Board Approves Majority of Football-Only Conference Plans; Advances Amendments


Board Approves Majority of Football-Only Conference Plans; Advances Amendments

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Board Approves Majority of Football-Only Conference Plans; Advances Amendments

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved most of the Conference Realignment Task Force recommendations for football and advanced five Constitutional amendments to the Annual Meeting at its March meeting today.

After receiving and reviewing 10 appeals – representing 18 schools – on the football-only conference realignment plan recommended by the Conference Realignment Task Force, the Board approved the plan for all 8-player conferences and all but eight 11-player conferences, which were remanded back to the Task Force for further evaluation and consideration. The conferences – and schools associated with those remanded – that will be re-evaluated by the Task Force include the Capitol, Dunn-St. Croix, Eastern Suburban, Heart O’ North, Lakeland, Southwest, Southwest Athletic League and Trailways.

The Task Force will review the remanded conference plan at its April 11 meeting with a final proposal for those conferences impacted to be presented to the Board for final consideration at its April 25 meeting.

The portions of the plan approved by the Board will be implemented in the Fall of 2024. The complete details of the remanded and approved conference configurations for both 11-player and 8-player football, and more information on the conference realignment process are available on the Conference Realignment page of the WIAA website. Access the page by clicking on the “Conference Realignment” link within the “Schools” megamenu.

Among the five amendments the Board voted to advance for a membership vote at the Annual Meeting on April 26, 2023, was the Competitive Balance Plan proposed by the Competitive Balance Ad Hoc Committee. The plan addresses classification for tournament placement by applying a performance factor based on recent tournament achievement. The plan also includes an opportunity for schools to request placement as well as to appeal if promoted up a division based on the performance factor. More information about the Competitive Balance process and proceedings can be accessed on the Competitive Balance page on the WIAA website.

One of the amendments advanced by the Board impacts the membership’s Bylaws. The proposal states if a team that advances in the WIAA Tournament Series is unable to continue, the team they most recently defeated may return to replace the team unable to advance.

The final three amendments are related to 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 as currently provided to 11th-grade students. The second would allow transfer students, who do not qualify for unrestricted eligibility, to receive unrestricted eligibility in sports they have never participated in prior to the transfer. The third amendment would allow 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.

In other action, the Board approved fall sports cooperative teams for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

Other topics of discussion included staff reports on prospective continued efforts to recruit and retain licensed officials; plans for the 2023 Annual Meeting in April; and updates on the InsideOut Initiative as well as an update on the partnership with the NFHS Network.

The Board received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Paul Manriquez of the Department of Public Instruction, and Eric Plitzuweit 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 518 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.




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