Although some notable rule changes were approved, the main issue — the proposed “success factor” solution to competitive equity between state public and private schools — was the only one to be voted down, by a 221-198 margin.
During the 2014-15 school year, an ad hoc committee meeting in private session put forth a proposal for a “success factor” that was to have been enforced for seven team sports. It would have elevated a school’s program into a higher division in one particular sport, if that program reached a certain threshold of success over the previous three years of postseason play.
It is not sportsmanship to punish schools for being successful.
Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, announced on Wednesday that he plans to re-introduce a bill that would make the WIAA subject to open records and meeting laws.
“When decisions are made with taxpayer money, the public deserves to have a say, or at least a look into the decision room,” Nygren wrote in a column. “Policies like these, which suggest a mere suppression of speech, deserve more oversight and scrutiny, and I aim to ensure that in the future.”
While the WIAA has a huge influence on Wisconsin schools and a monopoly on public school sports in the state, I don’t believe they are a government body. They describe themselves as:
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization.
If that’s the case, I don’t want our government imposing open records requirements on a private organization. If they are government-sanctioned, then the taxpayers should have some insight into and oversight of their decisions.
Hilbert High School athlete April Gehl has been suspended for five girls basketball games by the school for a tweet Gehl posted on Twitter earlier this week critical of the WIAA,according to the Appleton Post-Crescent.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Gehl told the Post-Crescent. “I was like, ‘Really? For tweeting my opinion?’ I thought it was ridiculous.”
Gehl’s tweet was in response to an email the WIAA sent to schools in December about in-game conduct from high school student sections. Specifically, the WIAA wanted to crack down on any chants or “action directed at opposing teams or their spectators with the intent to taunt, disrespect, distract or entice an unsporting behavior in a response.” Among the chants cited by the WIAA were: “You can’t do that,” “Fundamentals,” “Airball,” “We can’t hear you,” and “Scoreboard.”
Stevens Point – Two measures that would have greatly altered the landscape of high school sports in the state failed to pass at the WIAA annual meeting Wednesday.
As a result, school enrollments will continue to be the sole factor when determining a school’s divisional placement in the WIAA tournament series.
The proposal was to change the way they categorize schools into divisions for sports. Under the current rules, it is simple: divisions are determined by enrollment. That way big schools compete against big schools and small schools compete against small schools. The rationale is that the schools have a roughly equal number of athletes from which to draw.
The proposal was to count private schools’ enrollment higher by applying a multiplier. So a public school with 500 students would count as 500 kids, but a private school with 500 students would count as 650 kids (or whatever the multiplier was). This would force smaller, private schools into competing against larger, public schools. The rationale was that private schools were winning too much and somehow that was bad.
So… I’m glad that they kept the rule the same. It didn’t make any sense to calculate an arbitrary enrollment solely for the purpose of creating a disadvantage for private schools.