WIAA Board of Control June Meeting News: COVID-19 news, wrestling update, Co-op changes

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and acted on coaches committee recommendations impacting winter sports and additional accommodations for transfer students in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at its June meeting today.

Many students experienced challenges with access and adapting to virtual schooling in 2020-21 following school closures because of COVID-19. The Board voted unanimously to provide one-time unrestricted eligibility in 2021-22 for student transfers that choose to return to their most recent previous school or after 365 days if they remain at the school they transferred to in 2020-21 because of a better-suited instructional model.

The State Tournament in gymnastics will be altered beginning in 2021-22. The Division 1 and Division 2 meets will be held on separate days at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School, which will combine the individual and team components in each division into one meet with the gymnasts only competing one time in an event.

Two wrestling coaches’ recommendations received approval, effective in 2021-22. The first implements seeding at the State Individual Wrestling Tournament for all qualifiers in all divisions. Trackwrestling.com will calculate and determine placement on brackets using the criteria developed by the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association. The second was an amended recommendation to change the regular-season maximum number of matches for individuals to 50 with the total number of events for a team remaining at 14 without the limitation of multi-school events within that number.

In hockey, the Board supported a coaches’ recommendation to alter the overtime procedure during the Tournament Series. After an eight-minute overtime period, the former 12-minute rest period followed by a 17-minute sudden victory overtime will be eliminated. Play will resume after a three-minute rest period with a five-minute, four-on-four sudden victory period and then continue with the existing subsequent overtime protocol.

The Board reviewed and approved recommendations to implement four changes or additions to the conference realignment process applied by the Conference Realignment Task Force. Details of the protocol and changes to the timeline detailed on the conference realignment flow chart are available on the Conference Realignment page of the WIAA website.

The Board also ratified spring cooperative programs for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, the addition of Ryan Wozniak, PhD., to the Sports Medical Advisory Committee, and formally approved the transcript of the 2021 Annual Meeting held in May. Approval of a spending resolution during development of the 2021-22 operational budget was also a part of the Board’s action items. Other action items approved by the Board include the winter and alternate fall season sports financial statements, and the general fund financial statement and payments for May.

Among the meeting’s discussions and reports were a review of spring sports, options and topics for the 2021 Area Meetings in September, legislative updates, a staffing update that included official Board approval of the hiring of LeVar Ridgeway as assistant director to begin July 12, and the New AD Workshop scheduled for July 19.

The Board also received a liaison report from Nathan DeLany of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 515 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It will sponsor 24 sports with championship tournament series in 2021-22. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]