STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association approved a much-deliberated competitive balance proposal and conducted other membership business at the 127th Annual Meeting at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Stevens Point today.
After a presentation by Jordan Sinz and Michelle Guyant-Holloway, co-chairs of the Competitive Balance Task Force, the membership voted 265-115 to approve the Competitive Balance Plan intended to help ensure all members feel their school has an opportunity to be competitive in the Tournament Series.
The plan, to be implemented in 2024-25, promotes school programs that reach a threshold of tournament success based on a performance point system allocated over a three-year period. School programs will be placed in the division with the next largest enrollments from where the schools’ enrollment would typically place them for each respective sport – other than track & field and swimming & diving. Schools will be restricted to moving up only one division from the previous year’s placement. The plan affords schools the process to appeal their placement if they are moved up a division as well as an option to petition to be placed in a lower division in all sports except football and the sports not impacted by the point system. Complete details of the Competitive Balance Plan are available on the Competitive Balance homepage of the WIAA website.
Three other amendments were approved by the assembly, effective in 2023-24. An amendment to the Bylaws will permit the most-recently-defeated opponent to return to the Tournament Series to replace a team that advances but is unable to continue participation in the tournament for any reason. The amendment passed by a 371-10 vote.
The two other amendments passed affect the membership’s Rules of Eligibility. The first affords a senior, who transfers without a full family move, the opportunity to participate at the nonvarsity level. The members approved the amendment by a 354-27 count. The second permits a coach at any level to have coaching contact with incoming ninth graders until the first day of fall practices or the first day of school, whichever comes first. The membership supported the rule change with a 373-8 vote.
In the Director’s Report, Executive Director Stephanie Hauser emphasized celebrating the accomplishments of the membership in the past year as well as the executive office’s commitment to serving the entire membership and the student-athletes in their athletic programs. Hauser also identified a number of other areas to address moving forward, including trends in legal challenges; education for Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) compliance in high school sports; season start dates and lengths; coaching contact; impact of club programming on school-based programs, turnover of sport coaches in member schools; student leadership programming; and the exploration of establishing a WIAA Foundation.
The executive staff responded to three pre-submitted open forum questions, including inquiries about competitive equity, consideration of a football playoff model with all schools qualifying and the possibility to delay the start of spring sports.
Kenzie Koppenhaver of Kiel High School was recognized as the Wisconsin Spirit of Sport Award recipient, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Also recognized were the representatives of the 39 schools that received the WIAA Award of Excellence in 2021-22.
In the 2022-23 Board of Control elections, Greg Doverspike, district administrator at Durand-Arkansas and current member of the Advisory Council was elected for a three-year term on the Board as the District 3 representative. Dan Retzki, activities director at Green Bay Preble, was re-elected to serve a three-year term representing District 4. Karl Morrin, the current president and district administrator at Florence, was re-elected to serve another three-year term as the ethnic at-large position on the Board. He will assume the district administrator role at Northwestern in 2023-24.
In the 2022-23 Advisory Council elections, Craig Olson, superintendent at Hayward, was re-elected to a three-year term as a large school representative. Todd Willems, the principal at Greenfield, was elected to serve a two-year term as a large school representative. Ty Breitlow, district administrator at Lomira, was elected for a three-year term as one of the medium-sized school representatives. He formerly served on the Council from 2014-19 and again in 2021-22. Jeff Koenig, district administrator at Stanley-Boyd, was elected to a three-year term representing medium-sized schools. Brian Nadeau, district administrator and principal at Plum City, was elected to a three-year term representing small schools, and Tremayne Clardy, district administrator at Verona was elected to serve the ethnic at-large representative on the Advisory Council.
A total of 446 representatives from 381 schools attended the meeting. The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 517 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.
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