Forfeits, seeding for state wrestling, football practice, 2A/1A state basketball and athletes trying to compete in multiple state championship events in the same season, were some of the topics of discussion, at the first Fall 2014 meeting, of the Wyoming High School Activities Association Board of Directors.

Forfeits:

The board passed on second reading, that fines for one team forfeiting a varsity game before it’s scheduled to be played, will be increased from $300 to $1,000. If both teams agree not to play a scheduled contest, or the game is forfeited after the game is played (by way of a rules violation discovered afterwards), the fine will not be applied. The school that commits the offense has 30 days to pay the fine to the other school, and if they don’t, it could result in suspension and/or or sanctions determined by the WHSAA.

Wrestling Seeding:

The board unanimously defeated a change to rule 7.16.92, which was originally requested by the Wyoming Wrestling Coaches. Currently the top 4 wrestlers after regionals, are seeded for the state tournament, while the other qualifying wrestlers are entered into the bracket randomly. The new proposal was to have the #1 wrestler from one region vs. the #4 wrestler from the SAME region, meet in the quarter-finals of the state tournament. Same goes for #2 vs. #3 in the quarter-finals, assuming they all make it. The rationale behind this, was some wrestlers have been accused of intentionally losing the 3rd place match at regionals, in order to avoid facing a certain wrestler, for as long as possible at the state tournament, regardless if that future opponent is from the same region, or the other. With modern technology working the way it does, updates from other regional tournaments come in pretty quickly on-line, and some try to strategize on where they want to be in the state bracket.

After further review, the board decided there would have been more negative than positive in the rule change, had it passed. Commissioner Ron Laird said the Board can't legislate ethics.

Athletes Competing In Multiple State Championship Events In The Same Season:

The board passed on first reading, that if an athlete moves from one sport to another that is played in the same season, that athlete must compete in at least one regular season contest, before he/she is eligible to compete in the state championship event, for that sport.

An example provided, was that there have been a number of wrestlers, who after the state meet, then competed at the state indoor track and field meet, which is the following weekend, without competing in a regular season indoor track and field meet. This has drawn complaints from parents, coaches and athletes not just from other teams, but from within the team itself as well. There are other examples, similar to this one. Outdoor Track and Field to Soccer and vice-versa, and Cross Country over to Football (the football playoffs start one week after the state cross country meet), but it was the Wrestling to Indoor Track and Field transition, that was getting the most complaints.

The board also added, that if an athlete moves from one sport to another, the team can't schedule an extra regular season game, so that the athlete can meet the requirements of the new rule.

This was a first reading item, and must undergo another reading to make it official.

Football Practice Rule Change:

The board passed on first reading, changes to rule 5.10.2 and 7.7.11, which would reduce the number of football practice days, before a player can compete in any kind of game, from 10 to 9.

The reasoning for this, is that in every football class except for 4A, if a team is competing in a zero week game/scrimmage/exhibition, etc..there are no possible days for an athlete to make up a practice, before that zero week contest, if they end up missing practice for a good reason, or if a practice is cancelled.

The idea was submitted by Coach John Scott of Tongue River.

Only the northeast district passed this rule at its district meeting.

This was a first reading item, and must undergo another reading to make it official.

Also the board passed on first reading adding additional words to rule 7.7.12 regarding football practice time.

No single practice may exceed 3 hours, and the total practice time on days with multiple practice session may not exceed 5 hours.

Warm-up, stretching, speed and agility drills and cool down are considered part of practice.

Other things such as meetings, film study, water and rest breaks, injury treatment, weight training, voluntary conditioning and teaching period/walk through simulations without equipment, are not considered part of practice.

As for contact in practice, full contact and live action, can be no more than 1/2 the practice time during each week.

This was also a first reading item, and must undergo another reading to make it official.

State Indoor Track Qualifications:

The board passed on first reading, reducing the number of qualifiers from each school to various indoor track and field events at the state meet.

Currently the rule is 6 individuals per event and 8 in shot put, but the new plan is to cut the number to 4 and 6 respectively.

Also each school can only have one relay team, per relay event at the state meet.

This was a first reading item, and must undergo another reading to make it official. If it passes at the next meeting on November 4-5, it would be official for the 2015 State Indoor Track and Field Meet.

State 2A/1A Basketball and Region 9 Basketball Conflict:

This is not a decision by the board, but it was a topic of discussion.

Region 9 decided to move the dates of the Region 9 basketball tournaments, and if the Casper College men's basketball team ends up hosting that tournament in March 2015, there would be a bigger conflict than usual, with the 2A/1A state basketball tournament.

In past years, when the conflict came up, some of the state tournament games were moved to be played at Kelly Walsh High School. However, due to construction going on in and around campus, and because school will be in session, this alternative is unavailable for a few years. Natrona County has a new facility that has more seating than the original place, but there's still construction work going on there as well as school in session, so this alternative may not work either.

Once construction is completed, then use of gyms at Kelly Walsh and Natrona County High Schools could used with fewer problems to deal with, if any...but that's not going to happen for about another 2-to-4 years.

Which brings us back to the original problem, of if Casper College ends up hosting the Region 9 basketball tournament.

The WHSAA is considering moving some of the 2A/1A state basketball tournament games to nearby Glenrock.

Games at the Casper Events Center would not be affected, but another potential problem arises, if Glenrock is hosting the 3A East Regional Tournament.

If Casper College does not host the Region 9 basketball tournament, then this problem is avoided all together.

As for the 4A/3A state basketball tournaments, they would proceed as normal regardless of what happens, because there's no interference.

Sheridan County School District #1 Sports:

This pertains to Big Horn and Tongue River High Schools. Sheridan High School is part of Sheridan County School District #2, and Arvada-Clearmont is part of Sheridan County School District #3.

BH and TR is trying to put together a combined JV soccer program, for spring 2015.

In past years, anyone from these 2 schools has played for Sheridan.

Any athlete that played soccer for Sheridan in spring 2014, has a choice of either continuing with Sheridan, or join the BH/TR team, but once the choice is made, it can not be reversed, or else the athlete would have to abide by WHSAA transfer rules.

If a soccer athlete from BH or TR did not play for Sheridan in spring 2014, then they will play for the BH/TR team.

Meanwhile, BH and TR will also have a combined varsity cross country and Indoor Track  teams.

Athletes on these teams will be eligible to compete in state championship events.