Author Topic: Proposal Modified for Conference Realignment in Milwaukee Metro Area (Fri 10/09)  (Read 1402 times)

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Proposal Modified for Conference Realignment in Milwaukee Metro Area (Fri 10/09)

Five Softball Divisions and 2015-16 Operational Budget Approved; Proposal Modified for Conference Realignment in Milwaukee Metro Area

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Board of Control acted on a series of spring sport coaches’ recommendations involving the season regulations for those respective sports, amended a preliminary conference realignment proposal impacting the Southeast region of the state and passed the 2015-16 operational budget at its October meeting today.

The most notable change to the spring sports is the approval of five divisions for the State Softball Tournament beginning in the spring of 2017. The unprecedented model maintains eight Division 1 teams with four teams qualifying in Divisions 2, 3, 4 and 5. The executive staff will develop a workable time schedule to accommodate the five-division format.

In addition, softball will experience two changes to the 2016 season regulations. The first removes language requiring hitters to warm-up in the on-deck circle located behind the batter. On-deck hitters will now warm-up in front of their team’s dugout. The other change eliminates voting for tournament groupings in all divisions, placing teams in sectional half-bracket groups only.

The Board supported a pair of recommendations in baseball. Beginning in 2016, video conferencing may be used en lieu of attending seed meetings in-person for schools located more than 80 miles from the meeting site. The second rule change eliminates voting for spring baseball tournament groupings in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 to place teams in regional groups only.

The Board amended a conference realignment proposal that involves 44 schools, five current conferences in the Milwaukee metro area and the Badger Conference. The plan, which will receive first consideration at the Board meeting on Dec. 4, moves Beaver Dam and Watertown from the Little 10 Conference to the Badger Conference. The plan also adds Milwaukee Lutheran and Wauwatosa East from the North Shore and Greater Metro Conferences, respectively, to the 12 teams in the current Woodland Conference to form a new, 14-member league. Twenty-eight schools for boys and girls currently comprising the Classic 8, Greater Metro, North Shore and Wisconsin Little 10 conferences would be placed into one of four, seven-team conferences (see attachment for the plan).

The Board gave its approval to the 2015-16 operations budget of approximately $8.3 million, which is a slight decrease from last year’s budget. The budget continues to be largely driven by Tournament Series revenues and expenses, which is significantly influenced by weather and match-ups. The new budget reflects a steady flow of revenue from tournament gate receipts and acknowledges a conservative increase in expenses.

Staff reports produced a directive for the executive staff to develop a membership survey in an attempt to measure the membership’s attitudes toward competitive equity and the degree of interest in potential solutions. 
Among the other topics reviewed were potential Constitutional amendments, Area Meeting discussions and a request from a member school to form an ad-hoc committee to review the seasonal placements of girls’ sports. The Board also received liaison reports from Mike Thompson of the Department of Public Instruction and Jim McClowry, of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 509 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It will sponsor 24 championship tournament series in 2015-16. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.

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