MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control voted in support of two conference realignment plans advanced by the task force and reviewed Constitutional amendments at its March meeting Friday.
The Board approved 11 conference realignment requests, including nine that received unanimous approval from all schools directly impacted by the request. Those fast-tracked applications that will be implemented for 2020-21 are Cristo Rey Jesuit, Eastbrook Academy, Faith Christian (Williams Bay), St. Anthony, Salam, Tenor, University Lake School and Veritas to the Lake City Conference. Also approved were the conference realignment plans moving Campbellsport from the East Central Conference to the Wisconsin Flyway Conference, St. Croix Falls from the Lakeland Conference to the Heart O’ North Conference, and Ashland into the Heart O’ North Conference beginning in 2021-22.
The decision by the Board was the final consideration of the peer-reviewed, collaborative realignment process, which is intended to add structure, enhanced communication and transparency to the realignment process. All levels of school administration at each impacted member school are informed of the committee’s deliberations and decisions.
The Board reviewed amendments to the Constitution and Rules of Eligibility, and six will be voted on by the membership at the Annual Meeting on April 22, 2020.
Two of the amendments addressing residence schools were advanced to the Annual Meeting with the Board’s support. The first amendment defines a residential school, and the second removes an unintended advantage of a transfer student attending and boarding at a residence school at the beginning of 11th grade that had resulted in unrestricted eligibility.
The Board also voted to advance and support an amendment that addresses the transition from a single-gender to a co-ed school. If passed, enrollments of schools transitioning from a single-gender school to a co-ed school would continue to double the original gender enrollments for classification purposes until the overall enrollment reaches a 60-40 ratio between both genders. Until that time, the underrepresented gender shall be classified and assigned at face value.
Three other amendments–brought forward by petition from members of the Association for a vote at the Annual Meeting– were also reviewed. The Board voted to take no stance on one of the membership-submitted amendments that would impact divisional classifications for boys and girls basketball based on a school’s free-and-reduced lunch rate and applying a success factor.
The second amendment brought forward by membership petition would require all changes in the rules and regulations must pass the Advisory Council by majority vote before advancing to the Board of Control for a vote. Any amendments to proposals made and approved by the Board of Control must be sent back to the Advisory Council for approval. The Board voted 10-0 not to support the amendment.
The third amendment brought forward by membership petition would require all changes to maximum game limits, as well as any WIAA adaptation to NFHS rules that would lead to a financial impact on schools must go to the Annual Meeting for a vote by the entire membership. The Board voted unanimously not to support the amendment.
The Board also approved the fall sports season co-ops and the January general fund payments and statements, as well as the January deferred liability fund and fall sports financial statements.
Other items discussed by the Board were the monitoring of the Coronavirus, an update on school safety efforts and allocation of charter schools enrollments for divisional placement.
The Board also received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Nathan DeLany of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association and Pam Foegen of the National Federation of State High School Associations Board of Directors, and Andy Engel of the Hamilton Consulting Group.
The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 513 senior high schools and 46 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series for boys and girls in 2019-20. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.
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