The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control reviewed and approved several pandemic-related topics, effective immediately at its recent meeting.

The board issued a statement to address individuals and teams refusing to wear masks or wearing masks improperly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Board members stated game officials, contest managers and coaches should collaborate — in efforts to enhance the likelihood of continuing the winter sports seasons — to address coaches and participants not properly wearing masks as mandated by the governor’s face coverings order.

The board also approved the continuation of nonschool competition opportunities for students on school teams that have begun the season only practicing virtually, if approved by local school administration. Students may continue to participate in nonschool competitions up until the start of in-person school team participation. This does not apply to teams that have begun in-person practices and later pause to quarantine. No school or school coach involvement will be permitted with the extended nonschool opportunities.

Executive staff reports to the board included a preliminary discussion on plans for the winter sports culminating events with further details regarding the structure and schedule of those events to be determined at a special meeting later this month. The board also reviewed and discussed a number of pandemic-related proposals submitted by a member school without taking action.

In two sports-specific matters, the board approved of adding one 30-second timeout per half in basketball with the stipulation that the additional timeout in the first half will not be carried over into the second half. The board also approved reducing the number of practice and acclimatization days from 10 to eight before the first-allowed competition in wrestling, which was previously accepted by the Sports Medical Advisory Committee. 

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 514 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.