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WIAA approves changes to fall sports season

STEVENS POINT – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control approved changes to the upcoming fall season regulations at its recent meeting.

Following a review of the recommendations by the Sports Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council, the board assessed and acted on 39 proposals advanced by the fall coaches’ and officials’ advisory committees, with 23 receiving approval.

Seven changes to the football season regulations were ratified by the board.

A number of the changes are associated with qualifying and seeding the playoffs.

Teams will be required to play seven conference games or six conference games with an additional mandated crossover game to be eligible for the playoffs beginning in 2020.

The crossover game will count as a conference game for playoff qualifying, and all conference or mandated crossover game forfeits will count as a conference win.

Furthermore, the same forfeit language in the 11-player regulations will also apply to the 8-player regulations.

The board approved a recommendation to adopt the criteria, formula and results of the final summary for electronic seeding and eliminate coach appeals in 2020.

There were also seven soccer coaches’ recommendations passed by the board.

Three of the changes are tournament-related and two involve the counting of red and yellow cards relating to playoff eligibility.

The board approved a coaches’ recommendation to count a straight red card received during the regular season as two yellow cards toward its limit of 24 yellow cards.

Programs receiving 24 or more yellow cards during the regular season will be prohibited from participating in the tournament series.

In addition, the board authorized a regulation that removes from the tournament series any team receiving five straight red cards or any player who receives three straight red cards during the regular season.

In girls’ golf, the board approved a change in tournament divisional assignments.

Beginning in 2020-21, 60 percent of the schools sponsoring the sport will be placed into Division 1, with the remaining 40 percent of programs placed into Division 2.

In addition, coaches will be allowed to tend the flag and rake the bunkers to improve the pace of play with a stipulation the allowance may be revoked if abused.

The board also passed a cross country proposal that prohibits audible music – other than the music used by meet management – and noisemakers at or near the starting line.

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 512 senior high schools and 46 junior high/middle-level schools in its membership.

There are a combined 27 championship tournament series for boys and girls in 2019-20.

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