CWS Sports Desk
April 18, 2018
Stevens Point— The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association will conduct its 123rd Annual Meeting at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point Wednesday, April 26.
The membership will consider four amendments, two for the Constitution and two for the Rules of Eligibility at the Association’s business meeting. Changes to the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of Eligibility require a majority vote in favor of the amendment by the member schools’ delegates in attendance at the Annual Meeting.
An amendment that would add language to the membership’s admission requirements was advanced to the Annual Meeting by the Board of Control at its meeting in March.
The proposal would increase the expectations of all new members and members that discontinued their membership in the association and seek to rejoin. It would require applicants to sponsor and have administrative oversight of at least one boys and girls sport in each of the three sports seasons. The existing rule states new schools applying for membership need just one independently sponsored sport program for one year.
In addition, the amendment would expand the probationary period for any new applicants to three years and replace the one-year probationary status of the current language. Furthermore, schools applying for membership will be required to have representation at an Area Meeting and at the Annual Meeting during each year of their three-year probationary status. Failure to comply with the requirements at any time during the probationary period will require a reset of the application and probationary period.
Existing members that maintain uninterrupted membership in the association are not subject to the new membership requirements.
The impetus for the change was the result of feedback and suggestions received from the group breakout discussions at last fall’s Area Meetings. The added requirements in the proposed amendment language were recommendations shared at each of the seven Area Meetings.
The purpose of the amendment is to enhance engagement and heighten awareness of the responsibilities in matters impacting the membership. Its intent is to encourage new members to invest in relationships with other schools and the membership as a whole beyond simply sponsoring sport programs and seeking eligibility in the State tournament series. The proposed language is also intended to provide new members with a greater understanding of the membership’s purpose and governance.
Unanimous support for the amendment’s passage was demonstrated by each level of the representative committee structure. The Sports Advisory Committee voted 12-0 in favor of the amendment. The Advisory Council voted 17-0 in favor and the Board of Control supported the measure with a 10-0 recommendation.
According to the Constitution, the Board of Control has the authority following each Annual Meeting to incorporate related changes in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules of Eligibility with the action taken by the membership at the Annual Meeting. Any changes the Board may make shall not alter the meaning or intent of any provision. All approved amendments will become effective upon the next publishing of the Bulletin, the official publication of the WIAA, on May 25, 2018.