WIAA Approves Football-Only Conference Realignment

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control unanimously approved a statewide football-only conference realignment during its meeting Tuesday. The proposal crafted by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association was first approved by the Board in March. Of the many changes, the Badger Conferences which are currently separated by North and South were realigned.  The proposal will rename the conference as Badger Large and Badger Small. Beaver Dam and Watertown, who were longtime rivals in the Wisconsin Little Ten but were split apart when the conference was dissolved after the 2017 season, will now be back together in the Badger Large. The changes will go into effect for the 2020 season.


Here is the full press release:

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control passed a statewide football-only conference realignment proposal and supported a raise in ticket prices for Sectional and State Tournaments at its April meeting today.

The Board unanimously approved its final consideration of the football-only conference proposal crafted by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. First approval of the plan was granted by the Board with a 9-2 vote at its meeting in March. Membership rules required a 40-day window for schools involved in realignment plans to appeal the first consideration of the Board before it took final action today. Fifteen schools filed concerns or appeals of the initial vote by the April 10 deadline and were presented to the Board.

The plan, which will be implemented in the 2020 season, gives uniformity to the number of schools affiliated with a conference and makes certain programs have enough conference games for playoff qualification.

“As I indicated when the Board gave it’s initial support of the plan, this was an enormous undertaking and a  groundbreaking venture for the WIAA,” Executive Director Dave Anderson said. “This was a good-faith effort, and there was openness to alternative ideas, ‘big-picture’ thinking, and widespread acceptance of the final decision.  It’s also important to convey that at any time there is 100 percent agreement of all impacted members, relief can be fast-tracked.”

In the future, football-only realignment will follow the conference realignment procedures approved by the Board at its meeting in January.

The Board voted to increase the ticket price of sectional tournament events by $1 from $5 to $6, and to increase State Tournament tickets $2 for those tickets currently priced at $6 and $8. It’s the first ticket increase at the sectional level since 2014 and at the State level for a majority of sports since 2004. Ticket prices for the State Boys and Girls Basketball Tournaments remain unchanged.

Revenue from the increase in ticket prices will allow for an increase in game fees paid to regional and sectional contest officials and tournament game managers, as well as an increase in school State Tournament travel reimbursement, tournament game officials travel reimbursement and WIAA Board and committee travel expenses.

Another notable Board action was authorization of an extension to the agreement with Select Sport America as the official soccer ball partner of the WIAA Tournaments through 2024. The deal identifies the “Royale” soccer ball as the official soccer ball of the WIAA. The “Royale” is the ball exclusively used for the WIAA sectionals and State Tournaments.

The Board also approved a special election for the gender at-large position and a medium schools representative on the Advisory Council, as well as the approval of appointments to the Officials Advisory Committee and the winter sports season co-ops.

Liaison reports were presented to the Board by Mike Thompson of the Department of Public Instruction, John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Todd Sobrilsky of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 49 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series for boys and girls in 2018-19. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.

Click here to view the WIAA Conference Realignment Plan