WIAA board OKs rules changes in two spring sports

Marion, Tigerton will operate as co-op cross country programs next two years

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association board of control approved coaches advisory committee rule change recommendations in baseball and track and field at its Oct. 24 meeting.

Beginning in June, the higher-seeded team at the state baseball tournament will be declared the home team for each game in all divisions. For regionals and for the sectional semifinal level, the higher-seeded team will be the home team in all divisions. For the sectional finals, the higher seed will be declared the home team in Division 1, and a coin flip will determine the home team in Divisions 2, 3 and 4.

The board approved two recommendations advanced by the track and field coaches, effective in the spring of 2024, both pertain to the tournament series schedule. The first establishes the same order of field events for all divisions at the sectional meets and the state meet to mirror the existing Division 1 order. The prescribed order will be girls high jump, girls long jump, girls shot put, boys pole vault, boys triple jump followed by boys discus, and then, flip the gender in the same order of events.

The second change impacts the Division 2 and 3 regionals and sectionals in 2024. The 200-meter dash preliminary heats will be eliminated to again mirror the existing Division 1 schedule. In addition, the schedule will be adjusted to conduct the boys 110 hurdles preliminaries followed by the girls 100 hurdles preliminaries. After a 15-minute break, the girls will run the finals of the 100 hurdles with the boys 110 hurdles final to follow.

On another action item, the board approved the 2024-25 and 2025-26 fall season co-ops, which includes two new co-ops. Marion/Tigerton as well as St. Ambrose/Abundant Life Christian will operate as co-op cross country programs for boys and girls.

The board was introduced to several possible constitutional amendments that will be reviewed by the committee process to determine if they advance to the membership for a vote at the annual meeting. The amendments under consideration address competition and practice restrictions; requiring the WIAA to be in compliance with all NFHS rules and regulations; Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunities; and use of video replay to review all player ejections.

WIAA membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 515 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.