season. The school's coach thought this would be in violation of WIAA policy. Is this true? I thought the school may object because of liability, since this is not a school sanctioned program. Can this be under the jurisdiction of the wrestling club?
A.: Best advice: I think this parent ought to speak with their school's AD. They may want to schedule a visit with your school's AD to go over this topic. Their AD should always be their first contact for those questions/concerns regarding school sport participation. In addition to that perspective, there are times that you and I get involved and unwittingly participate in an end run on or serve to undermine the authority of a member school. Or, are quoted out of context and inaccurately. If this person wishes to meet with her school administration they can make a conference call here and that way...all the questions and answers are connected at the same time/place. No one's surprised, no one's confused.


10-6-06
Q.: My girls basketball coach is running a clinic for other coaches and is wondering if it is okay to use some boy basketball players for demonstration purposes. Is this legal?
A.: This could be done within the context of existing coach contact rules. Since the "school may not assem- ble the team outside the season" (Bylaws). The way to do this is to make a general announcement along the lines of "any boys willing to volunteer/assist Coach ABC in a basketball clinic for coaches should stop in coaches office after school today"... OR... "Coach Smith needs some boys to volunteer to help out with demonstrations in a basketball coaches clinic...any boys available to lend a hand see coach." Be certain coach fills out appropriate district facility forms, since this is a private clinic (schools may not sponsor clin- ics except in the summer).
 
Q.: Our wrestling coach was wondering if it was possible to have a wrestling clinic shortly before the season begins. I thought there might be something illegal about hosting a clinic. The clinician is from an outside source and our coaches would not be doing any of the coaching or clinicing. The clinic would be available for all schools in our area and would be available for any wrestlers from third grade through high school. Could you tell me if there is a problem with this or is this going to okay?
A.: This sort of thing could be done by a nonschool provider – it would not need to be a problem. See II- A and II-C-3 of the Rules At A Glance.


9-15-06
7-7-06
Q.: According to WIAA rules, can a coach tell athletes of his/her team they need to get so many lifts in (days of lifting) during the summer before they can suit up for a contest?
A.: This feels to be one of those "Q's" - you already know the answer is going to be "ABSOLUTELY NOT"! But coach wouldn't believe you unless they saw it from here. Please See Article I-2 of the Rules At A Glance (then point out Article IV of the same document.)


Q.: Can a high school cross country runner compete in summer races, for example, Cinder Days 5K Run? I believe yes, as long as they pay the registration and there is no coaching going on by the fall season CC coach. Along with that, can the high school runner receive a prize, t-shirt, money, medal, etc., if they were to win or place in that summer race?
A.: WIAA rules do not prevent an athlete from participating in this sort of opportunity during the sum- mer. Running coaches are allowed coaching contact in the summer...like baseball and softball coaches, etc. Contact may not resemble a schools team practicing/competing outside the season, except if a part of the five unrestricted days Also, keep in mind - technically an athlete can be reimbursed actual and necessary costs connected to competition - including entry fees. An athlete may not accept cash or merchandise for their achievement in athletics. The other awards you've identified would be acceptable, with the addition of ribbons and trophies.


Q.: We had an unusual gift offer. Our local dentist wants to personally fit all our football players with mouth guards and donate all of them to the school at no cost. Can we do this?
A.: Yes, not a problem, so long as any/every student who wishes to go out for football has access to the same opportunity (9-12).
 
Q.: Some of the schools in our area are scheduling summer league games to be hosted at a variety of sites. Can we schedule any game after July 31? No coaches are coaching so it is not a "contact" day. Please clarify this rule for me.
A.: "Schools" must conclude any school sponsored summer opportunities by no later then July 31. Also coach contact as part of the unrestricted contact days must conclude on July 31 as well. School facilities might be used by non school organizations after July 31...in accordance with local school board policy. Coaching restrictions apply...may not resemble the school's team and etc. Basically same requirements as for any other "acceptable" non-school program. Must be voluntary, open to any who are interested, etc. See: Article I and Article II, A & C of Rules At A Glance.


5-25-06
Q.: We are trying to promote our summer school program, and I am offering some softball courses for elemen- tary and middle school kids. What role can older (high school) athletes play in that? Can they help out? Can they take a class? I realize that I have very little coaching restriction for softball during the summer, I was just won- dering how that relates to classes.
A.: No problem with offering these courses - In the summer (from the end of school, up to the start of school in the fall) Ref. Sr. High Handbook p.26 Article II, Sect. 2B-2 and p.37-38 Art. VI, Section 2C-3e. You can use/involve your HS students to assist you, as clinicians for up to a max of six days of contact in this capacity per/student. Or, they may take a class, but only for a max. of five days. This is the extent approved for "Schools" to sponsor instruction, etc., for students in 9-12. Coaching restrictions are at com- pletely opposite ends of spectrum and you should not confuse or blur the two. On one hand you are addressing "school programming" and the other comes under nonschool.


Q.: Is it true that we as a school can issue football equipment to our players for padded football camps? If so, can we issue football equipment to our player for our schools padded football camp? I tried to find the answer on your website without luck. The WFCA website states that we can with more infor- mation to come.
A.: If your school board gives their formal approval, you can issue them (either free or rented, as you may wish).


Q.: Talking with some AD's at the Annual Meeting, the conversation came up concerning alumni coming back and practicing with high school teams during different times of the respective season and if they counted as a scrimmage. A couple examples were in wrestling and basketball. A former wrestler coming back and wrestling with someone of the present team or several basketball players from previous years coming back and practicing with the present team. Does the WIAA consider this to be a scrimmage when that happens?
A.: As you have described one variety of a common scenario, the simplest answer is "no." Best related text/descriptions are found in Rules At A Glance. II-E (key terms are/or reference "interscholastic" [school] teams). And, Bylaws, Art. II Section 5-E-note (p. 27).


5-5-06
Q.: I have a few students who are talking about putting a team together for a summer co-ed high-pitch softball league. This league does give out cash prizes at the end of the year. If they participate will they be in violation Article III? I was not sure because of the type of sport.
A.: Simple answer would be: If the students accepted, received or directed to another - any sort of cash or merchandise awards - for their performance or achievement in this summer softball league, it would be an amateur status violation (Rules of Eligibility, Article IV - Senior High Handbook) - and career ending. However, be clear, this does not mean that the students can not put a team together, participate/compete and have fun. But make it clear on their entry form, make it clear to the league organizers, these are HS, amateur athletes, competing for "fun" and may not/will not accept any sort of prize other then those sym- bolic awards as identified. Also, caution your players to stay as far away from anything which would be able to be "alleged" later on. That experience can be distressing and distracting, the day before the region- al tournament. In this setting most common allegations we hear next fall are that: Parents or "college friends" accepted $$ - and "kids" received it under the table later on; Rather then cash, team got "free food"; In around summer leagues, alcohol is sometimes present/available; Playing under an assumed name.


Q.: Our district offers numerous summer school offerings (including various sports/activities) and one of them is a volleyball fundamentals for students currently in grades 3-8. They are done in two different three week sec- tions. Are current 8th graders (next years 9th graders) allowed to participate in this summer school activity? One of the sessions is taught by one of the Phys. Ed. teachers and the other session is taught by our girls VB coach. Does this make a difference?
A.: Current 8th graders would be allowed to participate in this course. If one of the course instructors is the 9th grade vb coach, then the coaching contact restrictions would be applicable. JV and varsity coach- es are allowed contact until students begin 9th grade.
 
Q.: My son is interested in playing high school football next year. During the summer, he would like to attend camp where helmets and pads are being worn. I understand that this may not always be allowed. Can my son wear a helmet and pads in camp and still be eligible to play high school football in the fall?
A.: Fundamental answer to your question is yes. Attending a "padded camp" in and of itself would not adversely affect your son's eligibility. The larger question is about who is issuing the pads - the camp or your own school? If "your school" is inclined to issue, then that requires official school board approval.


Q.: Are athletes prohibited from being instructors for school sponsored summer schools courses? Examples – Swim Instructors; Athletic Camp Leaders (directors).
A.: Not sure I have enough information to be real accurate or detailed here. An athlete can be employed. It is not uncommon that a school district might sponsor swim lesson through their community ed program and swimmers sometimes make great life guards and beginning instructors. Not a problem with that at all - provided the employment opportunity is posted and available to all interested applicants. Not certain of the specifics you might have in mind, though.


4-21-06
Q.: I am a concerned parent whose child would like to go on and play football in college. This is a very excit- ing thing for him, being contacted by other organizations regarding his football skills and stats. In April & May, he has been invited to the midwest high school combine and another combine (sorry, not sure what it was called), could you tell me if attending these combines will affect his playing high school football eligibility next fall? Just recently he was contacted by NCSA, could you tell me if any ongoing contact with this organization will affect his playing eligibility? What can you tell me about these "combines" or NCSA? Please identify what rules and regulations apply if my son has any further contact?
A.: Attending a combine, would not automatically/not typically, in and of itself present a youngster with any eligibility problems. Unless, for some unusual reason a student had their "fees" to attend waived, while everyone else had to pay, or they received a cash or merchandise sort of award for their attendance or performance in the testing. Or, if a student did a commercial, advertised or endorsed the business. I would need to know a little about NCSA, I will imagine it stands for national college scouting - something or another. Would need to know who the person is that has contacted your son from this group, what they are charging, and what they claim to do.
 
Q.: Our student council is in the planning stages of fun activities for our student body in conjunction with an Arbor Day that will be held later in this school year. One of the activities that they would like to do is a three- on-three "mini-ball" tournament. Portable hoops would be brought into our parking lot, set at an 8 ft. height, and let the games begin! Would an event like this fall under a "school sponsored" activity (basketball) held outside of the season, and thus be a violation of season regulations? Can this type of activity be held without any peril to our student body? In the summer - as part of the five unrestricted days and/or during the membership approved basketball season this would not be a problem. The activity, as currently planned, would be open to any student(s) who wish to participate.
A.: YES. Can't be seen any other way - as designed, student council is "school sponsored". If the only dif- ference between mini ball and basketball is that the net is set at eight feet, or a smaller ball is used, I'd say it's still basketball – school sponsored – and students who have a past status in your school's program and still have remaining eligibility should not be involved in this added season of school sponsored basketball outside the season. In the summer - as part of the five unrestricted days and/or during the membership- approved basketball season, this would not be a problem.
 
Q.: Girls who play on our HS team are also involved in a league during the summer with other HS teams from our area. I have been informed that beginning this year our youth softball organization wants to pay the entry fee for this league and for any tournaments our girls are in. After reading page 38 (Section 2C-5) in the Handbook, I am not clear as to the legality of this. Previously the fees have always been covered by the girls or their parents. Please let me know if this is permissible.
A.: This can be done within the rules if school administration wishes to allow. The SB organization just needs to reconcile this within the amateur status provisions, i.e., an athlete may not "benefit" because of their ability/potential as an athlete - and/or - in a manner not available to other interested students. So long as the opportunity - getting league fees/entry fees is made known and available to any/all girls inter- ested in "summer league." (Not just available/limited to a select few individuals, which is viewed as spe- cial benefit.) Then, an athlete can be reimbursed actual and necessary costs associated with competition – this may include league/tournament entry fees.
 
3-29-06
Q.: The head volleyball coach would like to run a summer league with area schools competing in conjunction with the five contact dates allowed. Teams would be charged to enter the league to cover cost of officials and gym use. Can the coach run this through the school account and be covered by the schools insurance?
A.: Simply put - yes. If the district wishes to sponsor five days of this sort of summer opportunity, they now can. The max is up to those five dates...and must be made known to/available to your own school's students same as all other school sponsored opportunities. Unrestricted contact days must be identified between the end of school and July 31.
 
Q.: My coach thought that he read somewhere that a change was approved to allow school teams to run summer three on three tournaments etc. Is this correct?
A.: Simply put - yes. The changes (Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility) approved at the 2005 Annual Meeting - effectively, allow you to do this - within the five day window of approved/unrestricted contact days in the summer. (Amateur status and other requirements, e.g., for access to "school sponsored" programming, remain in effect.)
 
Q.: I am a track and cross country coach. I would like to hold an Alumni Run for former and current athletes, as well as parents during the summer. This Alumni Run would mimic an actual cross country meet complete with starting lines, flags and timing; minus the officials. This event would be held at a local park where previous meets have been held. Scores are only done between a team of current athletes and a team of alumni and parents for bragging rights. Again, this event would be voluntary to all current athletes. a) Would I be breaking any rules by doing this? b) Can athletes from other teams participate? c) Would it be okay to have current athletes compete as a group from their respective school, or is it too much like a scrimmage?
A.: a) As you are describing this event I see it as a school team practicing/competing out-of-season. A prob- lem - Unless scheduled as one of your five unrestricted days - from the end of school to July 31. b) Yes, if as one of the five unrestricted days. c) If a part of the five unrestricted days, yes.


2-10-06
Q.: I am writing in regards to the leadership seminar that is being sponsored by the WIAA and WFCA. We would like our team to attend and would like to sponsor this with our football activity account, which is a stu- dent activity account. Is this a violation of the WIAA policies? Thank you in advance for your information.
A.: You can do this. This is a program about "leadership/sportsmanship." The WIAA does not view this seminar as a sport specific or skill of the sport - type camp/clinic or training/instruction. If school administration wishes to approve school funds for such use, they may. Some prerequisites may be allowed. Some consideration is recommended, that access to the opportunity is provided in a manner consistent with other similar/approved and school funded opportunities and how the eligible student set may be identified.
 
12-16-05
Q.: A number of our girls that play soccer want to run a 4-5th grade girls indoor soccer clinic in January and want to use our school gyms. If this is not alright they would try and use a neighboring YMCA. Are either of these situations legal?


A.: Best time for this sort of thing is early in-season. Otherwise, the students are the private business/provider (school's may not do this except in the summertime). The students would be responsi- ble for rent, insurance, etc. Best would be for "soccer boosters or local rec. dept to sponsor and to do it when kids and coaches can be involved - once the season is underway.
 
8-22-05
Q.: I coach varsity baseball. Recently one of my assistant coaches asked me why we can't organize a fall baseball league for area local high school athletes in northern Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota during the fall, like the University of Minnesota and probably many other schools do? My immediate reaction to this was that it probably conflicts with several WIAA regulations and wouldn't be possible. Considering the following descrip- tion, is this the case? It would be something that would be open to any high school kid that we could reach through local newspapers (northern WI and MN). The high school facilities would not be used, as a city field would be available. Coaches, other than those on our own staff would supervise the games. Games would be played on Sat. and/or Sun. during the last week of August and the month of September. Players would provide their own equipment. A registration fee would be collected to pay for new game baseballs, umpires, misc. field maintenance, and insurance. And ideally we would have some money left over to serve as a fundraiser for our high school program. What is you interpretation of this type of "Fall League"?
A.: WIAA rules only regulate what member schools can do. We do not control what private clubs, city rec. programs, YMCA's, etc., choose to do. That's a way of saying, a fall baseball opportunity certainly might be offered within a community or region. We have no control of that. A school may not be involved, finan- cially or in any other way. See Bylaws - Article II (Handbook p. 26) Sections 1-5. Also important to have a clear understanding of "acceptable" nonschool programs and teams. This is clearly articulated in the Senior High Handbook, too. See Rules of Eligibility - Article VI, Section 2 A - B, C, etc. This is important information, which would shape an acceptable opportunity or one which would lead to problems for the school's team.
 
Q.: I'm looking at taking a group of boys somewhere next April (2006) during their spring break and prior to the start of the spring baseball season in May. Activities would be baseball practice and games. I'm a parent of one of the boys and all the "coaches" involved would be parents. The school would have no involvement: no equip- ment, no uniforms, no financing, no communications, no coaches, etc. From what I understand and have read on the WIAA website, it would seem that this would be an acceptable activity. Is there someone that can confirm that "Spring Training Baseball" without the school's involvement is acceptable?
A.: I would strongly recommend caution and consultation with your school's athletic director - for two pri- mary reasons. First, the Associations Rules of Eligibility, Article VI – Nonschool Participation, Section 2 - Out-of-Season, reads as follows: " It is the philosophy of this Association that while student athletes should not be unreasonably restricted, except during the actual school season of a sport, no activity in which they are engaged should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out of season." What I hear you describing to me sounds like an effort to assemble the schools ball team in advance of the sum- mer baseball season and begin practice and play - before the season officially begins and hope to call it something else. I am not able to tell you that's acceptable. Second, you may want to schedule a visit with your school's AD to go over this topic. Your AD should always be your first contact for those questions/con- cerns regarding a student's school sport participation. If a member's AD has questions, we are ready to respond – they know how to reach us and in accordance with participation in this membership, a school's administration is responsible for the compliance of its school's programs, as well as the programs eligibil- ity for involvement in the WIAA's tournament series.


4-14-05
Q.: I read an article recently in a widely distributed periodical that I want to bring to your attention. The article focused on lettering of athletes by a coach in another state who used both in and out-of-season criteria in deter- mining of who receives an athletic letter. I was approached by one coach already with a question on the article. Knowing how many coaches receive this magazine, I thought it would be best to share this with you. My inter- pretation is this is not allowable in our regulations as the incentives and activities in this program are limited to students based on their team and school affiliation.
A.: You are 100 percent correct in your understanding. Requiring nonschool participation as a component of meeting school program "letter" requirements is inappropriate/not in compliance with present WIAA interpretations. The specific and best text on this interpretation can be found in the WIAA Rules at a Glance, Article I. Deconstruct: In part, one of the qualities we look for in "acceptable (nonschool) pro- grams" is that participation is "voluntary." By incorporating incentives/punishments like playing time, letter awards, or "extra conditioning," etc., that fundamental quality (voluntary) is no longer met. Nonschool participation becomes mandatory. That becomes a compliance issue in WI at this point in time.
 
Q.: We will be running our normal summer school classes and offerings. This coming summer we would like to include a couple of different classes including a couple of sports specific classes. These two classes go directly towards the sports of baseball and basketball. Of course our summer school is open to all district students and also includes some non-district students. So we have a wide variety of students attending our summer school courses. I did read the references, specifically Article II Sections 1-5 of the High School Bylaws, and also Article I Section 5 of the Rules of Eligibility. Basically what it comes down to is what is and is not allowed in these summer courses. The baseball course is planned to be taught by our current head baseball coach and will include rules, fundamentals and specifics of the game of baseball. The basketball course is planned to be taught by our current head boys basketball coach and will include rules, fundamentals and specifics of the game of basketball. Again these courses or classes are open to all district students and even some non-district students. There is of course, the high possibility that in these two classes, there may be some current high school athletes. This is the area that I need your interpretation on. If this is or could be an infraction of the Bylaws I will restructure the classes accordingly. Also these classes may also include students from grades 3-12 some that are current HS athletes, some that may become HS athletes and some that are not HS athletes.
A.: Right now, as Bylaws presently exist, if you wish to continue as a member in good standing with the WIAA you cannot do what you propose. Bylaws Article II, Section 2-A-1,2,3 (Handbook p. 26). "A school may not assemble athletes or prospective athletes in physical education classes, or some other manner for purposes of teaching....except during the designated school season of a sport." A little further down, this same area clearly allows that schools may provide this sort of opportunity (camp/clinic/summer school) for students who have just completed 8th grade or below. This is not by any means a new rule. If your head coaches are veteran, they must/or certainly should be aware of this rule. Secondly, WIAA Rules of Eligibility allow a student only one season of "school sponsored sport" each school year (not more then four seasons in all, grades 9-12). This summer-school-sponsored sport season would count as one of those four allowable seasons. (Handbook p. 34-35, Article V, Section 1-A-3c. Should you decide to proceed and offer these courses anyway, you would really want to discourage any athletes with past status in the respec- tive sport programs and remaining eligibility from enrolling. Lastly, this interpretation reflects the status quo. I also mentioned the Mar. 25 WIAA Bulletin and some of the proposed constitutional changes, which if approved, would allow for what you are proposing - up to a max of five days in the summer from the end of school to July 31.
 
12-13-04
Q.: As you are well aware, captain's practices are a fairly common entity. The issue I need clarification for is regarding whether or not the "said" captains can have a written workout/practice plan to follow or implement. Not a plan authored by a coach, but by the kids (captains) only?
A.: There is plenty of misunderstanding about "captains practices." First, there is no restriction against "voluntary assembling" in the summer time without school/coach involvement....(Handbook p. 38, #2). Otherwise the applicable text is found on Handbook 37-2A "resembling a school team practicing out-of- season." "Open Gyms" are acceptable.
 
Q.: We want to have a clinic here on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13. The clinic is run by a former All- American from Wisconsin, and currently a director of a wrestling organization. Admission is free. Anyone is able to attend, K-12. Other parameters are: He will not coach with us at all this year; I will only be opening up the door, and closing down the place; I made announcements in the school, and put it in the local paper; Our high school athletes would be the athletes, not the instructors or the coaches. Obviously it is strictly voluntary to attend. Question is are we following the guidelines acceptable for our (Grades9-12) high school athletes?Youth, I believe are fine.
A.: This sort of opportunity can be provided within the rules. Since it is scheduled to take place during the school year - but outside of the season, it must be sponsored by a nonschool interest...perhaps your mat club...or the Kiwanis, etc. Be sure the sponsor has gone through district procedures for securing use of your facility.
 
Q.: I have had several notes and emails regarding "Club Volleyball" starting in our community. Our volleyball coach has handed out information, and she asked me if "The Club" can use the school on Sundays for practice. She is trying to get two teams (different age groups) set up, she has two community people who are going to coach the teams (but she will have to open up the building). I have a lot of questions, some of which will be addressed by our School Board policy. The biggest question I have for you (or your office) is, "Does there seem to be anything regarding eligibility of athletes or our volleyball program that I need to be concerned about?" Is this looked at as us (the school) sponsoring this program? She has filled out building usage forms requested hav- ing "volleyball open gyms" on Wednesday nights from November through June. The obvious problem I see is that it seems to be encouraging specialization in our school when we can't afford to have our few athletes spe- cializing. Is there a problem with this?
A.: This opportunity may not be school sponsored in any way. The potential sanctions against a member school found in noncompliance can be substantial. If an individual, acting privately or a nonschool organ- ization like the Elks can secure use of your school facilities, then club volleyball might also secure use of your facilities. Keep in mind your policy for use of facilities might include hold harmless agreements and some sort of insurance be held by an event organizer/sponsor. The district is not/may not sponsor volley- ball - except during the school season. A couple of things to keep in mind. 1. A nonschool group may use school facilities in accordance with school district policy. 2. Open Gym is a school sponsored activity....must be open to " any student interested," there is no organizing or instruction by a coach or anyone else allowed in open gyms. 3. An "acceptable opportunity" (whether school sponsored or private- ly sponsored) is one which is not based on school or team status. The Rules At A Glance address much of this in Article I and II.
 
12-1-04
Q.: Can a coach from a winter season sport require an athlete to be at tryouts for their sport while the athlete is still in season and participating in a fall sport that overlaps the start of that winter sport and hold it against the athlete for not being at the tryouts? My interpretation is that until the fall sports coach signs the athlete off, releas- es, or the athlete quits the athlete is still a participant in the fall sport that they are in and may not report or have any contact with the winter sports coach until released or the season ends.
A.: The simple answer to your question is "NO." Second, if a winter sport coach is conducting tryouts now, it should probably be brought to the attention of school administration before more serious problems arise from this violation.
 
Q.: Our activities dept. is seeking to hold a 3-on-3 tourney outside of basketball season (late October or early November) – four people per team open to all students on the campus by signing up in the SAD office, students create teams, done on a weekend (Friday night, Saturday). Is this anything that violates out-of-season rules for basketball? Are coaches allowed to be present without instruction, such as would be the case with an open gym?
A.: Can't do! Please see Handbook - Bylaws, Article II - Section 1, 2 and 5. Bylaws are the "terms" for joining this association. As you've described it, this is school sponsored basketball outside the season. If the director waits a couple weeks (once the basketball season begins) he can do this - no problem.


10-8-04
Q.: We have a booster club that puts together a program with pictures, etc., for our winter sports home games. Can they take the picture for the teams before the season starts? Can they take a picture with a few kids before the season starts for the front cover? I am wondering about jerseys and giving jerseys for pictures before the start of the season.
A.: All of this can be accomplished within present interpretations. (The past couple years teams have been allowed more then one pre season organizational meeting; use of school equipment for photos has never been a problem.) I suggest the preapproval of all related elements with school administration, as opposed to just the winter coach and/or boosters beginning to schedule things while students may still be involved in full season activities.


5-21-04
Q.: The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is hosting a breakfast at the PGA Golf Tournament in Sheboygan on August 10, and they would like to invite area golf coaches and players to be their guests at the breakfast. They also have about 600 free passes to the practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday that they would like to give away. My question is whether our golf team members risk their eligibility by attending the breakfast or by receiving the free passes to the practice rounds. It sounds like a great opportunity for them, but I do not want to jeopardize their status.
A.: We have determined that this is an acceptable opportunity, provided your school administration wish- es to approve, based on Bylaw Article XI, Section 2B - Group Entertainment provision (Handbook p. 29). In addition I just hung up the phone following a conversation with a member of the organizing commit- tee. This is essentially the same response I offered him. He also indicated that the opportunity was not lim- ited to "just school golfers", but in reality no interested student would be turned away.
 
Q.: In girls soccer or any high school soccer team, is it illegal for the team to practice on their own? I mean if the team gets together and call a practice that is not mandatory and they work on their skills (what they want to do) with a parent.
A.: In the Rules of Eligibility (WIAA Handbook, p. 38, # 2) the text indicates: "There are no restrictions relative to voluntary assembling (without school/coach involvement) of students during the summer (when school is not in session)."


Q.: My football coach has asked me if our school could be used as a site to host a football summer league. I'm assuming that the school can't sponsor this type of thing. However, my understanding is that a rec department or youth organization could as long as they reserve our facility like any other group in the community. My ques- tion is this, our rec department is run/under the school district. Can our rec department sponsor this type of thing?
A.: Community ed models, i.e., under the direction/control of the "school" district, Board of Ed, etc., have been seen as "school sponsoring"...and to this point have been interpreted as being in non compliance. The present interpretation needs to be "No, not for senior high level sport programming." The "school" can only assemble athletes/provide instruction/competition, etc., during the school season." Bylaw references. Certainly, school facilities can be used by nonschool sponsors...in accordance with district policy for their use. Your community ed. programming CAN provide sport opportunities in the summertime, for students who've just completed 8th grade on down without a problem.


5-21-04
Q.: My DECA Chapter, An Association of Marketing Students, is currently working on organizing a three-on- three basketball tournament. We proposed the idea to our athletic director and he had some concerns that he wanted us to contact you about. We would have student-athletes participating from both our varsity and junior varsity squads. We were hoping to have an entry fee for each team of contestants. With that money we were going to purchase gift certificates to area businesses to give out as prizes to the top three teams. Can student-athletes receive these prizes or does it break any WIAA rules or scholarship requirements?
A.: There are a number of concerns inherent in your preliminary plan. First, DECA is a school spon- sored/directed activity in your school, I presume. As such this competition must be looked upon as "school sponsored" basketball competition outside the designated school season. As this is not in compliance with the provisions of your school's membership...the best you can do is NOT allow any members of your school's basketball teams who have remaining eligibility to compete in this fund raiser. It would be regarded as another season of school sponsored sport competition. A student athlete may only have one season of school sponsored basketball per school year, a total of four in their HS years. Secondly, a student ath- lete may only receive a symbolic award for achievement/performance as an athlete...i.e., medal, ribbon, trophy, etc. Review the Association's Bylaws on p. 26 of the Senior High Handbook. Article II, Section 1 and 2, in particular. Also see Article X - Awards on p. 29. Then you might wish to review Amateur Status provisions in the Rules of Eligibility on p. 34 (Article IV). Lastly, under Article V, Section 1A - 3c address- es the "single season/per school year" provision I mentioned.
 
Q.: I have had a parent request that he be able to coach a high school boy's basketball team in some tournaments after the completion of the regular and WIAA tournament series. Am I correct in saying that it is permissible as long as it is not a school sponsored activity, no school coaches are involved, and that the team must be open to anyone in the school, not just those that participated in basketball the prior season? If that is correct please reply as such. If I am incorrect please advise as to the correct interpretation.
A.: Looks like you have hit most of the key points on this. Do be clear and distinct, it might be a high school grade or age group, it is not/may not be "the high school team." Semantics, I know. See the WIAA Handbook, p. 37 Section 2. The preamble in 2A is pretty clear.
 
4-30-04
Q.: Is there any problem with our school offering a summer school course teaching basketball?
 
A.: Please be extremely careful in this school sponsored summer school/sport programming. It could result in numbers of athletes losing a season of eligibility. Please begin by reviewing the Association's BYLAWS (contained in the Senior High Handbook). These are the provisions a member agrees to, upon "joining the club." In particular, carefully read p. 26/Article II, Sections 1 & 2. Then please look at WIAA Rules at a Glance, Article II Sections A, especially, then C and D, may have some application. (Go to our website (www.wiaawi.org), pull down on the "Regulations Tab" and click on "WIAA Rules Overview" for the Rules at a Glance.) When "schools" are sponsoring instruction/practice or competition outside the desig- nated school season, the best friendly advice I can offer is DO NOT allow any student athlete with status in that sport program, who still has remaining eligibility, participate in another season of school-spon- sored sport. A student is allowed only one season of school sport per school year and a total of four in their school career. A school sponsored summer school class (or one night, student council/prom-lockdown vol- leyball) would be one season worth of eligibility (please see Handbook p.34/35, Article V, Section 1A - 3, especially). You could offer wrestling as part of your summer school programming, your wrestling coach could be paid to teach the course and all your school's wrestlers who take the course would lose a year of eligibility (whether your coach taught it or not). Your school may not sponsor wrestling except during the wrestling season (or basketball or volleyball or softball, etc. – any/all WIAA recognized sports).

3-23-12

Q: Can a boys basketball coach participate in a 3 on 3 tournament outside of the season, if some of his players are also in the tournament? I didn't know if it was like an open gym where they could, or if there are other rules for a tournament.
A: Coaches may only recreate with their athletes at an open gym. If there is a tournament or a league, coaches may compete against their athletes, but not with their athletes.

2-10-12

Q: One of my players wants to go to a neighboring school and attend an open gym they are running. She plans to throw with her cousin who attends that neighboring school and show her cousin some drills that might help her. There would be no instruction by any adults. Can she do this since the open gym is not being held at our school or is this a violation of the policy?
A: Open gyms are only for students and community members of that school.  Your player cannot attend an open gym at another member school.  The other school may not open the gym to students from other schools. With the co-op, students involved in the co-op may be allowed since they participate in your co-op program.

1-5-12

Q:  I was wondering if you could assist me in a quick question.  I have a student that is interested in lifting weights after school; however, the bus that would take him home doesn't drop him off at his house (our late bus doesn't go door to door, just to drop off points).  The nearest drop off point is close to 6 miles from his house.  My question is, could our school district provide him with a ride home in a school vehicle right to his house or is the a  violation of the rules?
A:  The only way this would be possible is if you have a late bus (or something  similar) which takes any and all interested students home after school.  If it is something for only one athlete or other athletes, then it would not be  allowed.  Schools may pay expenses and provide transportation to similar in-season activities in that sport and during unrestricted contact days in the summer.
Students must pay their own expenses, including transportation, to any nonschool (out-of-season) camps, clinics, or specialized training. Schools may pay expenses and provide transportation to similar in-season activities in that sport and during unrestricted contact days in the summer.
 
5-21-10
 
Q.: I have a question that has to do with rules for teams in regards to open gyms/open fields that are offered for students/athletes. We have been getting different answers from different people and just want to be clear so we do not violate any rules or regulations. Can we give the students a playbook to use when they are running seven on seven? We are not coaching at these open gyms/open fields, the kids are running them by themselves. Can we observe these open gyms/open fields? Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, we just want to be crystal clear with everything, so we do not violate any rules.
A.: You have several rules which affect this situation. First the open gym rule. Open gyms are school sponsored recreation for students. They cannot be organized practices by the coach or any other person. Open gyms are "pick up" situations. Coaches and schools cannot be involved in out-of-season practice for athletes. However, open gyms do not violate WIAA rules if they are conducted according to the following guidelines: 1) The open gym is made known and available to all students in the designated population of that school that are interested in attending. Open gyms may be gender specific. It is also acceptable to include people from the community. Schools may conduct "open gyms" in any activity. It is not acceptable to include athletes from another school, public or nonpublic. 2) There is no instruction during the open gym by a coach or anyone else. 3) Coaches may supervise open gyms, but they may not instruct, organize drills, etc. Coaches can also recreate with students in school sponsored, open gym settings that are purely recreational in nature, i.e., there is no instruction, sport skill demonstration, organized drills or resemblance of a practice being conducted. 4) There is no organized competition, such as established teams participating in round-robin competition, etc. "Open Gym" is not a code word for out-of-season practice. The philosophy of the open gym is students from that school may attend, for wholesome recreation, or for pur- poses of improving their skills, but it's something they do on their own. It would be a violation of WIAA rules to mandate attendance at open gyms, or to provide incentives for athletes to attend open gyms, or to limit participation based on athletic status, or to allow athletes from other schools to come and work out or compete against the host school's athletes. (BL – Art. II and RE – Art. VI, Sect. 2) During the school year, no activity in which they are engaged during the school year should resemble in any way a school team practicing or competing out-of-season. (Handbook, p. 39, Art VI, Sect 2, Par A). With this rule, "Captains Practices" may not be held during the school year. Participants must be diversified and coaches/schools may not be involved. They are allowed during the summertime where limitations on athletes assembly are removed. If the players are organizing in a practice situation, then this rule comes into play. The question to be asked: Is the situation you describe an Open Gym or a spring practice designed to appear as an open gym? In a true open gym, the kids grab a ball and recreate. If they are running plays, then I would say they are practicing.

3-15-10

Q.: I believe I know the answer to this already, but I want to check and make sure that I am correct. Our foot- ball coaches want to put together an incentive program for out-of-season weight lifting. The incentive would be based on attendance in the weight room rather than performance. Their incentive for prospective players would be a t-shirt for each participant. I don't believe they can do anything that is listed here other than offer the weight room be open. If I am wrong in any part of this please let me know. I personally think the incentive programs
are good, but I am pretty sure they are against regulations.
A.: You are correct in each instance. Please review the WIAA Rules at a Glance. Weight rooms fall under the open gym rules. Coaches may not: 1) Mandate athletes participate in non-school competition, or deter- mine who may or may not participate in non-school activity. 2) Require involvement in out-of-season activities as part of the requirements for making a school team, earning a school letter award, etc. 3) Provide incentives such as t-shirts, etc., for participation in the off-season. OPEN GYMS – Coaches and schools cannot be involved in out-of-season practice for athletes. However, open gyms do not violate WIAA rules if they are conducted according to the following guidelines: The open gym is made known and available to all students in the designated population of that school that are interested in attending. Open gyms may be gender specific. It is also acceptable to include people from the community. Schools may con- duct "open gyms" in any activity. It is not acceptable to include athletes from another school, public or nonpublic. There is no instruction during the open gym by a coach or anyone else. Coaches may supervise open gyms, but they may not instruct, organize drills, etc. Coaches can also recreate with students in school sponsored, open gym settings that are purely recreational in nature, ie., there is no instruction, sport skill demonstration, organized drills or resemblance of a practice being conducted. There is no organized competition, such as established teams participating in round-robin competition, etc. "Open Gym" is not a code word for out-of-season practice. The philosophy of the open gym is students from that school may attend, for wholesome recreation, or for purposes of improving their skills, but it's something they do on their own. It would be a violation of WIAA rules to mandate attendance at open gyms, or to provide incentives for athletes to attend open gyms, or to limit participation based on athletic status, or to allow athletes from other schools to come and work out or compete against the host school's athletes. (BL – Art. II and RE – Art. VI, Sect. 2)

Q.: Can a coach feed a ball machine for those who want to have batting practice in pre-season baseball and soft- ball open gyms for all students who are interested in those sports? Can the coach pitch? Can the coach hit ground balls?
A.: A coach or anyone else may not instruct or drop balls in the machine. Coaches cannot be pitching batting practice, hitting ground balls, etc. Implements such as bats and balls or machines may be used. By definition, open gyms are for recreation, not instruction (by the coach or anyone). Keep in mind that protective equipment can only be issued during the sport season and summer with Board of Education approval for all sports, but softball and baseball may issue protective equipment for open gyms (passed in 2013). 

2-5-10

Q.: Is a high school girls soccer coach allowed to be at an open gym if he is not coaching, just observing?
A.: Coaches may supervise, observe, and recreate during open gyms. Coaches and anyone else may not instruct during open gyms. OPEN GYMS – Coaches and schools cannot be involved in out-of-season practice for athletes. However, open gyms do not violate WIAA rules if they are conducted according to the following guidelines: 1) The open gym is made known and available to all students in the designated population of that school that are interested in attending. Open gyms may be gender specific. It is also accept- able to include people from the community. Schools may conduct "open gyms" in any activity. It is not acceptable to include athletes from another school, public or nonpublic. 2) There is no instruction during the open gym by a coach or anyone else. 3) Coaches may supervise open gyms, but they may not instruct,
organize drills, etc. Coaches can also recreate with students in school sponsored, open gym settings that are purely recreational in nature, i.e., there is no instruction, sport skill demonstration, organized drills or resemblance of a practice being conducted. 4) There is no organized competition, such as established teams participating in round-robin competition, etc. "Open Gym" is not a code word for out-of-season practice. The philosophy of the open gym is students from that school may attend, for wholesome recreation, or for purposes of improving their skills, but it's something they do on their own. It would be a violation of WIAA rules to mandate attendance at open gyms, or to provide incentives for athletes to attend open gyms, or to limit participation based on athletic status, or to allow athletes from other schools to come and work out or compete against the host school's athletes. (BL – Art. II and RE – Art. VI, Sect. 2)

Q.: We have students from neighboring school districts coming in to "work out" in our weight room in preparation for powerlifting competitions with students from our school. It is not an open gym but it is the understanding that our weight room is always "open." Is this a violation of the open gym policy? Also if students from a district in which we co-op with in a number of sports come to our open gyms, is this allowed?
A.: Open weight rooms are the same as open gyms: Open to community members and students from that school. However, the school may not open the gym to students from other schools. With the co-op, students involved in the co-op may be allowed since they participate in your co-op program.

12-18-09

Q.: I have a daughter who is a junior. If I go to an open gym at her high school and rebound for her and give her instructions on her shooting form, is this a violation of the open gym rules per the WIAA?
A.: The definition of open gym is a gym open to students to recreate, something kids do on their own. It is recreational play and truly an open gym made known and available to all interested students. There is no coaching by a coach, or any one else in school sponsored open gyms. I've attached our Rules at a Glance for your information where you may find text which clearly states what may take place at open gyms.

Q.: I also have a question for you concerning baseball and softball open gyms. I know that schools can't issue protective equipment outside of the season unless it is during the summer, however, during the school year can we make helmets and/or catchers gear available to students that attend a baseball/softball open gym as long as we don't allow students to take it with them after the open gym?
A.: Keep in mind that protective equipment can only be issued during the sport season and summer with Board of Education approval for all sports, but softball and baseball may issue protective equipment for open gyms (passed in 2013). 


9-23-09

Q.: Can a high school student help in introducing a sport to younger players without losing eligibility? For example, could an open gym for youth be held and local high school players invited to come and talk to kids about their sport and participate in playing or practicing?
A.: Without specifics, it is hard to speculate. Our open gym rules state that no instruction may take place by a coach or anyone else. In a camp situation, HS players may be clinicians. However, our members have rules which apply to the time period of when they may do so with their HS coaches. During the summer, they may be clinicians for up to six days before July 31 in a camp situation with their HS coach. After that time period, they may not be clinicians with their HS coach. During the school year, camps or clinics must be run by non-school organizations.

Q.: I have read the open gym text contained in section II-D. My understanding is that I can have an open gym for students in the high school and middle school populations of my school. Can this open gym be at the same time using the same facility? In other words, can I have middle school athletes participating with my high school athletes at the same time in the same gym? The opportunity would be open to all athlete's from 7-12 grade at my school. I am hoping that I don't have to schedule open gyms at different times based on grade level, but I want to make sure I am in accordance with the rule.
A.: The open gym requirements (see attached Rules at a Glance, Letter D) can be conducted with several conditions: It is made known and available to all student of the school. People from the community (adults and alumni) may attend. They can be gender specific. Other school populations outside of your school may not. Therefore, your MS and HS students can attend separate open gyms.  The HS students attend a HS open gym and the MS students attend a MS open gym. There cannot be any instruction by a coach or anyone else. Coaches may supervise, but may not instruct, organize, etc. They may recreate however. There cannot be any com- petition in the form of a tournament, etc.

7-10-09

Q.: I have a quick question about open gyms for basketball this summer. I am aware that athletes from another high school can not attend. What is the policy involving a graduated student from our school? We have a couple of girls who have graduated from our school, either this year or in the past, that wish to attend our open gyms this summer Is this legal?
A.: Yes. Graduates/alumni - home on break/summer vacation are typically afforded status as "members of the community."

5-8-09

Q.: Is there anything in the guidelines against open gym opportunities being extended to 8th grade athletes? In talking with the boys' staff about spring open gym opportunities and we want to make sure we're in compliance.
A.: Technically – the Open Gym Text contained in II-D of attached identifies open gym being allowed so long as it is available to all the students in the "designated population of that school." Generally speaking, if middle schools wish to have open gyms – they can and should do that. Nothing prevents your coach from offering to supervise a middle school open gym. Now, if you are talking about summer time open gyms – then yes, not a problem as the 8th graders from your feeders are afforded matriculation status.

3-27-09

Q.: I have a question on open gyms. If a father of one of our students is knowledgeable in pitching (a pitching coach) and has worked with his daughters. While the rest of the kids are at an open gym (supervision only going on - no instructing), would it be permissible for him work with/instruct pitchers while the others are in an open gym setting? It is basically two things going on at one time - to make better use of our space constraints. He would not be a coach (paid or volunteer) for our high school program, but would basically be a free-lance pitching coach working with kids. Part two of the scenario - would he then be able to observe kids throughout the season - not from the bench, not from a coaching box - but from the bleachers? He would not be part of our coaching staff, but a free-lance pitching coach. I ask this because when I was teaching and coaching in Iowa we had a similar situation. The pitching coach our pitchers worked with kids from a number of schools and youth programs during the winter. Most of them were from one high school program, but he did have a variety - including our kids who lived two hours away. He would go to a number of games (mostly for that one program where most of the pitchers were), but he would also go see the other girls pitch also. Iowa's coaching contact rules are a little different than Wisconsin's, but I have someone who is interested in doing something similar to what I experienced in Iowa.
A.: Kind of sounds like this parent may need to decide if he wants to be a school coach or not. He's not going to be able to "do both half way." Open Gym Rules (II-D) and coaching contact (Art. I) are addressed in the Rules At A Glance. I would advise if this parent wants to work with his own daughters and/or other prospective pitchers from your school and/or surrounding communities that he go through your district's facility use procedures. It would be much cleaner and far less confusing. If he wants to become a private pitching coach - we are not able to prevent that. He would need to keep in mind, however, that any corrections/instructions, etc. that he might wish to make with his clients must be made away from WIAA practices and competitions. No place for corrections to be made in/around practice and contests by anyone other then the school's coach. In addition, WIAA rules prohibit coaching contact outside of the season by those who will be coaching during the actual school season. If he gets into the private instruction business and you lease space to him, you may want to be certain you get hold harmless agreement and evidence of adequate personal liability protection on his part. (He might want to make sure he double checks on IRS tax laws relative to this sort of business if he's serious about it.)

9-19-08

Q.: I am the head girls basketball coach at a member high school. I have a dad of one of my players as my assistant. Is he allowed to coach her during our open gyms. I just want to make sure that I am in accordance to the rules of the contact.
A.: There is no coaching by a coach, or any one else in school sponsored open gyms.

7-18-08

Q.: I have a quick question regarding open gyms and home school student/athletes. There is a sophomore interested in participating in our boys open gyms, however he is not registered at our school and is home schooled. His mom has indicated he would like to have the opportunity to play at open gyms with our school to meet kids and nurture his basketball skills. He may sign up at our school if he has a positive experience and meet new friends. What is the WIAA's stance on this with home schoolers and open gyms.
A.: This one warrants some administrative consideration and discussion. You will see in II-D of the Rules At A Glance – that open gyms are only for students of your school. You will also see that members of the community – can be included in open gyms. (Most traditionally, members of the community will be parents and/or former students who come and recreate with the kids.) The inherent hazard for you in what this parent has requested is for the allegation of either "shopping around", recruitment and – or a "try out" being associated with the youngster's involvement, being leveled. It would be my opinion that in this instance – looking out for your school's interests – I would recommend the student should be enrolled first – before allowing the desired participation.

5-22-08

Q.: I need some clarification on allowed activities at open gyms. What is allowed and what is not allowed by coaches? What is purely recreational? For example, we have a very young head volleyball coach. Can she play with players during an open gym? Can she participate in "hitting lines?" Can she set to those hitting lines? Could our basketball coach join one of the groups of players who are involved in full court games? (Winner keeps playing format.)
A.: Open gym is not a code word for out-of-season practice. The text on Open Gym in the Rules At A Glance is some of the most specific and crystal clear text we have. With regard to skill development – the text states it's something kids do on their own. And we think the "philosophy" for open gyms is also made clear.
If it is recreational play and truly an open gym made known and available to all interested students. Coaches can recreate/play. Not all open gyms and open gym activities are conducive to coaches taking
part. Organized hitting drills are a time for coaches to be supervising only.

Q.: Many of our football players will be attending a team camp this summer, but it is not part of our unrestricted summer contact days. An individual has offered to pick up the cost of a bus to transport the players so they do not have to pay for this on their own. My feeling is that this may be construed as a free opportunity and impact amateur status according to Article IV, Section 2C #5 on page 38 of the Handbook. I do believe this scenario is OK if each player or parent pays an equal share of the costs of the transportation.
A.: The rules surrounding camps, clinics, specialized training, etc., provide that only a student and family are able to cover 100 percentage of costs associated with specialized training/instruction during restricted times. (You are correct that if this was during the unrestricted days of opportunity - the school could pay for, or provide transportation.) In the scenario you describe there is a community benefactor willing to remove or reduce the cost associated with this particular camp - at least with respect to transportation. So long as it is available to all students interested - and the same amount of money for all interested, it would be in compliance with the interpretation of this area in the rules.

Q.: We have a grant to help underprivileged students attend summer school academic/activity classes. My question is if it is legal to provide these same students reduced or free admission to our summer sports camps? We have never done this in the past and some of these families have asked the question. These would be students entering 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 grade.
A.: No. When it comes to camps, clinics, special training and/or instruction – student and parents must cover 100 percentage of associated costs. Would your grant be enough to allow you to do a free camp – for everyone interested? Obviously, a free camp has no cost associated to anyone.

5-1-08

Q.: Am I correct in my understanding that as long as a coach is just supervising at an open gym, the kids at open gyms may "organize" their activities such as drills, conditioning, etc. The coach would have no involvement other than to provide supervision for the facility's use.
A.: If you're asking about organizing themselves into teams to play, and an organization of how we stay in play or rotate out - answer's "sure" kids can do that. If we're talking about student's organizing out- of-season practices - NO. That which we might commonly describe as captain's practice is allowed in the summer time, without school and/or coach involvement.

Q.: I have a question about open gyms, specifically, when colleges are involved. We have a big-time basketball talent, a sophomore, and certain colleges want to come and watch him play in an open gym setting. Are there protocols for this? As long as it is a normal, legal open gym can college scouts come to look at players? Also, could a college scout watch a player during phys-ed classes?
A.: We advise caution and further, confirmation from NCAA. A few years ago, there was a lot of "blur- ring" of our member's term and our definition of open gym – in order to facilitate NCAA opportunity and to comply with NCAA definitions at that time. Schools were setting up scrimmages, including AAU players and students from other schools and trying to call it "open gym." I must advise you to double check with NCAA about the circumstances under which a college coach could come to your school. From WIAA perspective, if a recruiter wished to watch a bona fide WIAA open gym, our rules would not prevent that. I am not sure if it would be permitted by NCAA, or not. Observing a gym class is not a WIAA issue, but you best check with your principal and supt. Do keep in mind WIAA rules regarding open gym outlined in II-D of the Rules At A Glance AND that an open gym may not include students/athletes from any other schools.

12-06-07

Q.: Can a school offer an open gym at an off-site facility that the school is renting?
A.: Yes. Advertise opportunity/announce it and make it available to your student body same as you would if it were open gym at your school, instead of open gym at the ice arena, e.g. Essential fundamentals are that opportunity is in fact, school run/school sponsored and it is made known/available to any all students interested in attending.

10-27-07

The WIAA Board of Control has approved the following change of interpretation: "Effective immediately, coaches will now be allowed to recreate with student-athletes in out-of-season open gym settings that are purely recreational, i.e., there is no instruction, sport skill demonstration, organized drills, or resemblance of a practice being conducted."

Q: How can cross country and track coaches interpret this new language?
* First, remember that Open Gyms are 'school sponsored' programming made known, open and available to any interested student in your school's student population. Open Gyms may include members of the community.
* Coaches may now run, outside of the season with students, including members of the team even during the school year - outside of the season.
* Coaches should be advised that this must be casual recreational running; morning run, community run connected to the school's open gym, conditioning for any interested student, e.g.
* The opportunity must be voluntary and may not be restricted to track or cross country athletes, only. Include any interested student – same as required in all open gyms. Do not include athletes from other schools.
* Opportunity may not resemble a "practice"; e.g., coach with a watch & clipboard, interval running, taking attendance, posting a specific/required work out. Review Rules At A Glance text regarding Open Gym for additional/specifics about Open Gyms.

Q.: With the new interpretation of the open gym policy, in what ways would coaches be able to participate in an out-of-season softball open gym? We would like to know so we don't break any rules.
A.: As framed, it is a broad question. Not being certain what all takes place in your softball open-gym. Please consider the following: Nothing has changed with respect to a coach's inability to organize, mandate attendance, coach/instruct, demonstrate and/or direct a practice, e.g., in an open gym setting. Nothing has changed with respect to the stated philosophy for Open Gyms. Really, the only element which has changed is that prior to this, coaches could only supervise Open Gyms. Now, coaches "playing" along with the students – in open gyms - will not be considered a violation of Open Gym provisions. That notion and image - of 'pure play' - has been a central one in the deliberations leading to this new interpretation. The new, added text we think is very clear: "Coaches may be allowed to recreate with students and other faculty in open gym settings, provided they are purely recreational in nature." Look over the existing text of open gyms and in particular the philosophy...then consider the new text. The new interpretation as approved by the Board, now allows coaches to participate with students in an Open Gym - in a recreational climate/activity/manner. Can you take a few swings at the ball, can you throw and play catch, can you take some turns pitching – sure/perhaps; in a climate of "play and recreation"... and not one which will easily be described only as preseason softball practice. It is advisable to think carefully of what you will and/or won't take part in within your particular open gym environment. What actions will make you, your kids or program vulnerable to the assertions – later on, when parents or students become disgruntled – and will then be described to us as simply, "mandatory, out-of-season practice with the coach directing, providing instruction and feedback?" We think it's important to recognize that not every Open Gym might be conducive to a coach 'playing' along with students. In addition to the above, it is appropriate to remind coaches, as well as school administration that: Schools will continue to hold all responsibility and liability – for a coach participating with students in this setting – should school administration choose to allow it. Refer to the clarification at the beginning of this category to help understanding what the change means. Also, the original Rules At A Glance and text for Open Gyms (Art. II D) would be good to review. Again, keep in mind that the Membership's Bylaw (Article II, Handbook p. 26), the fundamental rules and fundamental philosophy of/for Open Gyms – in order to be in compliance with the Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility, have not changed – at all.

Q.: I would just like further clarification on a few things concerning Open Gyms. When you mentioned no organized drills or resemblance of a practice, does the following count or not. Example: You have an open gym posted. There are cones set up for those interested in dribbling around (possible basketball players?), the pitching machine set up for those interested in hitting (possible baseball/softball players?) and maybe even a blocking/spiking apparatus for those interested (possible volleyball players?). I have only "heard" of such cases in the conferences & talk isn't always accurate. If all of the above is set-up for fun & games is it wrong? Or is this going over the line, or at least on thin ice? Sometimes ignorance is an excuse and sometimes it really is for real and education is definitely needed! If you could further clarify, I would greatly appreciate it.
A.: To preface, WIAA Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility prohibit coaches and schools from being involved in out-of-season practice with/for student athletes. However, the interpretation of those provisions have afforded schools the opportunity to sponsor "Open Gyms" for their student population, in any activity, provided they are conducted according to the Open Gym guidelines (Art. II-D of Rules At A Glance). We think these guidelines are about as clear as anything we've written – both in text as well as 'spirit.' The simple act of making 'implements' available to students in open gym in-and-of-itself, has never been a violation. Bats, balls, T's, shot/disc, hurdles, starting blocks, and all of the items you identify above are all categorized as 'implements' and can be made available, and a simple amount of operation/safety instruction is reasonable. (DO remember that batting helmets, catcher's equipment - are apparel/protective equipment and may not be issued outside the season – except in the summer/with School Board approval. This is allowed by a change in 2013.) As a reasonable and responsible person/supervisor – you might also need to consider if allowing the vaulting horse and/or vaulting poles, e.g., or certain other implements – in a setting where we may not coach/instruct – is a prudent choice, even though they might be permitted. Sometimes that answer might need to be 'NO"... Not from a WIAA compliance perspective – but from a common sense perspective. Another reason to say "NO" - to an implement is if your coach is simply not able to resist from instruct- ing/providing coaching, feedback, e.g. In that scenario, even though the implement might be 'OK', the act/action accompanying it's use is "not in compliance." In this case, it's not the 'machine's fault.' The availability and use of implements is in many ways viewed separate from the essential/fundamental requirements for compliance with Open Gym provisions.

Q.: Is it now acceptable for coaches to pitch batting practice at open gyms? Hitting ground balls to multiple kids by a coach or parent would be considered NO also?
A.: In an open gym focused narrowly/primarily on skill development - Answer's NO. Pitching in batting practice would be contrary to intention of new interpretation. This change is not about adding a dimension to facilitate an out-of-season practice. It is to afford an opportunity for students and staff to interact in recreational 'play.' If the open gym concludes with a kick ball, stick ball or mush ball game, coach may pitch to their heart's content.

10-27-07

Q.: Is it a problem to have boys swim team members swimming at our pool if the pool is open for any student to attend?
A.: So long as "open pool" is announced/made known and available to any/every student in school - and conforms to text/spirit of II-D of the Rules At A Glance. Boy's swim team members could attend.

2-7-07

Q.: We are considering running a youth baseball camp this year, potentially as a fundraiser. My interpretation is that if our high school baseball program wanted to run a camp it must be conducted during the summer, and it cannot be run during the school year. Is that correct? Also, a local baseball club is considering running the camp. As I understand the rule, the club could conduct the camp at anytime during the year, and our high school coaches could work at the camp.
A.: Yes, your understanding of the rule is correct. If the camp is conducted by a nonschool group during the school baseball season HS players and coaches may be involved. If held outside the season coaching contact restrictions must be observed.

Q.: I have a small nucleus of coaches who want to implement a non-sport specific strength/agility open gym 2- 3 times a week. It is open to any kid in the school and they would like to work with the students. If it is non- sport specific is it permissible?
A.: In a word - Yes. Interpretation of Bylaws and Open Gym text does allow schools to offer a strength/agility/conditioning open gym opportunity - on a voluntary basis – available to any/all interested students. Want to be certain it does not resemble 'football practice' or pre-season track practice.

12-6-06

Q.: Our basketball coach would like to have open gym before the season starts. During this open gym she will be there to watch, but not coach. During this open gym there will be a resemblance of a scrimmage that will be officiated by a non-coaching staff member. This official was, however, the girls' coach during the summer leagues. I wanted to know if we are bending or breaking any of the rules set by the WIAA before I allowed it. Being a new AD I wanted your interpretation instead of trying to interpret the winter regulations.
A.: See Article II of the Rules At A Glance – especially II-A and II-D. The text and philosophy of open gyms is very clear and specific. Open Gym must be available to any interested student. It may be gender specific. It may not resemble basketball practice out side the season. No instruction, no organizing, etc., coaches may supervise.

10-25-06

Q.: I received the following email from a parent of a middle school student who will attend our school next year – My son is in 8th grade. He spends a lot of time improving his basketball skills and could benefit playing with older boys at the open gym on Sunday nights. Would he be allowed to do this on his own, would he need special permission from someone, or is it not allowed period. Am I correct in that it is okay for him to attend our open gyms?
A.: Most interpret "the designated population of that school" as contained in the text of Rules At A Glance to say "no" a student at another school can not attend an open gym at our school. Some have then sought
to point out that the rules allow schools to include members of the community in open gym opportunities if you wish. They do – but not athletes from other schools. Best friendly advice...if the middle school wishes to have open gym they may do so. If you wish to open up the opportunity to the 'community' – it is most defensible then when the opportunity is widely advertised and available to all in class and community.

10-6-06

Q.: I was wondering if the rule regarding open gyms addresses players currently playing football. Is a player participating in football allowed to go to open gym? My position is they should not be going to open gym risking injury and exposure because they can't tell the coach no or they think it will be held against them when basket- ball starts. If there is not a rule do you have any suggestions I may have. The open gym's are starting this Sunday and running two days a week for two hours each session.
A.: WIAA rules would not prevent a football player from going to open gym. But everything else your email identifies is correct, one would hope that as a player I'd not compromise my football teammates...or that the basketball coach would even allow kids committed to a fall sport team do anything. But it will be up to you to lead and your staff to buy in. Call me corny and old-fashioned.

5-25-06

Q.: We have open gym (mats) for any of the high school kids that what to come in and try out a little wrestling during the spring/summer. We have some ex-wrestlers and adult's that like to come in and get a work out in. Is there any rule against graduated wrestlers/adults from wrestling with the kids still in high school during these open mats? We run our open mats through July 31.
A.: No. See Article II-D of the Rules At A Glance. Read it carefully and literally..you might also wish to discuss the unrestricted contact days your school may approve, with your AD.

Q.: We wanted to start a rotating open gym schedule with two other schools in our area. Is this allowed under the rules, and if not is there anyway to do this?

A.: No and yes. First - we are required at times to "speak" very specifically. In the hopes of being clear when communicating with members. When we speak of "Open Gym" as a membership, we come from the perspective it is a school sponsored activity. As such, (school sponsored) Open Gym is clearly defined/described in the Rules at a Glance Article II-D "Open Gym" can only include students from your school. Your second question is more in the form of/vein of a rotating summer league sort of thing. This can be accomplished - in either of two ways. It could be "school sponsored"- for up to five days/five times, during the summer so long as all three schools scheduled the exact same five days for their unrestricted contact days. If this was done, school coaches could actually coach, organize, instruct. Caveats: Limited to five days - between the end of school and July 31, must be voluntary. As with any school based opportunity, must be accessible to any interested student. The second direction and what I sensed you might actually be exploring in reality would be considered - "private-gym" - nonschool gym/non-school based programming and opportunity...much the same as if the three communities all had a YMCA or a county Rec. Dept. who developed a "summer league." These opportunities can be done, legitimately and within compliance. School facilities can be used/rented, often times the booster organizations may secure local facility use from respective schools when/where there is not "city rec" or other sponsor source. Facilities can be made available in accordance with your school district policy for nonschool use. (See Article II C- 2) Caveats: An acceptable nonschool program is one which is not limited to students based on school and/or team status. No assembly may resemble the school's team practicing and/or competing outside the season. Still must be voluntary. Coaching restrictions apply (if some of these dates coincided with unre- stricted days school coaches could have contact) if they are outside the unrestricted days, the person who would be coaching students in the next school season may not have coaching contact. (See Article I and Article II A for the above.)

Q.: My football coach wants to open the weight room on Wednesday and Sunday nights from 7-9. How do we go about that without getting into trouble in terms of open gyms? If we make announcements that the weight room is open during these times for anyone, have a sign posted for times, etc.?
A.: Open gyms do not need to present any problem at all. Follow the letter and spirit of II-D in Rules At A Glance. You may run announcements a few times a week for a week or so...that certainly ought to create awareness of the opportunity. Keep it voluntary, no attendance or incentives/rewards or punishments connected to showing up. Limited, safe lifting instruction is appropriate for weight room open gyms.

5-5-06

Q.: We have a co-op for girls hockey with another school. Can those girls come down here and participate in our summer speed and strength class.
A.: Yes. Had to check into that one a bit. There is some precedent for allowing students from "co-op" partners to engage in open gym opportunities. Opportunity should be made known to/available to all interested students w/in the related set. Interpretation does not extend to all students/all sports - outside of the co-op.

12-16-05

Q.: Are we able to have open gym times for track and field events throughout the winter months. We have thought about having our pole vaulters and throwers come in before school. What responsibilities would our coaching staff have? What issues should we be concerned about?
A.: The rules governing open gym are contained in Article II-D of the Rules At A Glance. Schools may con- duct open gyms - following these rules - in any activity they wish. That said, few schools I know of allow pole vaulting in open gym settings due to the fact that it is an activity non-conducive to most students safely doing on their own/no coaching/instruction, etc.

11-11-05

Q.: Can you please clarify if coaches can be present at "open gyms" and if they can advise the girls what to do when at open gyms?
A.: Coaches may supervise open gym. Coaches (nor any one else) may not direct/organize or instruct in open gyms.
10-7-05

Q.: Do open gyms have to be open to other students from other schools? I found where it talks about summer contact having to be open to other schools but nothing about during the season.
A.: There have been a considerable number of changes in summertime programming and coaching con- tact in just these past two summers. Getting it "all down" takes a little bit of thinking/recollection, even for me. First, the summer contact rules were changed (again) effective this past summer whereby "schools" could now sponsor 9-12 programming within the allowable/sport respective, contact windows. This programming could include students/teams from other schools. It could be limited to just your school's students. Local option. Keep in mind this is now discussing "school sponsored programming" - as opposed to the requirements still in place when we address a "YMCA/City Rec", e.g., sort of programming. Those providers of "nonschool programs" that must still adhere to the requirements you initially outlined...i.e., may not be limited/restricted based on school and/or team status, etc.

8-22-05

Q.: Can we use our wrestlers at a summer camp and pay them monetarily? Unless this has changed also, my understanding is that is not permissible. I want to make sure before I reply to our coach.
A.: No change, a student has always been able to be "employed" and be paid for working a camp as a clinician/coach. But, a student may not be "self-employed" in marketing their sport skill/expertise. Your "state champ" can not sell "private" lessons, but they may be paid for working in a bona fide camp as a counselor/clinician/camp coach.

12-13-04

Q.: If my volleyball coach has an open gym that any student may attend in the morning before school can she play volleyball with her athletes?    These would be pick-up style games without instruction. My understanding of the out-of-season regulations is that this contact is acceptable under Article 1, section c.4 on page 55.
A.: No. Please review our Rules At A Glance document. Read Article I on Coaches/contact, just for added familiarity. Then - specific to your question - read Article II, D, 3.

4-30-04

Q.: Our Gym and Swim is handled by our district office and any kid interested and who has $2.50 can attend.
A.: It sounds as though your district may have a "Community Ed" type model in place. Community Ed and/or other 'like' programs, which are under the control and direction of the "school" must still comply with the Bylaws. Generally, this provides that athletes with past status in a school sport and who have remaining eligibility should not be involved in school sponsored sport outside the designated school season since they are only allowed one season of school sponsored sport per school year. Please be certain to review the WIAA Handbook/Bylaws (the agreement for/of membership). In particular, see p. 26/Article II, primarily Sections 1 through 5. Additional text and commentary can be found in the Rules at a Glance document. In particular, Article II, Sections A, B, C, D are potentially applicable (especially last sentence of 'A').

Q.: I have a couple of athletes who want to go to another high school and use their facilities. They have to pay $2.50 to swim &/or shoot baskets. Is this legal to do under the "open gym" section?
A.: This does not sound like an "open gym" as WIAA defines it. Open gym is a school sponsored activity. This sounds like a private/nonschool sort of opportunity...maybe the park and rec dept. or some other non- school group. As your question points out, "open gym" rules as outlined in the Rules At A Glance pro- hibit/may not involve students from other schools. If you come to discover this opportunity is in fact school sponsored, do not allow your students to attend. If it is indeed something other then "open gym" and any kid interested and who has $2.50 can attend, then it's no problem for your kids, either.

4-16-04

Q.: I was told by the softball camp director that every participant keeps their jersey and their visor from the camp. Does this cause a problem with eligibility?
A.: The issue is that a 'jersey' is something a student can not receive for potential/performance/achieve- ment, etc. in athletics. It is not uncommon that in these sorts of junkets, the jersey or uniform is actually purchased by the family and/or is included in the cost of the trip. You want to protect your student by having something that clearly indicates they have paid for (in some way) the jersey.

Q.: I'm the President of a regional Football Coaches Association and some of our area coaches were wondering if we could hold an unpadded conditioning camp for area athletes during the first week in August. I told them I didn't think so but I would check with you to make sure. It would be set up so no area coach would work with their own athletes.
A.: Your initial reaction is understandable. The response to this sort of camp would certainly raise 'eye- brows' and suspicions. The complete answer however, is that if a nonschool 'provider' wished to hold a 'boot camp' style opportunity for physical conditioning, WIAA rules would not prevent that. WIAA rules do not control 'non-members'. It's NOT something that a 'member school' could provide. Coaching con- tact restrictions are in effect in this period.

Q.: There was a paragraph in an area newspaper this morning announcing, "the first Wisconsin High School Baseball Showcase will take place June 19 & 20 at UW-Whitewater." I was always under the impression that "Showcases" during an athletes season were illegal. If this were true, WIAA Summer baseball players would not be able to attend. When you have a minute, please let me know what the eligibility situation would be with this or any other Showcase Camp.
A.: I'm not certain that I know all the details of this event, and what impact the membership's provisions might have. Any additional information you can provide would be helpful. In the meantime, the membership's ALL-STAR provisions can be found on p. 38-39 of the Handbook – See # 4a, in particular for summer baseball.
Camps/Clinics

2-29-12
Q: Can the athletes also accept the shorts if every other participant at Disney Spring Training receives the same entry gift? 
A: Athletes may only accept a t-shirt according to the Amateur Status rule.  They must pay for shorts, polo shirts/sweatshirts, or any other merchandise.  It's important to note the rule is that cash or merchandise cannot be accepted for athletic achievement.  If a non-school tournament is open to anyone who wants to enter and everyone gets a pair of shorts, there is no violation, because awarding of a pair of shorts was not based on athletic achievement.  The Disney Spring training event is school sponsored (West Orange High School), NFHS sanctioned, and contains school teams.  This same thing cannot be said of a school-sponsored tournament however, because that competition is open only to individuals who have achieved team status, therefore receiving the pair of shorts would be based on athletic achievement.
 
 
Q: Can I offer an incentive like a pair of spikes or a gift card for the top seller in a team fundraiser?  
A: The WIAA does not direct nor encourage fundraisers in member schools; however, should a member school identify a need to create monies, fundraisers are not prevented.  School administrators and coaches must review and follow their governing body's fundraising policies and procedures.
 
When student-athletes are being used in the project, they should be informed of what they are going to sell, what the money is going to be used for, and what benefit they will receive personally. They also need to be aware of their liability should they lose their fund-raising items or money.  Student-athletes need to be aware that participation in fundraisers is not a voluntary duty and cannot be used as criteria for going out for a school team or for making a school team.
 
WIAA Amateur Status regulations can impact student-athletes involved in a fundraiser:
 
1. If student-athletes provide endorsement as an athlete, or appear as an athlete, in the promotion of a commercial advertisement and/or profit-making event, item, plan or service.
 
2. Receives compensation or benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use of name, picture, and/or personal appearance, as an athlete. This includes but is not limited to: receiving free and/or reduced rates on equipment, apparel, camps/clinics/instruction and competitive opportunities that are not identical for all other participants.
 
Pre-season fundraisers must indicate that any eligible student-athlete can participate in the fundraiser. They may not be limited to student-athletes who are believed to be making the team at a future time.  Rewards for the fundraising activity are acceptable, provided they are available to everyone participating in the fundraising activity and not limited to athletes. My best advice is to open the fundraising activity to any and all students in the school and not limit it to team members. 
 


4-24-10
Q.: Can we place volleyball booster information on our Web site along with different summer training opportu- nities without being in violation? For example... Can we post fitness training opportunities, camps, clinics and tournaments on our site. None of these opportunities will be sponsored by our school or coaches but may be by our booster club and/or held in our buildings.
A.: The member schools do not have a rule against a school providing space on the school Web site for nonschool groups. It does raise some concerns which you may wish to be proactive with: Be sure the page with the information indicates that these are nonschool opportunities. Have some sort of disclaimer stat- ing that all out-of-season opportunities are voluntary and not mandatory. Camps and clinics must be paid in full by the student and/or family.


12-18-09
Q.: I have a student business group working on a project who wishes to sell rally towels at basketball games. To cut down on the cost, they have sponsorship which would be on the towel. Would these towels violate any regulations?
A.: Page 8 of the Sportsmanship Reference Guide – No printing except the school name, team nickname, and/or school mascot and tournament host may prohibit them.


Q.: I am a high school girls basketball coach. Our girls basketball team would like to hold a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society this coming season and I just want to check that how we plan on doing it will not vio- late any WIAA rules. Here's our plan, our fundraiser will be based on how many free throws the girls varsity team makes during the season. Each player will solicit funds or donations based on the free throw made. People could donate a lump some or could donate X amount per free throw made. As an example last year we made 205 free throws, if you pledged a dollar per free throw, you would be donating $205 at year end for the team to donate to the American Cancer Society. No funds are kept by or for the team.
A.: While we appreciate the causes which our schools and athletes support, I recommend that you find a different method to raise funds. The Board of Control has made it clear that fundraisers connected to performance in competition are NOT allowed. Both from the sportsmanship perspective, as well as from the "paid to perform" and or gaming/gambling end of things, it is a not a good idea and not allowed. Your plan would be allowed in a practice setting.


10-23-09
Q.: I have two questions regarding fundraisers: My baseball coach wants to host an indoor whiffle ball tourna- ment in February. He would like potential baseball players to help run the tournament/fundraiser. Is this legal? My baseball coach also wants to host a baseball camp on Sunday's in January. His potential players would not help or be involved in anyway, but some adults would come in and run the camp and the money would go to the baseball program. Is this legal? He would like to call it the Bronco Baseball Camp. It would be for kids 1st – 8th grade.
A.: Schools may not sponsor sports out-of-season with the exception of the five unrestricted days. A non- school organization may host a whiffle ball tournament such as a booster club. The key is that the camp, tournament, or clinic must be non-school during the school year. For the whiffle ball tournament, the coach could run the tournament without the players or the non-school organization could run the tournament with the players. For the camp, it must be run by a non-school organization, checked out as any other organization would check out a gym, be voluntary, open to anyone, and not be team specific with limitations. The players could work as clinicians without the presence of the coach.

Q.: I have a question regarding the fees for summer basketball leagues. Can a booster group pay the registration fee for a basketball team to participate in a summer basketball league? I know what the rule reads as far as sending individuals to camps and clinics, that it is the responsibility of the parents.
A.: Yes. So long as any student who wants to have fees paid for the opportunity can also get reimbursed. This opportunity may not be a "benefit" based on performance, e.g. making the varsity. See III-F of the Rules At A Glance. 5-8-09

2-13-09

Q.: We have an idea for a fundraiser. We were thinking of hosting a dodge ball tournament. We would open it up to the schools and have students sign up with teams of seven. My question is if we invite other schools and they have teams made up of off-season and/or in-season athletes will that conflict with WIAA rules? Example: If the two teams playing each other are basketball players for their schools but are here to play dodge ball. Will that be a problem?

A.: As you know, the WIAA does not sponsor dodge ball. I see no obvious conflicts with season regulations and/or rules of eligibility should you wish to host a dodge ball event for student athletes, whether they are in, or out-of-season. About the only dimension to still/always keep an eye on is amateur status. That is appearing, promoting, endorsing – as an athlete.

12-12-08

Q.: I have question regarding our volleyball team. Our National Honor Society wants to have a fund-raiser for a local family and another local charity. They want to put on a volleyball tournament. The teams involved would pay an entry fee to play in the tournament. They would also ask for admission to be paid to watch the tourna- ment. They would like the winner of the tournament to play our varsity volleyball team. Our team would not pay anything to get into the tournament or receive any financial compensation for their participation. Would this par- ticipation jeopardize the varsity volleyball team's eligibility?
A.: There are a number of possible concerns inherent in this idea as described. First; when is the event planned? Keep in mind the National Honor Society is a school sponsored organization, thus, it becomes "school sponsored" volleyball and member schools may only sponsor interscholastic volleyball during the actual school season of the sport. If this would be done outside of the school season, then it could only include seniors and others were not a part of the school volleyball team "last season." Do not allow under- classmen who have remaining volleyball eligibility to take part in an out-of-season school volleyball event. Lastly, remember that you are allowed X number of interscholastic volleyball competitions. Do not exceed that number. Perhaps the club should consider finding a non-school entity, like optimists...to sponsor the tournament and then "gift" the fund-raised dollars back to the club.

10-24-08

Q.: I am wondering what the WIAA's posture is on sponsors donating money to a fund after a score, by just the home team, during a football game? I understand that the intention of donating money to a worthy cause is admirable, but an unintended message maybe that the team may attempt to run up the score.
A.: The Board of Control has made it clear that fundraisers connected to performance in competition are not allowed. Both from the sportsmanship perspective, as well as from the 'paid to perform' and or gaming/gambling end of things, it is a bad idea and not allowed.

9-19-08

Q.: I am sending this in regard to the fact that our community has a festival and is interested in having a foot- ball player "cookie eating" contest. No prizes would be given to the contestants but they are hoping to generate interest in having people buy a raffle ticket on the player who can eat the most. The proceeds would go to the festival committee but they have said they would donate a portion to our athletic fund for our help. Is this accept- able or in violation of the policies? I did access the Handbook but seemed to see vague answers to this problem.
A.: If school administration wished to allow and if students wished to volunteer as participants in this event that would be there prerogative. We can see no obvious peril in their taking part in a cookie eating contest, beyond indigestion.


7-18-08
Q.: Is it OK to sell desk calendars as a fundraiser for teams and have a different individual or team picture (in uniform) featured each day? The team would be earning $8 per calendar sold.
A.: This sort of calendar can be done as a fundraiser without peril for students or member school pro- grams. It is appropriate to be thoughtful/careful – if local businesses are used as sponsors for the calendar - where and how those sponsors are identified. A couple other high schools have done calendars with their teams. We have worked closely with both to make sure there were no amateur status related concerns.

5-22-08

Q.: We have student clubs that do fundraisers during the year. My questions is "Can club money be used to fund summer league involvement?"
A.: If the money is kept in school activity accounts it is "school money," regardless how it got there. School money can be used to cover leagues/tournaments, camps clinics that take place on your five unrestricted contact days in the summer and during the actual school season. If the fund raised money is kept in a booster club account and the booster's wished to cover the costs for all students interested in summer league play, they could cover costs associated with competition.

2-8-08

Q.: Our booster club would like to do a fundraiser which is called Subway Shootout. Any one in attendance can participate provided they pay $1 The rules would be: Shoot a free throw make it you get a card good for one free ice cream cone. If you make the free throw you can advance to next shot. That would be a 3-point shot, you make and you get a card for a free 6" sub from Subway If you make the 3-point shot you advance to half court shot. If you make half point shot the local bank will give out a $50 savings bond. Can this be done? Can basketball players participate?
A.: As described – do not allow student athletes to take part. For fundraisers and/or promotions associat- ed with schools and school programs - if it is going to involve/include student athletes in scenarios where cash/merchandise can be won for performance of sport and/or skill of sport performance - the opportuni-
ty to do so must be associated with random draw/serendipitous opportunity. If everyone who buys a tick- et gets the opportunity: 1) don't allow athletes to participate. 2) change the prizes to those items which a student can receive without amateur status peril (Bylaws Art. XI, Rules of Eligibility Art. IV). When look- ing at random draws: Be sure your 'N' is broad and not skewed ('by just the JV players sitting in the bleacher's when lucky ticket's drawn'...e.g.); Have a good pool; be sure the person whose name is drawn – must be the person who shoots – or draw another name; do not allow for passing opportunity to another! (Opportunity is then no longer, random.)

8-20-07

Q.: I am a high school soccer coach and I was wondering if you can thank businesses on the back of shirts, t- shirts that you give to the high school athletes to train in, they are not jerseys or used to warm up. I have a few businesses that have made donations to the program and want to thank them on the back of these. Another sport in an area community did this.
A.: An athlete can be given a t-shirt. The idea you outline would not 'automatically' render a student inel- igible for 'promoting/endorsing' a business/product/service. But care is advised. Be thoughtful/careful of what might be put on a t-shirt. What's said and how it's said is significant. Second - personal 'taste'/opin- ion - Some schools would never ask or permit coaches to make the student athletes into billboards or carry sandwich signs when there are literally countless other ways to say thanks and recognize donors. Your school may feel differently. You certainly may argue that Nike, Adidas, Russell have already turned all of us into message boards for them.

7-13-07

Q.: I was visiting with someone from an area school. They were talking about clinic fees being paid for by their wrestling club for their kids. I told them I believed that to be illegal. They called them scholarships; I still told them that I didn't believe that was allowable. This then made me question the following: If a family is on free or reduced lunch we waive or reduce the athletic fees that we collect, and have them do some type of commu- nity service at school. Are we legal with the procedure outlined? This is done on a very limited basis and only in extreme cases of hardship.
A.: You are 100 percent correct. There is one possible caveat, but in that scenario the camp/clinic is in the five unrestricted days. Then the school could cover costs for any student interested in attending. In that scenario, booster members should 'gift' the school. The time period involved must be between the end of school to July 31. See Rules At A Glance, III-F and do all you can to encourage them to get in touch. Or if found to be in violation, school may lose tournament eligibility – it's potentially that serious. If accepting money, kids are not eligible. See Handbook, p. 38 C-5. We view the waiving of fees by the school - for the competitive school sport season, based on free and reduced – as 'costs associated with competition'. This is permissible within amateur status provisions. If you wished to waive fees for a summer camp/clinic – even if you hosted it – Could not! Would need to be free for all, reduced for all – but either way, same for all and for camps...kids must cover 100 percent of any cost. Tons of this on the web under Regulations icon See: Eligibility Q/A.

Q.: I am a football coach and am interested in doing a fundraiser to raise money for a team camp. Is this legal?
A.: There are no huge red flags automatically associated with student's voluntarily fund raising. This topic is regularly covered in the WIAA Bulletin - You must be careful and specific in where the funds go, how they are used/dispersed, however. Camp attendance must also be voluntary. If this 'team camp' is held between the end of school and July 31 AND is going to be identified as your coaches unrestricted contact days, (football has up to four contact days – must be consecutive) "school money" could be used (money
placed in school activity accounts - is school money). If the camp is outside those dates and/or not to be your approved contact days, then kids should take their money home and may send in their own camp applications, etc. Related, SEE: Rules At A Glance, III-F. Also, Q/A on the website. Regardless of 'sport' being discussed, the rules and principles apply the same.

5-4-07

Q.: I have a question for next year and would like to get your input. It was recently brought to our booster club's attention that back in 1999 they paid for the trainer for the youth football team. They would like the booster club to again pay for this expense. One issue is that the money for the booster club is run through the school district and I feel it would be wrong to pay for nonschool sports, since the youth football team is a feeder program. My question to you is are there any WIAA rule against schools funding nonschool sports?
A.: You are wise to be cautious in this area. What was done in 99 - may/or may not have been approved and appropriate - we can't say for certain. But wise to double check. I'd recommend a conversation with your supt., principal and auditor or dist. business mgr. Get clarification whether use of 'school funds' in this manner will be authorized. And see that what ever direction you go, you get the written approval for doing so...especially if school funds are going to be directed to nonschool programs. This is one of the rea- sons that most booster organizations are not (technically) controlled by the school....and will keep their funds separate and outside of school...non school funds have more flexibility for out-of-season and non- school use.

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Eligibility Information

High School Athletic Eligibility Information Bulletin (Required) 2014-15PDF format | WORD DOC


Eligibility Overview for Coaches

Eligibility Overview for Athletes

Academic Ineligibility Guidelines (fall sports return dates)

Player Ejection Frequently Asked Questions

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Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association
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