STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved a number of fall sport coaches’ recommendations at its January meeting today.
The Board approved 12 recommendations originated and advanced by the fall coaches’ or officials’ advisory committees following review by the executive staff, Sports Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council.
Language was added to the WIAA adaptation of National Federation of State High School Associations volleyball rules to allow teams to remain on the same bench throughout the match if coaches and officials agree. Otherwise, NFHS rules state teams will switch benches after each set. The Board also approved separating the boys and girls sectional doubleheader, which places the boys’ matches back at schools sponsoring boys volleyball.
Two recommendations for change in the football regulations received Board support for implementation in 2022. The first adds language that prohibits an 8- or 11-player program from rescheduling another opponent in the same week it forfeited a game for any reason. The second approved recommendation in football eliminates the allowance for issuing equipment and testing on Monday prior to the first allowed practice on Tuesday, effective in the fall of 2022.
In soccer, the Board supported a recommendation to reduce the goal differential threshold to enact the mercy rule from 10 goals to eight. Starting in the fall of 2022, when a team builds an eight-goal lead once the game reaches the 60-minute mark, the match will end.
A pair of recommendations from the Tennis Coaches Advisory were advanced into rule by the Board. The first adopts the third-set, tie-breaking procedure to determine the match winner for the entire State Tournament Series beginning in 2022-23. The second regulation added edits existing language to allow a hat to be worn during a match played in inclement conditions as long as illegal logos are not visible.
The lone change approved in swimming and diving regulation moves the start of both the boys and girls State Championships to an earlier time. The Division 2 diving competition will move from a 2:30 p.m. start to 1:30 p.m., and the swimming events will be scheduled for 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Division 1 diving competition will start at 9:30 a.m. with the swimming events to begin at 2:30 p.m.
In golf, the boys and girls regulations will be edited to allow a maximum of 15 meets if one of the meets is scheduled on a non-school day. The former language provided 15 meets only if one was scheduled on a Saturday.
Three Officials Advisory Committee recommendations were approved. The Board eliminated the 12-hour waiting period before coaches are able to rank officials, effective at the start of the spring sports season this year. In addition, three-person officiating crews will be required for the softball sectional semifinals beginning in 2023. Existing playoff procedures require three-person crews in the sectional finals and State Tournament. The Board also supported adding black as an approved color for baseball umpires beginning this spring.
The Board conducted a conference realignment appeal and remanded an amended proposal by Berlin and Ripon, impacting 13 schools in the East Central and South Central Conferences, back to the Conference Realignment Task Force for further consideration at the committee’s Feb. 10 meeting. The Board also approved an automatic caucus procedure for appeals made in person as well as the procedural financial statements and the Deferred Liability Fund.
Other topics of discussion included a review of Constitutional amendments; Advisory Council and Board of Control elections; continued efforts to recruit and retain licensed officials, and efforts for celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX.
The Board received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Paul Manriquez of the Department of Public Instruction, and Shawn Groshek of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association. In addition, an update on the progress of the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee was presented by co-chair Jordan Sinz, and staff reported on the initial meeting of the committee assembled to review the potential addition of lacrosse as a WIAA-sponsored sport for boys and girls.
The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 516 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.
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