STEVENS POINT – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association

Board of Control reviewed and acted on coaches committee

recommendations impacting winter sports–including the addition of an

individual State Tournament Series for girls wrestling in 2022–and

other rule and budget considerations in response to the impact of the

COVID-19 pandemic, at its June virtual meeting today.

In recognition of the challenges many students may have experienced

with access and adapting to virtual schooling last spring following

school closures because of COVID-19, the Board voted unanimously to

allow a school option to defer academic eligibility grade requirements

for all students until the first grading period of the 2020-21 school

year. The executive office will be providing additional guidance for

members in the coming days.

Another Board decision in response to the COVID-19 pandemic extends

the window one week to use the coaches’ five unrestricted coaching

days for this summer only. This allows 11-player football coaches

unrestricted contact through Aug. 1 and all other coaches through Aug.

8. The extended period reflects a heightened emphasis on

acclimatization for the health and safety for student-athletes. The

executive office will be providing additional guidance for members in

the coming days.

In an effort to address the impact on the operational budget following

the cancellation of revenue-producing tournaments during the COVID-19

pandemic, the Board approved a number of Executive Staff

recommendations to increase revenue and contain expenditures in

2020-21. All regional, sectional and State Tournament ticket prices

will be increased $1. In addition, State Tournament school mileage

reimbursements for team and individual travel will decrease 50 cents

per mile for 2020-21 only, and the regional and sectional host revenue

sharing percentage will be decreased by 5 percent for one year only.

Furthermore, Sports Advisory Committee meetings and all sport Coaches

Advisory Committee meetings will be conducted virtually in 2020-21,

and mileage reimbursement for board, staff, committees and officials

will be reduced 5 cents per mile.

A much-discussed coaches’ recommendation to add a girls division to

the State Tournament Series in wrestling was amended to conduct a

girls-only individual tournament in 2021-22. Girls and boys will be

permitted to wrestle each other during the regular season, but the

Tournament Series will be gender exclusive. In other wrestling-related

Board action, will be used to randomly place

sectional champions on the State Individual Tournament brackets in all

divisions with the second- and third-place sectional finishers placed

on the opposite half of the bracket beginning in 2021. In addition,

the start time for the finals of the team sectional tournament for

Divisions 2 and 3 will be 20 minutes following the completion of the

semifinals or earlier if both coaches agree.

For boys and girls basketball, the Board approved implementing a

computerized seeding system for the State Tournament Series. The

system will be developed by the WIAA with the goal to have it

available in 2020-21, and no later than 2021-22. This action will

require members designated as the home team to enter the scores of all

their regular-season games into the WIAA Score Center database

purposes starting in the 2020-21 season.

Three gymnastics recommendations received approval. One eliminates the

language “multi-school meets involving four or more teams may stop the

warm-up time for bar and vault changes” from the regulations. Another

alters the admissions policy for sectionals and the State Team

Tournament to provide free admissions for a maximum 15 individuals on

a team to include competitors, alternates, coaches, managers and other

team personnel. The third adds the language to add a safety zone mat,

in compliance with NFHS vault rules, to the list of equipment required

to host the sectional meet.

In hockey, the Board approved retaining a two-division State

Tournament Series indefinitely by eliminating the experiment language

from the existing regulations. Also approved was a recommendation for

the State Boys Hockey Tournament to involve the head coaches of

qualifying teams for both divisions to determine seeds for each

division beginning in 2021.

The one other hockey recommendation supported by the Board implements

an eight-minute, sudden victory overtime period followed by a five

minute three-on-three period during the regular season. If no winner

is determined after the two overtime periods, the game is recorded as

a tie. In a tie following regulation during the Tournament Series, an

eight-minute sudden victory overtime period will be played. If no

victor is determined, the ice will be resurfaced followed by a

17-minute sudden victory overtime period. If a winner is still not

determined, a five-minute, four-on-four sudden victory period will be

played and then a five-minute, three-on-three sudden victory period if

necessary. If a winner remains undecided, a 17-minute, three-on-three

sudden victory period will be played after a resurfacing of the ice.

One Medical Advisory Committee recommendation received approval. For

grades 6-8, wrestling weight differentials will be 10 pounds up to 100

pounds, 10 percent for 100-200 pounds and 30 pounds for more than 200


Three changes related to the Conference Realignment Task Force

received confirmation from the Board, including adding one additional

member to the committee, revising the realignment process flow chart

and identifying new approval timelines for “fast track” applications.

The Board also ratified spring cooperative programs for the 2020-21

and 2021-22 seasons, and it formally approved the Guidance for Summer

Activities provided to the membership, as well as a revision to

clarify the Spectator Crowd Control Policies that permit face masks

intended for personal health and protection. Approval of a spending

resolution during development of the 2020-21 operational budget was

also a part of the Board’s action items. Other action items approved

by the Board include the winter sports financial statements, and the

general fund financial statement and payments for May.

Among the meeting’s discussions and reports were options for

conducting the 2020 Area Meetings, and the New AD Workshop scheduled

for July 20.

The Board also received liaison reports from John Ashley of the

Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Nathan DeLany of the

Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs

for 513 senior high schools and 49 junior high/middle level schools in

its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series for boys

and girls in 2020-21. For more information, please contact the WIAA

office at (715) 344-8580.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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