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Competitive Balance

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Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee

In August 2021, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control approved the creation of the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee. The committee’s directive is to study competitive balance/equity, evaluate the existing procedure of post-season tournaments, and make recommendations.

The Board of Control received nominations for more than 200 school and district administrators who volunteered to serve on the committee. Emphasis for inclusion on the committee was given to having representation that reflects the composition of the membership, including public and private schools; small, medium, and large schools; and the three levels of school leadership, comprising athletic directors, principals, and presidents or superintendents. Gender and ethnicity representation was also considered. A total of 20 committee members were selected. 

In creating the committee, the Board of Control charged it with holding a series of meetings from the committee’s first seating on Dec. 2, 2021 to March 2022. Central to the work of the ad hoc committee is its presentation at the March 2022 Board meeting, with the potential to recommend an action item that will be voted on by the membership at the 2022 April Annual Meeting.

This is the second time a committee has been assembled to review competitive balance. The first committee met five times from July 2014 to November 2014. Its recommendation was introduced and advanced to the Annual Meeting the following year, in which the WIAA membership voted not to implement the plan.

The purpose of this web page is to serve as a clearinghouse for committee-related information as it engages in a robust and transparent process. Agendas, minutes, and updates will be posted on this page, along with other relevant information. 

Competitive Balance Information

Purpose Statement and Operational Principles

Based on the committee’s work over the course of its Jan. 6, 2022 meeting, members agreed to the following purpose statement, which will frame the committee’s activities: 

The purpose of the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee is to (a) thoughtfully and intentionally research the association’s ability to hold tournament series in which all members feel their school has an opportunity to be competitive; and (b) based on this research, the committee will recommend option(s) to the Board of Control to help ensure all members feel their school has an opportunity to be competitive.

During its Jan. 18, 2022 meeting, the committee also created the following operational principles: 

  • We believe the committee will analyze data and other information to determine if there is a problem with the current playoff structure.
  • We believe the committee will keep the student-athlete’s well-being at the center of the discussions.
  • We believe the committee will adhere to a communications plan.
  • We believe the committee will share information and evidence through the process with the stakeholders along with the explanation of the decisions.
  • We believe the committee will provide a possible solution(s) to the competitive balance topic to the Board of Control and membership.

Committee Members

The following are the members of the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee, as selected by the Board of Control:

  • Mike Beighley, Superintendent at Whitehall
  • Nathan Burklund, Superintendent at Niagara
  • Brad Ceranski, Principal/Athletic Director at Fall Creek
  • Kurt Cohen, District Administrator at Potosi
  • Eric Coleman, Student Services Supervisor at Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Timothy Flood,  Athletic Director at Green Bay Area School District
  • Tyree Gamble, Athletic Director at Clinton
  • Bryon Graun, Athletic Director at Colby
  • Michelle Guyant-Holloway, Athletic Director at Wauwatosa East
  • John Handel,  Athletic Director at Elkhorn
  • Cory Hinkel, Superintendent at Luck
  • Mark Holzman, Superintendent at Manitowoc
  • Bob Houts, District Administrator at Owen-Withee
  • Kelly Isselmann, Athletic Director at Valders
  • Mike Johnson, Superintendent in Eau Claire
  • Ted Knutson, President at Aquinas
  • Michael Lambrecht, Principal at Columbus Catholic
  • Peggy Larson, District Administrator at Winneconne
  • Patrick Mans, Superintendent at Crivitz
  • Karl Morrin, Superintendent at Florence
  • Douglas Parker, District Administrator at Big Foot
  • Jordan Sinz,  District Administrator at Wisconsin Heights
  • Thomas Wermuth, District Administrator at Adams-Friendship
  • Christopher Zwettler, Athletic Director at Edgewood

Committee Meetings

  • Dec. 2, 2021
  • Jan. 18, 2022
  • Feb. 2, 2022
  • Feb. 17, 2022
  • March 1, 2022
  • March 8, 2022 Board of Control meeting, co-chairs to present updates
  • April 27 WIAA Annual Meeting, co-Chairs and WIAA staff to present updates (possible) 

 

Committee Meeting 1–Update: Dec 2, 2021

The Competitive Balance Ad Hoc  Committee convened for the first time at the WIAA executive staff office Thursday, Dec. 2, 2022. The committee appointed Jordan Sinz, Wisconsin Heights District Administrator and Michelle Guyant-Holloway, Wauwatosa East Athletic Director and Sports Advisory Committee, as committee co-chairs.  

Following introductions, the committee’s objectives for the first meeting, a brief timeline of the competitive  balance history, an analysis and review comments made at the Area Meetings, and an acknowledgment of the  previous competitive balance committee efforts in 2014 were presented.  

The committee acknowledged an understanding of a perceived issue with competitive balance and began conversations to identify the contributing factors.  

To identify the resources needed to create and implement a plan, the committee voted to consider pursuing firms to develop a communication plan and analyze data, which the committee determines to be relevant.  

The committee approved a plan to disseminate information following each meeting to provide continuous communication and transparency throughout the process. In addition, a portal to receive feedback from member schools available through the restricted School Directory on the WIAA website will be available to school administrators.  

Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee Conducts First Meeting

Committee Meeting 2–Update: Jan 6, 2022

On January 6, the committee had its second meeting, which focused on finding agreement on a purpose statement and developing a communications plan. Based on the committee’s work throughout the meeting, members agreed to the following purpose statement, which will frame the committee’s activities: 

The purpose of the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee is to (a) thoughtfully and intentionally research the association’s capacity to hold tournament series, in which all members feel their schools have opportunities to be competitive, and (b) based on this research, the committee will recommend option(s) to the Board of Control to help ensure all members feel their schools have opportunities to be competitive.

The committee also developed a communications plan, which will be finalized in its next meeting on Jan. 18. Central to this plan is the creation of a committee web page. The committee’s next meeting will take place on Jan. 18, 2022.

Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee Meetings Update Release

Committee Meeting 3–Update: Jan 18, 2022

At the Jan. 18 virtual meeting, the committee validated its purpose statement and communications plan and approved the following operational principles:  

  • We believe the committee will analyze data and other information to determine if there is a problem with the current playoff structure.
  • We believe the committee will keep the student-athlete’s well-being at the center of the discussions.
  • We believe the committee will adhere to a communications plan.
  • We believe the committee will share information and evidence through the process with the stakeholders along with the explanation of the decisions.
  • We believe the committee will provide a possible solution(s) to the competitive balance topic to the Board of Control and membership.

Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee Meetings Update Release