The WIAA Board of Control voted on changes to fall sports season regulations Wednesday at its January meeting in Stevens Point.
The Board of Control also unanimously approved a task force recommendation to revamp the conference realignment process.
The Board reviewed and acted on 36 proposed recommendations from the fall coaches’ and officials’ advisory committee, giving 21 approval, according to a WIAA release.
Among football proposals approved included implementation of the use of an electronic system to be used for auto-seeding the playoff field, beginning in 2019; implementation of instant replay — if approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations for state adoption — for the state finals at Camp Randall Stadium for use on scoring plays and turnovers (once there is establishment of protocol and technical ability); and development of a sub-committee by 2020 to review football-only, eight-player conferences.
The auto-seeding would eliminate the need for football coaches to travel to seeding meetings.
The new conference realignment process will feature a more formalized manner for schools to request relief from conference affiliations. A committee was established to evaluate realignment requests, with the Board of Control retaining authority to make final decisions on conference alignments.
The process is intended to be collaborative and add structure, increase communication with member schools and provide transparency in the realignment process. All levels of school administration at each school will be informed of the committee’s deliberations during the process.
Among changes to the volleyball season regulations, the Board of Control supported a recommendation to schedule sectional final doubleheaders when possible, with the boys match at 4:30 p.m. and the girls match at 7 p.m.
Three volleyball changes involved seeding: all eight qualifying teams for the boys volleyball state tournament will be seeded; all eight teams in Division 1 and all four teams in Division 2, 3 and 4 will be seeded for the girls state tournament; and girls regional seed meetings will be conducted in-person or by real-time electronic means (video conferencing).
Among soccer recommendations, the Board of Control supported a recommendation to extend experimenting with 45-minute halves for three additional years. That will give the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association further opportunity to collect data for the NFHS.
In tennis, all eight teams in Division 1 in the state team tournament will be seeded. Sixty-six percent of schools with the largest enrollments will be in Division 1, with the other 34 percent in Division 2.
The Board also received liaison reports from Pam Foegen of the NFHS Board of Directors and Madison Memorial athletic director Jeremy Schlitz of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.