Several WIAA rules, regulations adjusted for 2020-21

Changes provides flexibility to schools, officials, athletes

Along with approving its plan for the fall, winter and spring sports seasons on Friday, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control also addressed a number of other rules and regulations to be modified or suspended in 2020-21.
The following changes were made to provide flexibility to members and licensed officials during the pandemic:

• If tournament series are conducted, regional groupings will be implemented (four teams in football).

• All minimum number of contests requirement for tournament eligibility will be suspended.

• All tournament series seeding will be conducted virtually.

• All nonborder out-of-state competitions or practices are strongly discouraged.

• All multiple-team events from outside a host’s region are strongly discouraged.

• Co-op programs that include schools that are unable to participate in activities during 2020-21 may seek other co-op partners to provide opportunities for participation.

• With conference approval, schools whose conference has canceled sports in 2020-21 may seek schedule relief with other conferences as an independent without sanctions or going through the prescribed conference realignment process.

• For 2020-21, programs may schedule contests after they are eliminated from the WIAA tournament or culminating event.

• Schools that were unable to conduct their five unrestricted coaching contact days during the 2020 summer may schedule those days during the 2020-21 calendar provided there is one week of no contact prior to the start of the respective season. However, during the closed-session meeting, the board directed staff to have discussions on coaching contact during 2020-21 placed on the agenda of the September meeting.

• Licensed officials will not drop in classification in 2021-22 if they choose not to renew licensure or are unable to fill a varsity schedule in 2020-21.

The board also determined student-athletes may compete in no more than two non-school events with school approval during each regular sports season in 2020-21 only, which adopts the middle-level regulation. An “event” will be defined as a game or tournament.

The “Return to Fall Sports Considerations” was approved for distribution to the membership and for placement on the COVID-19 page of the WIAA website. Also passed was a recommendation to add language to the code of conduct section of the rules of eligibility, clarifying how schools respond to allegations of sexual harassment at school or at school-sponsored events.

The board also received liaison reports from Mike Thompson of the Department of Public Instruction, John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and Nathan Delany of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, as well as a presentation on returning to high school sports by Dr. Tim McGuine.

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