WIAA Task Force Conducts First Football-Only Realignment Review for 2024-25

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Task Force Conducts First Football-Only Realignment Review for 2024-25

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Conference Realignment Task Force voted Tuesday on 35 football-only requests in the first meeting of the membership’s realignment review process for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Twenty-seven plans either requested placement in a conference or requested relief from their current conference affiliation in 11-player football. Although none of the plans advanced were as specified in the respective proposals, information provided in 14 of the plans were modified and advanced for further review by the Task Force.

The 14 plans that were the catalysts for the modified plans were submitted by Ashland, Green Bay West, Hortonville, Nekoosa, Oshkosh West, Palmyra-Eagle, Pittsville, Portage/Waukesha South/Berlin/Ripon, Rice Lake, Sheboygan Falls, Southwestern, Waupun, Webster and West Allis Central.

In addition, eight of the plans submitted for 8-player football conference realignment were referenced to modify conference alignment throughout the entire state in an all-encompassing plan advanced by the Task Force for further consideration.

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.

Comprehensive Modified Conference Affiliations Plan – 11-player
Comprehensive Modified Conference Affiliations Plan – 8-player

Newly affected schools with the modified solutions are invited to appear and provide feedback during a virtual meeting scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

All schools impacted by the modified realignment plan may provide feedback prior to and during the Task Force meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. In addition, schools that submitted requests, which were not advanced at Tuesday’s meeting may appeal the decision at the Jan. 12 meeting before the Task Force finalizes the modified solutions.

Plans that are advanced from the January meeting will be reviewed by the Board of Control to make a final determination on each of the proposals at its March 7, 2023 meeting.

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 in March with any modifications and solutions communicated to the membership.

If the appeal is not approved by the Task Force, schools may make a final appeal to the Board of Control at its meeting on Feb. 1, 2023. Based on the appeals, the Board may remand realignment plans back to the Task Force to reconsider at a Feb. 9 meeting, if necessary.

A link to the complete WIAA conference realignment process flowchart is available on the Conference Realignment page on the WIAA website.

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 518 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.

# WIAA #

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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]