WIAA approves fifth division in basketballWisconsin Sports
- Beginning in 2010-11, the WIAA Tournament Series will have a fifth division in basketball. The Board approved the plan that will feature a State Tournament with four teams in each division and five championship games on the final day of the boys and girls tournaments.
GREEN LAKE - The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control ratified several membership recommendations that will impact the future of interscholastic athletics in the state and approved a football-only conference realignment plan at its annual summer meeting here Thursday.
Beginning in 2010-11, the WIAA Tournament Series will have a fifth division in basketball. The Board approved the plan that will feature a State Tournament with four teams in each division and five championship games on the final day of the boys and girls tournaments. The plan also provides Division 1 with a “super sectional” the Tuesday the week of the State Tournament.
The change will create greater enrollment balance within divisions. Division 1 will comprise of schools with enrollments above 1,200. Division 2 will include schools with enrollments between 600-1,200. Schools with enrollments between 200-600 will be split in half between Divisions 3 and 4, with the largest enrollments in that range in Division 3 and the smaller enrollments in Division 4. Division 5 will include schools with enrollments below 200.
In other board action, a directive from the Board to eliminate three football games in 10 days at the end of the season will result in beginning the season earlier. The Board approved the option to begin the season on the Wednesday of week five in 2011, five days earlier than the traditional start date. A membership survey indicated starting the season early was the most preferred option. The other viable option was to eliminate one game of the regular season.
In regards to conference realignment, after considering an appeal to the initial approval of combining the Wisconsin Valley Conference and Fox Valley Association for football only, the Board gave final approval of the plan that forms one, 16-team league containing two separate eight-team divisions, which are to be determined by the schools of the newly formed football conference for the 2011 season.
The second football-only conference realignment plan receiving final approval by the Board affects the members of the CloverWood, Dairyland, Great Northern and Marawood conferences with implementation in 2011. The plan moves McDonell Central from the Marawood to the CloverWood, Augusta from the CloverWood to the Dairyland and Tomahawk from the Great Northern to the Marawood.
The Great Northern Conference released Northland Pines and Tomahawk from its football schedule effective in 2010, making it a five-team league this fall. In 2011, Merrill and Ashland are both scheduled to become members of the Great Northern Conference for football only. Until then, Merrill will compete in the Wisconsin Valley Conference with all sports beginning this fall, and Ashland will play an independent football schedule in 2010.