STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and approved a number of committee recommendations impacting winter sports, gave initial review and consideration of a newly conceived divisional placement plan for basketball, and engaged in robust membership-related discussions at its June meeting today.
Following a lengthy discussion, the Board voted to implement the use of a 35-second shot clock in basketball for varsity games only to begin with the 2019-20 season.
In other basketball-related action, coaches qualifying for the State Tournament will determine the seeds for the four qualifying teams in each of the five divisions with a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association representative breaking any ties that may occur beginning in 2017-18.
Three other basketball recommendations received approval from the Board. If schools choose to play only one half of a junior varsity game and a full varsity game, players will be allowed to play in only two halves. Also approved was extending the coaching box to 28 feet from 14 feet for all levels. In addition, the number of players per team allowed to dress during the Tournament Series will increase to 18 while maintaining the maximum party limit of 22.
The Board also voted to convene the basketball coaches advisory committee following the 2017 Area Meetings to discuss the merits of a newly created basketball tournament placement model. Details of the plan will be shared and discussed at the Area Meetings and at each level of the committee process to be presented to the Board at its Jan. 31, 2018 meeting. General details of the plan is provided below.
The Board supported an amended recommendation for a two-year experiment on sponsoring two divisions in boys hockey beginning with the 2020 State Tournament. The tournament format will feature four teams in Division 1 and four in Division 2 with the smallest 32 programs by enrollment assigned to Division 2.
Another action item in hockey was the approval of the procedure for seeding the State Tournament. The WIAA will conduct a conference call with coaches of qualifying teams to determine the top four seeds, and the remaining four teams will be randomly drawn as opponents of the seeded teams in the brackets. The guidelines for seeding will replicate those for the regional and sectional levels.
Beginning next season, the State Tournament in team wrestling will also be seeded by coaches of qualifying teams. The process will replicate the procedure approved in boys hockey. Another wrestling recommendation approved for 2017-18 increases the total number of medals awarded to 28 at the State Team Tournament, which equals the number of eligible athletes. In other wrestling-related discussions, the Board was informed of a change in the Feb. 1, one-pound growth allowance to take effect on the date of the first regional competition.
The lone gymnastics coaches’ recommendation received approval. It requires the final average score of a routine to be posted during meets throughout the season.
The Board also ratified spring cooperative programs for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, general fund financial statements and payments and a spending resolution during development of the 2017-18 operational budget.
Among the additional discussions were a review of the 2017 spring State Tournaments, updates on Assembly Bill 260/Senate Bill 232, the 2017 New Athletic Director Workshop, possible 2017 Area Meeting topics, and potential Constitution items for the 2018 Annual Meeting.
The Board also received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Peggy Seegers-Braun of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.
The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 41 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.
Basketball Tournament Placement Model
1. ASSIGNMENT OF SCHOOLS WILL BE ON A GEOGRAPHICAL BASIS IN FIVE DIVISIONS (1-2-3-4-5).
a. Division 1 – Schools with enrollments of 1200 or greater.
b. Division 2 – Schools with enrollments of 600-1200.
c. Division 3 – Schools less than 600 with classification codes city or suburban and schools of 450-600 with classification codes town or rural that are in excess of the 256 school enrollments in Division 4 and 5.
d. Division 4 – Schools with classification codes town or rural comprising 128 schools with the lowest enrollment sponsoring basketball after Division 5 is determined.
e. Division 5 – Schools with classification codes town or rural comprising the 128 schools with the lowest enrollment sponsoring basketball.
f. Cooperative teams are placed into divisional competition on the basis of the combined enrollment of the schools
g. Schools may be allowed to play up one division from where its enrollment would otherwise place it if an application is submitted prior to April 3, 2017. This will not cause other schools to be displaced.
h. A member school will be placed up one division the first two years of its eligibility for tournament play.
i. Any member school appearing in a State Tournament will not be placed in a smaller-school division the following year even if a decline in enrollment would normally place team in the lower division. This also applies to any school who has chosen to play up in a higher division.