STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association conducted the 126th Annual Meeting at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Stevens Point on Wednesday.
Among the topics on the Association’s business meeting agenda were three proposed amendments to the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility. All three were passed into rule by the membership. Each of the amendments impact the Constitution section of the Senior High Handbook.
The first clarifies that when existing school districts expand to create a new stand-alone high school, they are not subject to the probationary period imposed on schools requesting to become a member.
The second amendment passed makes the penalty a two-year suspension from Tournament Series eligibility for withdrawing from a conference to be uniform for all sports. Former language for withdrawing from a conference for football mandated a four-year suspension on playoff eligibility.
The third amendment supported by the assembly clarifies that all co-op request applications for football must be submitted by Oct. 1 of every even year – coinciding with football-only conference realignment – to be eligible for the subsequent year’s playoffs.
The membership also voted in support of a number of editorial changes in the Constitution. The edits do not change any existing rules or interpretations of the rules. The changes only serve as clarifications to existing rules or interpretations.
In the Director’s Report, Executive Director Stephanie Hauser emphasized a commitment to service. In efforts to be more accessible in the southeast part of the state with a large concentration of member schools, Assistant Director LeVar Ridgeway and Administrative Assistant Molly O’Brien will operate primarily out of a satellite office in Milwaukee beginning May 1.
Hauser also apprised the membership on a number of other topics, including reflection of recent legal challenges; impact of Name, Image, Likeness trends; recruiting and retaining licensed officials; student leadership programming; competitive balance; connecting more students through participation in school programs; consideration of mid-level culminating events; and relationship building.
The executive staff responded to a number of pre-submitted open forum questions; and associate director Mel Dow added the membership will conduct a review of all written materials for enhanced clarity and user-friendliness.
Jordan Glenn of Wisconsin Lutheran was recognized as the Wisconsin Spirit of Sport Award recipient, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Also recognized were the representatives of the 33 schools that received the WIAA Award of Excellence in 2020-21.
In the 2021-22 Board of Control elections, Cory Hinkel, district administrator at Luck and current member of the Advisory Council was re-elected for a three-year term on the Board as the District 1 representative. Dennis Birr, district administrator at Fall River, will serve a three-year term as the District 6 representative. He previously served on the Board from 2017-20 as the District 4 representative while at New Lisbon. Paul Petersen, the principal at Regis, was elected to a second term as the non-public school at-large representative. Ryan McMillen, the associate principal and athletic director at Muskego, returns to the Board for a three-year term as the District 7 representative after he served this year to complete the term of Phil Ertl, who retired in 2021.
In the 2021-22 Advisory Council elections, Chris VanderHeyden, district administrator at Menasha, and Joe Brandl, the principal at Plymouth, were elected to serve a three-year term as large school representatives. Greg Doverspike, district administrator at Durand-Arkansaw, was re-elected for a second three-year team representing medium-sized schools. Scott Fritz, district administrator at Kewaunee, was also elected to a three-year term representing medium-sized schools. Chris Nelson, principal at Iola-Scandinavia, ran unopposed to serve for three years as a small-school representative on the Advisory Council.
A total of 395 representatives from 343 schools attended the meeting in-person with an additional 96 schools represented with virtual participation. The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 516 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.
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