STEVENS POINT – The WIAA Board of Control approved a number of sport coaches’ recommendations impacting the spring season sports regulations, passed the 2018-19 operational budget and was introduced to the new information technology assistant at its October meeting Friday.
Two recommendations in softball were approved by the Board. The first implements seeding for all divisions once the State tournament field has been determined beginning in 2019. The other change addresses low team participation numbers. Student-athletes may not participate in more than 26 games in a season; however, in programs with 20 or fewer players at two levels, players participating in either one inning of a varsity game or three innings of a sub-varsity game will not count toward the maximum 26 games. A waiver for counting games in this manner is no longer required.
In track and field, the Board passed a coaches’ recommendation to define tournament divisional cutoffs based on the gender with the greatest number of schools placed in a division when a discrepancy occurs between the total number of boys and girls programs within a division.
The Board also approved a recommendation to flip the boys and girls schedule of events for the field events within each division at the State Track & Field Meet beginning in 2019. The action will not change the schedule of the wheelchair events. Also approved was the plan to move the start time of the State meet on Saturday to 10 a.m., with the exception of the discus competition, which will continue to start at 9:30 a.m.
In response to the influx of summer baseball programs moving to the spring, the Board ratified a coaches’ recommendation to increase the number of Division 1 teams to 112 from 96. The remaining teams will be divided evenly into Divisions 2, 3 and 4. The other baseball recommendation approved by the Board allows conferences or host schools to adopt a time limit for sub-varsity games, unless ties occur during regular-season tournaments that requires extending the time limit.
The Board also ratified the $9.25 million operational budget for 2018-19 and approved editorial changes to the membership’s Licensing and Royalty policy.
Bobby Blom was introduced to the Board as a new addition to the operational staff. He will serve as an information technology assistant to Eric Dziak, the office’s technology coordinator. Blom began his responsibilities on Oct. 4. He earned an associate degree in Applied Science–IT Networking from Mid-State Technical College in 2018. Prior work experience includes an IT internship with the Wisconsin Rapids Public School District. He is also a WIAA-licensed official in baseball, basketball, football and softball. He currently resides in Wisconsin Rapids.
Other topics introduced in the executive staff reports to the Board were reviews of the fall Area Meeting discussions, the preliminary audit report, plans for the 2018 Sportsmanship Summit, and the ongoing social media, marketing and office technology efforts. The Board also received a liaison report from Jeremy Schlitz of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.