STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Conference Realignment Task Force reviewed 17 football-only requests in the first meeting of the membership’s 2022-23 realignment review process Tuesday.
Ten plans involving 13 schools requesting relief from their current conference affiliation in 11-player football include Ashland, Hayward, Horicon/Hustisford, Marinette, Oshkosh North, Oshkosh West, Pardeeville, River Falls, Sun Prairie East, Sun Prairie West, West Allis Central, West Allis Hale and West Salem. The four schools and plans requesting relief from their 11-player conference affiliation to move to an 8-player football league in 2022-23 include De Soto, Goodman/Pembine, Lake Holcombe and Niagara.
The Task Force modified each of the plans that were advanced to the Task Force meeting to be held on Jan. 6, 2021, by applying the information provided in the proposals submitted by the member schools requesting realignment. The 11-player requests modified and advanced for further review and reaction from member schools impacted by the request include a combination of those submitted by Horicon/Hustisford and Pardeeville, River Falls and West Salem, and Sun Prairie East and Sun Prairie West.
In addition, the modified 8-player plan that is being advanced impacts the entire state and several 11-player conferences. The plan originated with requests from De Soto, Lake Holcombe, Niagara and Pembine/Goodman and forms 11 conferences for 8-player football.
The extensive football conference realignment plans are outlined with links to the detailed proposed conference affiliations on the “Requests and Proposals” option on the WIAA’s Conference Realignment web page.
The Realignment Task Force has advanced these modified solutions for further review at the Jan. 6, 2021, meeting:
8-Player/Modified Solutions from 8-Player
11-Player Impacted Conferences of De Soto Plan/Modified Solutions from 8-Player Movement
Horicon/Hustisford and Pardeeville Plan Modifications
Sun Prairie Plan Modifications
West Salem and River Falls Plan Modifications
If plans advance from the January meeting, the Board of Control will review and make a final determination on each of the proposals at its March 5, 2021, meeting.
The Task Force voted not to advance the requests of plans submitted by Ashland, Hayward, Marinette, Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West, and West Allis Central and West Allis Hale.
Schools submitting requests that were not advanced may appeal the decision at the Task Force meeting on Jan. 6. Appeals, if successful, will be communicated with the membership and re-evaluated by the Task Force. If the revised solutions are approved on appeal, they will be submitted to the Board of Control for consideration with any modifications and solutions communicated to the membership. If the appeal is not approved by the Task Force schools can make a final appeal to the Board of Control at its meeting on Jan. 27, 2021.
In review and consideration of each of the realignment requests, the Task Force identified various rationale for advancing or not advancing requests. Those factors included providing all members with a conference affiliation, maintaining a reasonable number of teams within geographic and enrollment considerations, participation numbers and levels of programming, and flexibility with potential shifts caused by the forming of co-ops and programs transitioning from 11-player to 8-player status.
The purpose of the conference realignment process is to apply a formalized method for member schools to request relief from conference affiliations. A committee of member school administrators evaluates all realignment requests and presents them to the Board, which retains the authority to make final determinations of all conference alignment decisions.
The revised conference realignment process provides structure, enhanced communication and transparency to the realignment process. All levels of school administration at each member school are informed of the committee’s deliberations and decisions.
The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 514 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.
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