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Board of Control Approves Winter Sports Changes at June Meeting

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Board of Control Approves Winter Sports Changes at June Meeting

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and acted on coaches’ committee recommendations impacting winter sports, including significant Tournament Series changes in Wrestling at its June meeting today.

Six wrestling coaches’ recommendations received approval, effective in 2022-23, including the addition of a 16-competitor bracket to qualify for the girls State Individual Tournament to be held in conjunction with the boys Individual Wrestling State Tournament at the Kohl Center.

A number of the changes impact the structure of the boys wrestling Tournament Series. One implements a super-regional format for the Divisions 2 and 3 tournaments. The format combines two regionals into one in both divisions. Similar to the format in Division 1, the top four individuals advance to sectionals and the top two teams move on to the team sectionals.

Another recommendation approved in wrestling alters the Tournament Series team format in Division 1. Beginning next season, the top two teams from each regional in Division 1 will advance to the team sectionals similar to the existing Divisions 2 and 3 team format.

Two other wrestling changes to the Tournament Series adds an assistant referee at the team sectional final matches, and the other eliminates the coaches’ seed meeting for the State Team Wrestling Tournament to exclusively utilize electronic seeding.

The sixth recommendation receiving approval by the Board eliminates a WIAA adaptation to an NFHS rule that allowed competitors to lower shoulder straps on uniforms. The NFHS rule prohibits lowering shoulder straps on uniforms, which will be enforced in 2022-23.

In basketball, two coaches’ proposals were enacted. The first simply defines a tournament as any event that is bracketed and plays to a winner. The clarification is intended to assist member schools in scheduling multi-team events in relation to seasonal game maximums. The other eliminates the appeal process and creates only one deadline for submitting statistics for the 3-Point Challenge.

It is noteworthy that the coaches’ recommendation to allow the use of a shot clock in nonconference games if mutually agreed to by both head coaches was not reviewed and voted on by the Board. In 2021, the membership passed a regulation stating all proposed recommendations must be approved by majority vote of the Advisory Council before advancing to the Board of Control. If the recommendation is not supported by the Advisory Council, the Board of Control does not have the opportunity to review and vote on the proposal. The Advisory Council opposed the recommendation by a 13-1 vote on Tuesday.

The State Tournament in gymnastics will return to the modified Capital Cup format beginning in 2023. The team competition in both Division 1 and Division 2 will be conducted Friday and individual competition in both divisions will be conducted Saturday.

In addition, the Board voted in support of a Sport Medical Advisory Committee proposal to communicate emergency action plan recommendations to host schools in pre-event information and in tournament planning materials.

The Board also received a report on updates to the conference realignment process by Jeremy Schlitz and Lance Bagstad of the Conference Realignment Task Force and approved one task force recommendation. Conferences will not be created with less than seven schools unless they are paired with another conference except through the fast-track process, which requires unanimous support from all schools directly impacted by the realignment.

The Board approved spring cooperative programs for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons, a spending resolution to continue spending until the 2022-23 budget is approved, winter season sports financial statements, and the general fund financial statements and payments for May. 

Results of a special election were shared with the Board. Dan Retzki, associate principal and athletic director at Green Bay Preble, was elected for a one-year term representing District 4 to complete the term of Dave Steavpack, who is retiring. On the Advisory Council, Andrea Sheridan, district administrator at Athens, was elected to a three-year term representing small schools. Kent Kindschy, district administrator at Turtle Lake, was elected to a two-year stint to complete the term of Cory Hinkel of Luck, who was elected to the Board of Control.

Among the meeting’s discussions and reports were a review of the recently completed spring sports tournaments; development of the agenda for the 2022 Area Meetings in September; an update on the progress of the lacrosse ad hoc committee, a staffing update that included the retirement announcement of Julie Kage effective in August as well as the progress of the search for an additional assistant director position; the continued efforts to recruit and retain licensed officials; an overview of the online Eligibility Verification of Transfer Student (EVTS) form, comments concerning member cooperation in completing and submitting Coaches Not Licensed to Teach and Sanctioned Event Request forms; and a reminder of the New AD Workshop scheduled for July 18.

The Board also received liaison reports from 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 516 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.

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