At-Large Bid Proposal
The general set up of the current process would remain the same, teams would be assigned to a sectional site and grouping by the WIAA. However, there would be two(2) fewer sectionals per division. The top two teams at each sectional would qualify automatically to the state meet. The last four teams to qualify for each division would be come from the 3rd and 4th place teams at the sectionals. The four “additional” qualifiers would be selected from the 3rd and 4th place teams by a panel of coaches consisting of the WCCCA District Representatives. This panel would discuss the merits of each of these 16 teams in Division 1 and 12 teams in Division 2 and 3. The four “additional” qualifiers in each division would be announced on Sunday after sectional competition is completed.
One change that has been made to this proposal based on feedback at the clinic: If a team selected as an at large team and runners from that team were individual qualifiers, then next finishers from that sectional would also qualify so there would be six individual qualifiers from each sectional.
Sectional Equity: Team State Qualification
& Incomplete Teams Proposal
This proposal advocates the use of historical data to ensure that at least 75% of teams in all sectionals in all divisions shall be complete. This proposal advocates that the WIAA use two years of historical data. Teams that have not fielded a complete team at the WIAA sectional meet in consecutive years shall be defined as historically incomplete. Teams shall be assigned by geography to the nearest sectional, and each sectional shall have no more than 25% of its assigned teams as incomplete in the two preceding years. No sectional meet shall be composed of more than 25% historically incomplete teams.
Competitive Balance Proposal
At its annual meeting on April 26, 2023, the WIAA approved a competitive balance formula by a vote of 265-115. After the fall sports season, a total of 62 teams met the evaluation threshold by accumulating a total of six points over the past three competitive seasons dating back to the fall of 2021. Within the window to appeal the promotion to a higher division, a total of 24 programs filed appeals with the cooperation of their respective administrations. The Classification Committee reviewed and subsequently upheld one appeal while denying 23 appeals. The only appeal the Classification Committee upheld was concerning Wonewoc-Central volleyball, which only came on the heels of adding another division in volleyball. Programs whose appeals were denied received this notice on December 7, 2023. The Classification Committee provided no additional rationale to programs regarding the denial of the filed appeals.
We the undersigned believe that it is imperative that cross country be excluded from the competitive balance formula as it is not an equitable formula or practice as it relates specifically to the sport of cross country. We the undersigned believe cross country should be excluded from the Competitive Balance Plan. The new WIAA formula creates numerous inequities, divides programs within multiple schools, assigns points through a mechanism that punishes programs and student-athletes without proper consideration into the unique nature of cross country, and violates equal protection in several facets.