WIAA Membership approves amendments at annual meeting
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The membership of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association passed six amendments to its Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility at the 2016 Annual Meeting today in Stevens Point.
The new rules will become effective upon publication of the next issue of the Bulletin, which is scheduled for May 27, 2016.
The membership voted 417-4 in favor of the amendment that requires a member school to maintain administrative control and oversight of at least one independently sponsored interscholastic athletic program or co-op program throughout the duration of its membership.
Two amendments relating to eligibility to serve on the Board of Control and the Advisory Council both received passage by the membership. Part-time administrators, assistant administrators, high school principals or assistant high school principals of member schools will now be eligible to serve on the Board of Control and Advisory Council. The vote in reference to serving on the Board passed 256-155, with support for part-time status serving on the Advisory Council reflected in a 366-47 vote.
The membership approved extending non-varsity eligibility to students transferring before or during their fifth or sixth semesters following entry into the ninth grade if approved by both schools directly involved. The new rule provides 11th graders eligibility to participate in non-varsity competitions. The membership supported passage of the amendment by a 384-40 count.
Two amendments referring to the nonschool participation during the season language in the Rules of Eligibility passed. The first allows any individual student-athlete, with school approval, to participate in up to two nonschool contests during the regular season in the same sport. The nonschool opportunities will not count against the individual maximum in that sport. The membership voted in support, 271-153. The second amendment redefines the exceptional athlete provision to recognize only invitations to international competitions sanctioned by each sport’s identified National Governing Body (NGB) and Olympic Development Programs (ODP) as eligible for an exceptional athlete waiver. This waiver will allow nonschool competition during the regular season and during the WIAA Tournament Series. The measure passed by a 410-13 vote.
The editorial changes, which are attempts to clarify existing rules without making changes in the interpretations of the rules, passed 381-36.
The membership voted down an amendment that would have implemented a success factor that would have promoted programs to a higher division once a threshold of success was attained over a three-year period. The amendment failed by a 198-221 margin. The plan was the recommendation of the Competitive Equity Ad-Hoc Committee and was advanced to last year’s Annual Meeting for consideration, but was replaced at that time without a vote.
In the New Business portion of the Director’s Report, the membership was apprised of a number of continuing topics for discussions, including sports season placement and competition survey, sportsmanship, conference realignment and awareness of the new state Sexual Assault Amnesty Law.
In the 2016-17 Board of Control elections, Steve Knecht, the Coordinator of Athletics in Kenosha, will serve his second consecutive term as the District 7 representative. Eric Russell, superintendent at Baldwin-Woodville, was elected as the representative from District 1. Ted Knutson, principal at Aquinas, was elected to his second term as the non-public at-large representative. Bernard Nikolay, superintendent at Cambridge, will serve as the District 6 representative. Elected members of the Board of Control serve a three-year term.
Jennifer Vogler, district administrator at Wabeno, was re-elected to the Advisory Council, representing small schools. Dan Retzki, associate principal at Green Bay Preble, was elected to a new term representing large schools. Mike Endreas, district administrator at Spencer, and Jeffrey Sauer, principal at Dodgeland, were elected to represent medium-sized schools; and Kyle Luedtke, district administrator at Benton, was elected to his first term representing small schools. Elected individuals serve a three-year term on the Advisory Council.
A special recognition for service to the WIAA was presented to Jerry O’Brien, who has provided legal counsel to the Association since 1965. In addition, Attorney General Brad Schimel addressed the membership with a presentation on the program “Dose of Reality,” which is aimed at preventing prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin.
A total of 431 schools were represented at the 2016 Annual Meeting. The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 43 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.