The WHSAA Changes Reclassification, State Wrestling, and Hires a New Associate Commissioner [VIDEO]
How the Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) handles reclassification is changing in 2024 for a two-year cycle.
That topic was the centerpiece of last week’s April Board Meeting for the WHSAA Board of Directors in Casper. Also, changes are coming to the state wrestling tournament. They’ve added a regional wrestling tournament for the girls’ division, and a new hire for Associate Commissioner was approved by the Board of Directors.
WyoPreps’ David Settle had an in-depth conversation with current WHSAA Associate Commissioner Trevor Wilson about those three topics to break down the changes for student-athletes and fans around Wyoming.
Wilson discussed the new way the state classifies schools for basketball, volleyball, track and field, and boys’ wrestling. There are hard breaks in the enrollment cut-offs for the first time. Instead of being based on the number of schools placed in a classification. I.E. – 16 in Class 4A, 16 in Class 3A, etc.
Here is the motion that passed on the final reading last week. It goes into effect for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years.
4A: Enrollment of 700 and above
3A: 210 – 699
2A: 110 – 209
1A: 109 and below
Based on ADM figures for enrollment, that would place only 15 in Class 4A. WyoPreps asked Wilson how that would impact regional tournaments for basketball and volleyball with an odd number of teams. Wilson explained that decision goes back to the schools. What they decide needs to be determined by the November Board Meeting so it is in place before the statewide scheduling meeting in mid-November 2023.
The culminating event for wrestling will be different next year. The WHSAA Board of Directors approved a three-day state wrestling tournament in Casper for February 2024. The schedule will be the same for boys and girls over the new three-day format. Wilson explained the impacts to wrestlers, how fewer mats will be used, and the timing will provide an opportunity for teams to get back home on Saturday. There will also be a new regional qualifying tournament at two locations, Riverton (west) and Torrington (east), for girls’ wrestling in the 2023-24 season.
With the first change in leadership at the WHSAA office since 2005, a new Associate Commissioner search was done, and it was announced last week that Cheyenne Central AD Chad Whitworth will fill the role held by Wilson, who is moving into the full-time Commissioner’s role on July 1, 2023. Wilson discussed how Whitworth became the choice for the new Associate Commissioner position.
Other Approved Changes & Discussions
There will be a new rotation for the state swimming and diving championships. Cheyenne East’s new facility will be added to the current rotation of Gillette and Laramie in the 2024-25 school year. Gillette will host girls in November 2023, while Laramie has the boys’ meet in February 2024. The new rotation will start with Cheyenne East hosting girls in November 2024, and Gillette hosting boys in February 2025. Then it will rotate to Laramie (girls) and Cheyenne East boys in 2025-26, and Gillette (girls) and Laramie (boys) in 2026-27.
The State Spirit Competition will be on Friday, January 26, 2024.
The WHSAA will continue NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) discussions at the Executive Council meeting this summer (July 10-11, 2023) to determine if a policy proposal should be brought out at the September District meetings.
Beau Garcia was elected as the 2023-24 President-Elect for the WHSAA Board of Directors.
Finally, before adjournment, the Board commemorated Commissioner Ron Laird’s 19 years of service with a plaque and announced the Board Room will now be called the Ron Laird Board Room.