WHSAA Fall #1 2016 Board Of Directors Meeting Results
Future formats of reclassification, Buffalo's football request, Regional Wrestling, a new event for track and field, and Soccer Clock-Keeping were some of the issues discussed at the first Fall 2016 meeting of the Wyoming High School Activities Association Board of Directors.
Reclassification format: Currently in volleyball, basketball, and track and field, the top 12 schools with the most enrollment are placed in Class 4A, the next 16 in 3A, the next 20 in 2A and the rest in 1A. A number of proposals were up for discussion for the next 2-year reclassification cycle, that starts in August 2018. The Board decided to lean towards the idea of a 16-16-16-rest format, but the idea has to go back to the 4 district meetings for discussion, before any further action can be done. The main reason for this format is to try to have more regionalized scheduling, so that travel costs can be reduced, and less missed school time compared to the current format. Under current 2-year enrollment numbers for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years, Thunder Basin, Riverton, Cody and Star Valley would move up to 4A, Lyman, Lovell, Moorcroft and Big Piney would move up to 3A, and Upton would drop back down to 1A. Enrollment numbers for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, which would be the next reclassification cycle, probably won't be available until around September 2017. The numbers are generated by school principals, who then submit them to the Wyoming Department of Education. The WHSAA puts together the reclassification format, off of those numbers.
Football - Buffalo stays in 3A for 2017: With Thunder Basin HS coming into the picture starting in August 2017, the WHSAA BOD decided to keep the 2017 football format similar to the 2016 format (top 10 enrolled schools in 4A, next 12 in 3A, next 14 in 2A, next 14 in 1A, and the rest in 6-Man. Lingle-Ft. Laramie and Riverside are supposed to be in 1A, but opted down to 6-man, and Cokeville is supposed to be in 6-Man, but opted up to 1A. Upton and Sundance united to form 1 team). The original plan was to have Thunder Basin join 4A, bump Evanston down to 3A, bump Buffalo down to 2A, bump Big Horn down to 1A, and Lingle-Ft. Laramie would be playoff eligible in 6-Man. The reason for Evanston, Buffalo, Big Horn and Lingle-Ft. Laramie was because they are the schools that are on the cut-off line, between one class and another. Buffalo requested to opt up and stay in 3A. The WHSAA BOD tabled the request at the Spring 2016 meeting and recently approved it. What this means for the 2017 football season, is that there will be 13 teams each in 3A, 2A, and 1A (4A and 6-Man are unchanged). Evanston will join 3A to be the 13th team, 2A loses Big Horn and drops to 13 teams, and 1A gains Big Horn. As far as what which teams are in which conference, that's up to the coaches and AD's to decide.
With Buffalo football's request to stay in 3A granted, why wasn't Big Horn moved back up to 2A for 2017? Buffalo made a request to opt up and Big Horn didn't. The issue about teams being bumped down a class because of Thunder Basin, was first discussed not long before the April 2016 WHSAA BOD meeting. Wyoming-football.com reports that Evanston, Big Horn, and Lingle-Ft. Laramie will accept what has been set by the WHSAA BOD. Schools have the option to opt up or opt down a class in various sports, however, opting down make them ineligible for the post-season.
So what happens with football in 2018?: Too early to tell right now. Probably won't know until around September 2017.
Regional Wrestling: The WHSAA BOD on first reading, passed a proposal that would make the regional wrestling tournaments a 1-day event instead of 2. This proposal must undergo another reading to become official.
Wrestling Seeding: The BOD defeated a proposal in seeding criteria, that would have made step 3, the best overall record (rule 7.16.71)
Basketball Season: The BOD defeated a proposal in which teams could participate in no more than 2 3-day tournaments, where school would be missed. If a 3-day tournament is held during the Holiday break, it would not count towards the 3-day tournament limit.
Skiing, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Golf, Tennis, Cross County and Swimming Seasons: In each of these sports, there is a limit on the number of contest days an athlete can participate in, including regional and/or state meets. On first reading, the BOD passed a proposal that would make it so that regional and state meets, would not count towards the maximum number of contest days, that an athlete can participate in. This proposal does not lengthen when the season starts and ends. This proposal must undergo another reading to become official.
Track and Field Sprint Medley Relays: The BOD passed on first reading a proposal that would add a sprint medley relay event (200, 200, 400, and 800) to both indoor and outdoor track and field. This proposal must undergo another reading to become official.
4A Soccer Clocks: The BOD passed on first reading, a proposal that in 4A varsity soccer games, when a scoreboard is on-site and available, the official time for the game will be kept on the clock, rather than by the referee. The ref would notify the clock operator when to start/stop the clock. It has not been determined if this rule would be issued in games between 4A teams vs. 3A teams. The rationale behind the idea is that 4A Coaches feel like the change would provide consistency and objectivity at the end of matches. The change would take away uncertainty regarding how much time is left at the end of matches. This is a process used by college soccer. This proposal must undergo another reading to become official.