STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved coach advisory committee rule change recommendations in baseball, softball, and track and field at its October meeting today.
Beginning in June 2023, the State Baseball Tournament will expand to a four-day format to address the consistent late completions of the semifinal games on the first two days of the event. The revised State Tournament schedule will begin Monday and run through Thursday. The Division 1 quarterfinals will be conducted Monday with the semifinals of all four divisions to be played on either Tuesday or Wednesday, and the championship games in all divisions on Thursday.
The Board approved three recommendations advanced by the track and field coaches, effective in the spring of 2023. The first removes the temporary sunset designation of the current division placement model based on school enrollments to make the plan permanent. With the format, Division 1 will consist of the largest 128 schools offering the sport. Division 2 will include the next largest 136 schools, and the remainder of the schools will be placed into Division 3.
The other two changes to the season regulations in track and field impact the schedule and competition of the State Championships. The shot put competition will be moved to 9:30 a.m. Friday – regardless of the division rotation schedule – with the competition of the wheelchair division of the shot put to immediately follow. In addition, the wheelchair 800-meter race will move from Saturday’s schedule to immediately following the girls 3,200-meter relay Friday at approximately 11 a.m., regardless of the division session rotation. The other recommendation approved gives each shot put competitor in the wheelchair division six consecutive throws with a two-minute break following the first three attempts. The procedure is the same format used in Adaptive Track & Field USA events.
One recommendation by the Softball Coaches Advisory Committee was approved by the Board for the 2023 season. The action designates the highest-seeded team as the home team with the choice of dugouts in all regional and sectional semifinal games as well as for the sectional final game in Division 1. In Divisions 2-5, a coin flip conducted by the site coordinator 45 minutes prior to the start of the game will determine the home team for sectional finals with the first team alphabetically issued the third-base dugout.
In other action items, the Board approved the $9.6 million 2022-23 operational budget that recognizes the addition of regional gate receipts for the spring Tournament Series in baseball, softball, and track and field. The budget also reflects an increase in expenses for legal fees realized in recent years.
Among the discussions with the Board were a review of the 2022 Area Meetings, including feedback on the Competitive Balance presentations; possible 2023 Constitutional amendments; ongoing efforts to recruit and retain licensed sport officials; a review of the recent NFHS Section 4 Meeting; and a presentation by Dr. Timothy McGuine from the UW-Madison Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitations Department regarding research focused on COVID-19 follow-up addressing participation rates and injury epidemiology as well as studies on the safety of protective equipment and artificial turf.
The Board also received liaison reports from Paul Manriquez of the Department of Public Instruction, John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Shawn Groshek of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.
The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 518 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.
# WIAA #