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WIAA Board acts on winter sports recommendations

STEVENS POINT — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and approved a number of committee recommendations for winter sports at its June 25 meeting.

Five of the recommendations made in basketball received Board approval. The most notable replaces the four-quarter game format with a two 18-minute halves for varsity games on a one-year trial basis in 2015-16. Subvarsity games will play two 16-minute halves.

Another significant Board decision will rearrange the schedule for the boys and girls State Basketball Tournaments next March. The Division 3 semifinals will be played during the Thursday afternoon session, and the Division 4 semifinals will be conducted during the Thursday evening session. On Friday, the Division 5 semifinals will be played in the morning session with the Division 2 semifinals in the afternoon and the Division 1 semifinals in the evening. The schedule for the finals on Saturday remains unchanged.

Other approved recommendations impacting the tournaments were a measure to set the Tournament Series brackets in sectional half brackets without exception, and to allow the home team to wear white uniforms during regional games. At the sectional level, teams will continue to wear jersey colors as prescribed by the current alphabetical rotation.

The only coaches’ recommendation advanced in wrestling received Board approval. The use of an assistant referee in the regional and sectional individual championship matches will now be permitted.

The Board also approved of a Sportsmanship Committee recommendation to reaffirm support of officials making the necessary and appropriate calls required by rule when it comes to safety regulations in contact sports, especially in hockey.

Approval was also afforded to the customary procedural and financial statements, and to spring cooperative team requests for 2016 and 2017. It also received Executive Staff reports and updates on a number of issues. Among the reports was the implementation of an NFHS Network rights fee for schools not utilizing the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program for streaming WIAA pre-State Tournament Series events, as well as the requirement to complete and submit an application for all video transmissions.

Other staff reports included a review of the 2015 spring State Tournaments and 2015 Annual Meeting; possible 2015 Area Meeting topics; potential Constitution items for the 2016 Annual Meeting; compliance issues with Coaches Exams and Videos, and coaches’ejections reporting; implementation of coaches education requirements for First Aid/AED and CPR; concerns with the Omnibus legislation allowing home-school and private school students on public school teams; and intitial considerations for a wheelchair cross country competition.

In addition, the Board liaisons from the Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association presented reports.

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 505 senior high schools and 46 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 24 championship tournament series. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.