The WIAA has requested and has received permission from the NFHS to schedule five-inning baseball games this spring in response to the extreme spring conditions. Schools may mutually agree to schedule five-inning games at any level of spring baseball during the 2013 spring regular-season schedule.
In granting of the request, the WIAA will not fall into non-compliance with NFHS rules and lose our voice in the rule making process.
Schools scheduling five-inning games should keep in mind that there may be implications on conference standings as the pitchers may participate in multiple games. This relief does not change or alter the seven-innings-in-three-days pitching rule. In addition, the relief does not impact the "mercy rule" also known as the 10-run rule, nor does it include games in the WIAA Tournament Series.
Each school is encouraged to make sure safe conditions are provided for athletes. While there are maximum of 26 games allowed, schools do not have to play all of the games allowed for your sport. Academics are the highest priority and schools should keep loss of class time in mind.
Schools are allowed to reschedule postponed games until the end of the season (the final day of the state tournament in that sport) even if your team is eliminated from the tournament. Younger players who will be returning next year can receive coaching during this time.
Doubleheaders in baseball may be a great option or you can schedule two seven-inning games, play the first seven-inning game and do your best to complete the second game. The second game can be considered a regulation game if 4 1/2- or 5-innings have been completed. Keep in mind that rule 4-2-4 allows coaches along with the umpires to mutually agree to terminate a game. If a game becomes lopsided, it can be shortened.
"We have received inquiries about moving the state tournament dates farther into June," WIAA Deputy Director Wade Labecki said. "The number of changes that would need to be addressed at regional, sectional and state tournament sites along with officials working multiple sports are extensive. In addition family plans, summer jobs, camps and clinics and other summer activities that would be affected. It doesn’t seem as if that’s an option that could realistically be considered."