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WIAA changes times for team state wrestling tourney

STEVENS POINT - The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control approved a number of coaches advisory committee recommendations in each winter sport that affect the season regulations at its June meeting Thursday.

The sport of wrestling had a pair of recommendations added to the season regulations. The schedule of the State Team Tournament at the UW Fieldhouse will be altered. The Division 1 semifinals will be moved from 9 a.m. Saturday morning to Friday at 7:30 p.m., which will follow the quarterfinals scheduled for5:30 p.m. in the revised schedule. The Divisions 2 and 3 semifinals, traditionally scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, will begin at 10 a.m. The finals in all three divisions are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

The other approved wrestling recommendation edits to the Medical Policies and Procedures Manual,  identifies schools that are able to use the program with electronic bout sheets will be given priority when attempting to assign individual and team regionals and sectionals.    

The basketball season regulations will experience a number of changes with the approval of four recommendations. The first will apply a mercy rule for varsity games during the regular season and throughout the Tournament Series beginning in 2013-14. A running clock will be implemented once the point differential reaches 40 points at any time after the conclusion of the third quarter unless a timeout is called. Regardless if the score differential subsequently dips below 40 points, the running clock remains in effect until the conclusion of the game.

Another approved recommendation mandates three-person officiating crews for all WIAA Tournament Series boys and girls basketball games beginning in 2014. Three-person crews have been assigned to the regional finals since 2008, at the sectional level since 2007 and at the State Tournament since 2006.    

The Board also supported a basketball coaches’ recommendation that was amended to apply to all sports  to allow schools to request a waiver of the rule requiring a day of rest after six days of consecutive practice or competitions when weather forces games to be postponed during the Tournament Series. In addition, schools in Division 1 will no longer be allowed to host sectional semifinals or finals if they advance to play in those games, essentially guaranteeing a neutral site.

Two hockey coaches’ advisory recommendations were approved by the Board. The first sets the maximum game limit to 24 beginning in 2013-14. The previous language stated a maximum of 20 games with allowance for two designated multi-game contests. In addition, hockey coaches will now be required to report their team’s game disqualifications to their school’s administration within 48 hours following the incident. School administrators are required to report the disqualification, to include a plan to prevent future game disqualification penalties, to the WIAA executive office within three school days following the game involving the disqualification.

The most notable of five gymnastics recommendations approved revises the schedule of the State Gymnastics Meet beginning in 2014. The change moves the team competition to Friday afternoon and evening, and the individual competition to Saturday,  reversing the traditional days of those competitions.

The other four gymnastics recommendations ratified involves event management. In meets with four or more teams, line judges will now be required and the warm-up time may now be stopped for bar and vault modifications. In addition, a non-modified Capital Cup meet will require a two-minute touch for each team in each event, which replaces the current recommended language. The final recommendation to receive approval identifies required ranges for the equipment and apparatus at sectional meets.

In other action, the Board approved the Medical Advisory Committee’s edits to the Medical Policies and Procedures Manual and the Sportsmanship Committee’s recommendation to not allow spectators with facemasks of any type for identification purposes at Tournament Series events.

Also approved was a policy regarding transgender student-athletes and all the applications for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 spring cooperative team arrangements. The Board also discussed other Association-related items, including a review of the 2013 spring tournaments, possible topics for the 2013 Area Meetings, and the development of the 2013-14 budget.

The Board also received a 2012-13 staff summary of eligibility and foreign exchange students, sanctioning requests and coaches not licensed to teach. In addition, the Board liaisons from the Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association presented updates.