High school soccer gains equal footing
The WIAA membership has voted to provide soccer coaches the same summertime contact provisions as sports other than football. Soccer coaches will now be granted unlimited, non-school contact from the end of school until July 31 after an 183-117 vote to pass the amendment at the WIAA’s annual meeting here Wednesday.
Six of the seven amendments related to the constitution, bylaws and rules of eligibility up for membership vote were passed. They become effective May 13.
A second amendment involving summer coaching contact created a one-week period whereby no unrestricted school coaching contact with athletes is permitted for fall sports. A minimum of one calendar week (Sunday-Saturday) without school or coach contact is required the week immediately preceding the first allowed practice in fall sports, beginning in 2012. The amendment passed by a 259-43 vote.
A new constitutional amendment alters how enrollments of charter schools are added to schools within multi-school districts for WIAA tournament purposes. Schools will now be required to accurately identify the district school of residence for students enrolled in their charter schools.
Those students will be assigned and counted only to the school of residence within the multi-school district for participation, enrollment and divisional placement. The membership overwhelmingly passed the measure, 271-18.
Previously, all schools within a multi-school district were held accountable for the number of students in the district’s charter schools.
Another rule of eligibility now allows a student athlete to participate only in practices when transferring after the fourth consecutive semester. The former rule prohibited a student from practice or competing for 365 days, beginning with the first day of attendance at the new school. The amendment passed 211-88.
The membership approved an amendment that allows a physician’s assistant to conduct sports physicals and sign the athletic permit card. A physical fitness exam and the accompanying form is required no less than every other school year. The nearly unanimous vote to approve was 300-2.
One of the two amendments for in-season code of conduct gained 294-7 approval. It tightened language that eliminates a broad interpretation of the previous language that could conceivably circumvent and reduce the mandated one-game code of conduct suspension to a fraction of a contest; thus, maintaining eligibility for subsequent tournament contests.
The second amendment involving the code of conduct failed to gain membership approval by a 155-146 vote. The proposal would have increased the minimum suspension of one contest for a code of conduct violation to 20 percent of the maximum allowed contests in a season.
-- WIAA executive director Dave Anderson said there may be consideration to move the girls state basketball tournament back to its former time slot of one week before the boys.
The girls have played the last weekend of March at the Kohl Center the last two years since moving from the Alliant Energy Center.
Anderson said there have been complaints about the girls season running too long. But a change in state tournament dates could mean another change in venue, again depriving the girls of the Kohl Center experience the boys have had since 1998.
The WIAA is under contract with the University of Wisconsin for its current boys andgirls dates at the Kohl Center through 2015.
-- Anderson also said the WIAA is determined to stay out in front of almost-certain state legislation in regard to sports-related concussions.