WIAA Board Approves Basketball Shot Clock, Two Divisions in Boys Hockey Published on 06/23/2017 under Sports STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and approved a number of committee recommendations impacting winter sports, gave initial review and consideration of a newly conceived divisional placement plan for basketball, and engaged in robust membership-related discussions at its June meeting today.


Following a lengthy discussion, the Board voted to implement the use of a 35-second shot clock in basketball for varsity games only to begin with the 2019-20 season.


In other basketball-related action, coaches qualifying for the Sate Tournament will determine the seeds for the four qualifying teams in each of the five divisions with a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association representative breaking any ties that may occur beginning in 2017-18.


Three other basketball recommendations received approval from the Board. If schools choose to play only one half of a junior varsity game and a full varsity game, players will be allowed to play in only two halves. Also approved was extending the coaching box to 28 feet from 14 feet for all levels. In addition, the number of players per team allowed to dress during the Tournament Series will increase to 18 while maintaining the maximum party limit of 22.


The Board also voted to convene the basketball coaches advisory committee following the 2017 Area Meetings to discuss the merits of a newly created basketball tournament placement model. Details of the plan will be shared and discussed at the Area Meetings and at each level of the committee process to be presented to the Board at its Jan. 31, 2018 meeting. General details of the plan is provided below.


The Board supported an amended recommendation for a two-year experiment on sponsoring two divisions in boys hockey beginning with the 2020 State Tournament. The tournament format will feature four teams in Division 1 and four in Division 2 with the smallest 32 programs by enrollment assigned to Division 2.


Another action item in hockey was the approval of the procedure for seeding the State Tournament. The WIAA will conduct a conference call with coaches of qualifying teams to determine the top four seeds, and the remaining four teams will be randomly drawn as opponents of the seeded teams in the brackets. The guidelines for seeding will replicate those for the regional and sectional levels.

Beginning next season, the State Tournament in team wrestling will also be seeded by coaches of qualifying teams. The process will replicate the procedure approved in boys hockey. Another wrestling recommendation approved for 2017-18 increases the total number of medals awarded to 28 at the State Team Tournament, which equals the number of eligible athletes. In other wrestling-related discussions, the Board was informed of a change in the Feb. 1, one-pound growth allowance to take effect on the date of the first regional competition.

The lone gymnastics coaches' recommendation received approval. It requires the final average score of a routine to be posted during meets throughout the season.

The Board also ratified spring cooperative programs for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, general fund financial statements and payments and a spending resolution during development of the 2017-18 operational budget.

Among the additional discussions were a review of the 2017 spring State Tournaments, updates on Assembly Bill 260/Senate Bill 232, the 2017 New Athletic Director Workshop, possible 2017 Area Meeting topics, and potential Constitution items for the 2018 Annual Meeting.

The Board also received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Peggy Seegers-Braun of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 41 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.


In Other News

Tomahawk Staff, Students 'Walk In' for School Safety
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Sustainability Northwoods Hosting Earth Day Fair Sunday at Nicolet
Published on 04/20/2018 under News From renewable home energy to green funerals, sustainability will be the topic this weekend in Rhinelander. Sustainability Northwoods will be hosting their eighth annual Earth Day Fair. Organizers have more than 30 exhibitors planned for Sundays event at Nicolet College. The theme of the 2018 Fair is "Sustainability Where You'd Least Expect to Find It." They'll feature booths, demonstrations, student experiments and locally produced organic foods. The event coincides with Earth Day, on Sunday, from 11-3pm in the Lakeside Center at Nicolet.
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Merrill School District Adds Make up Date After Numerous Weather Cancellations
Published on 04/20/2018 under News One lingering effect of the extended winter, some area school districts are dealing with making up missed classroom time. While districts typically arrange time for a few cancellations, this year saw some schools surpassed those built-in dates. The Merrill School District is in that situation. They announced yesterday that they have scheduled that make up day for next Friday. April 27th was originally scheduled as a staff development day; the staff will make up the day after the school year. They also noted any additional cancellations would require additional make-ups. The decisions were made at their school board meeting earlier this week.
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Northwoods High School Students Compete at Nicolet College
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Hatchet Baseball and Softball Teams Head South for Games
Published on 04/20/2018 under Sports The Hatchet Softball Team will travel to Monroe on Saturday for a tournament, with games beginning at 9:00 am. The Hatchet Baseball Teams are also heading south, heading to Brodhead High School to play a pair of games.  Tomahawk will play Wausau East at 1:00 pm and Antigo at 3:00 pm. These will be Tomahawk's first games of the season.
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Local Groups Share in Broadband Grants
Published on 04/19/2018 under News Several Northwoods Groups were among those awarded preliminary Broadband Expansion Grants to help improve high-speed internet access, particularly in rural areas. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin announced 46 grants across the state of Wisconsin. The grants total $7.68 million and will be combined with nearly $20 million in matching funds from the recipients. Among those receiving grants: ChoiceTel, LLC - $150,226. This project proposes to build a fiber route between Eagle River and St. Germain, connecting the elementary school in St Germain to main campus of the Northland Pines School District.  The route will also pass 235 homes and businesses located between Highway G and St Germain. Oneida County Economic Development Corporation - $100,000. This project will deploy a fixed wireless service on 6 towers in unserved and underserved areas of Oneida County (locations to be determined by Oneida County EDC). Price County Telephone Company - $250,292. Price County Telephone Co. will extend its existing fiber network, with dedicated backbone, distribution, feeder and drop fiber to approximately 173 properties on the west side of Solberg Lake in the Town of Worcester. SonicNet, Inc. - $51,913. This project will build and equip four towers to provide a fixed wireless service in the vicinity of Plum Lake in Vilas County. Also included in the grants, funding for 3 pilot programs to test TV White Space, which we have previously covered. That is the use of the frequencies located between aerial TV signals. Statewide, they hope this improves access to some 1,600 business locations and 18,000 residential locations. Another round of grants will be awarded this summer.
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Lincoln County Health Assessment Available for Review, Feedback
Published on 04/19/2018 under News The Lincoln County Health Department is working with Healthy People Lincoln County on their Community Health Assessment plan. The report makes up a year-long process of reviewing and analyzing comprehensive data on health issues and needs of Lincoln County Residents. As part of the process, they are once again presenting a Community Health Assessment. Challenges have been identified as: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Mental Health, Oral (Dental) Health, and Nutrition and Healthy Foods.  The assessment is available on the Lincoln County Health Department Website. They are accepting feedback on the Assessment through the end of the month. For your convenience a feedback form is available.
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Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Delays Trail, Campground Openings
Published on 04/19/2018 under News The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest announced that they will be delaying the opening of recreation trails and campgrounds due to the extended winter season. Access to these trails and campgrounds for preparations has been delayed due to lingering heavy snow pack. Crews typically spend April preparing ATV, UTV, horse and bicycle trails for a May 1 opening and a May 3 opening for the campgrounds. They haven't been able to get that work done at this time. Tim Vetter, the Acting Lands and Recreation Program Manager says, "We recognize this is an issue for visitors and we are working to get campgrounds and trails open as soon as possible." He says they will reassess the areas in about two weeks.
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Lincoln County Deer Advisory Council to Finalize Quota Recommendations
Published on 04/19/2018 under News Counties yet to make their final deer season recommendations, will finalize those decisions this evening. Over the past week, County Deer Advisory Councils have been meeting to make final recommendations on antlerless deer quotas and tag recommendations. It wraps up a process that began in February. The Lincoln County Deer Advisory Council is one of those meeting today. At their meeting in March, their preliminary recommendation was 1,800 public land antlerless tags and 7,200 private land tags. That's to reach the quota of 3,150. After considering online and public feedback, the board will forward recommendations to the Natural Resources Board to set the numbers at their May meeting. Tonight's meeting will be at the Lincoln County Sports Club on Schultz Spur Road, set to begin at 7pm.
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Update: Lincoln County Board Recap
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