Wrestling will add a girls-only state tournament beginning in 2022.
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and acted on coaches committee recommendations impacting winter sports at its June meeting on Wednesday.
A much-discussed coaches’ recommendation to add a girls division to the state tournament in wrestling was amended to conduct a girls-only individual tournament in 2021-22.
Girls and boys will be permitted to wrestle each other during the regular season, but the tournament series will be gender exclusive.
In other wrestling-related board action, Trackwrestling.com will be used to randomly place sectional champions on the state individual tournament brackets in all divisions with the second- and third-place sectional finishers placed on the opposite half of the bracket beginning in 2021.
For boys and girls basketball, the board approved implementing a computerized seeding system for the state tournament series.
The system will be developed by the WIAA with the goal to have it available in 2020-21, and no later than 2021-22. This action will require members designated as the home team to enter the scores of all their regular-season games into the WIAA Score Center database purposes starting in the upcoming season.
In hockey, the board approved retaining a two-division state tournament indefinitely by eliminating the experiment language from the existing regulations.
Also approved was a recommendation for the state boys hockey tournament to involve the head coaches of qualifying teams for both divisions to determine seeds for each division beginning in 2021.
UPDATE ON COVID-19: The WIAA also released guidance and recommendations for high schools to resume summertime athletics programming and other activities beginning Wednesday.
The WIAA has shared these guidelines with athletic directors, principals and district administrators of all member schools.
It will be the decision of each school’s district administrator to determine if athletics and other activities may operate in compliance with state and local health department directives as determined by each community’s most current level of risk.
Similar to the manner in which different parts of the state may re-open ahead of others based on the data available and local governance determination, the guidelines outline the protocol and direction to resume high school sports according to local and regional levels of risk based on the number of confirmed and trending COVID-19 cases and access to available health care.
Schools should consult state and local health departments to determine the most current level of risk when initiating return to activities and when they might progress through the levels.
To address an expressed concern about inundating state and local health departments with inquiries on a community’s level of risk, we strongly recommend that school districts designate one person to serve as the liaison to handle all communications with the departments.
The guidelines also include identifying the level of risk associated for each sport as recommended and modified by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Sports competitions, by their nature, are categorized as lower, moderate and higher risk based on potential exposure to respiratory droplets, the amount of physical contact and the duration of contact.
The WIAA guidance document also addresses the progression for returning to summertime training and conditioning; team practices; competitions; disinfection of facility, equipment and implements; hygiene practices; transportation to-and-from events, and social-distancing expectations.
Additional information, including sport-specific guidelines and other best-practice resources will be provided to schools as they become available in the coming days and weeks, or when new information from leading health organizations requires amending.
– Written by WIAA staff