WIAA approves amendments for conference realignment at Annual Meeting

The membership of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association passed four amendments to its Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Stevens Point on April 25.

The new rules will become effective upon publication of the this issue of the Bulletin. The membership voted 393-10 in favor of the amendment that adds expectations for all new members and members that discontinued their membership in the association and seek to rejoin. The new regulation requires applicants to sponsor and have administrative oversight of at least one boys and one girls sport in each of the three sports seasons. In addition, the amendment expands the probationary period for any new applicants to three years and replaces the one-year probationary status of the former language.  The former rule stated new schools applying for membership need just one independently sponsored sport program for one year.

Furthermore, schools applying for membership are now required to have representation at an Area Meeting and at the Annual Meeting during each

year of their three-year probationary status. Failure to comply with the requirements at any time during Board Addresses Conference Realignment at April Meeting.

The   Board   of   Control   approved   three   conference realignment plans and issued a one-year moratorium on conference realignment requests at its April 24 meeting. The   Board   moved   to   implement   a   football-only

realignment consideration for southwest Wisconsin that was   amended   at   its   January   meeting   and   given   initial approval in March. The plan impacts seven conferences and 48 schools, and will be in effect beginning in 2019.

The Board also gave its final approval of a plan that moves Alma/Pepin into the Dairyland Conference for all sports beginning in the fall of 2019, as well as a proposal that moves St. Croix Falls from the Lakeland Conference

to the Heart O’North Conference for only football beginning in the fall of 2019.

In other action related to conference realignment, the Board approved an executive staff recommendation to place a one-year moratorium on conference realignment with the exception of requests that receive the complete support of all schools impacted by the plan. During   the   suspension   of   requests,   the   membership and executive staff will collaborate on a different and viable process to address school placement in conferences.

The Board ratified an agreement with The Appleton Baseball   Club,   Inc.,   that   extends   the   use   of   Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium for the State Spring Baseball Tournament through 2028. Fox Cities Stadium, built in 1995, seats 5,900 and is   owned   by   the   Fox   Cities   Sports   Authority,   a   non-profit organization in the Fox Cities area. The stadium serves as home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, which was   the   Class   A   affiliate   of   the   Seattle   Mariners   and later became an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009. The State Spring Baseball Tournament has called Fox Cities Stadium its home since 1998.

The Board also approved new and renewed cooperative programs for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 winter sport seasons except in the sports of hockey and gymnastics, which were granted for one year only. Approval was also granted to the general fund financial statements and payments, and staff recommendations for appointments to the Officials Advisory Committee.

Executive   staff   reports   included   discussions   on Wednesday’s Annual Meeting, the 2018 Scholar Athlete   ceremony,   the   NFHS   Legal   and   National   Sports Medicine Summits, and a review of the winter Tourna-

ment series. The Board also received liaison updates from   Mike   Thompson   of   the   Department   of   Public Instruction, John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Jeremy Schlitz of the Wisconsin

Athletic Directors Association.

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