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WIAA Board of Control Holds June Meeting
Thursday, June 25th, 2020 -- 7:15 am
Posted by Larry Hoeser, Sports Director

The WIAA Board of Control reviewed and acted on coaches committee recommendations impacting winter sports including the addition of a State Tournament Series for girls wrestling in 2022 and other rule and budget considerations in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at its June virtual meeting on Wednesday.

(WIAA press release) - In recognition of the challenges many students may have experienced with access and adapting to virtual schooling last spring following school closures because of COVID-19, the Board voted unanimously to allow a school option to defer academic eligibility grade requirements for all students until the first grading period of the 2020-21 school year.

Another Board decision in response to the COVID-19 pandemic extends the window one week to use the coaches’ five unrestricted coaching days for this summer only. This allows 11-player football coaches unrestricted contact through Aug. 1 and all other coaches through Aug. 8. The extended period reflects a heightened emphasis on acclimatization for the health and safety for student-athletes.

All regional, sectional and State Tournament ticket prices will be increased $1.

A much-discussed coaches’ recommendation to add a girls division to the State Tournament Series in wrestling was amended to conduct a girls-only individual tournament in 2021-22. Girls and boys will be permitted to wrestle each other during the regular season, but the Tournament Series will be gender exclusive. In other wrestling-related Board action, will be used to randomly place sectional champions on the State Individual Tournament brackets in all divisions with the second- and third-place sectional finishers placed on the opposite half of the bracket beginning in 2021. In addition, the start time for the finals of the team sectional tournament for Divisions 2 and 3 will be 20 minutes following the completion of the semifinals or earlier if both coaches agree.

For boys and girls basketball, the Board approved implementing a computerized seeding system for the State Tournament Series. The system will be developed by the WIAA with the goal to have it available in 2020-21, and no later than 2021-22.

In hockey, the Board approved retaining a two-division State Tournament Series indefinitely by eliminating the experiment language from the existing regulations. Also approved was a recommendation for the State Boys Hockey Tournament to involve the head coaches of qualifying teams for both divisions to determine seeds for each division beginning in 2021.

The one other hockey recommendation supported by the Board implements an eight-minute, sudden victory overtime period followed by a five minute three-on-three period during the regular season. If no winner is determined after the two overtime periods, the game is recorded as a tie. In a tie following regulation during the tournament series, an eight-minute sudden victory overtime period will be played. If no victor is determined, the ice will be resurfaced followed by a 17-minute sudden victory overtime period. If a winner is still not determined, a five-minute, four-on-four sudden victory period will be played and then a five-minute, three-on-three sudden victory period if necessary. If a winner remains undecided, a 17-minute, three-on-three sudden victory period will be played after a resurfacing of the ice.

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