Saturday, July 17, 2010

WIAA Passes Bad Idea This Time

A couple weeks ago, we noted that the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association was on the verge of putting a bad idea in as a new statewide rule.

The state's governing body for high school sports tried to push a bad idea on its member schools last year, but they were unsuccessful.

This time, the WIAA got its wish. It's board approved a proposed change to the football calendar, one that will start the regular season one week earlier than usual. Instead of starting the last Friday in August, teams will play Week 1 in the middle of the month.

It means teams in Wisconsin will have three games played before school even starts, and it has a lot of other bad parts to it.
  • Coaches who are already not making nearly enough money for the work they put in will have to start their practices five days earlier than usual, meaning that much more work during what should be summer vacation. This is along with recent changes that allowed for organized team workouts for a period during the summer months.
  • Teams will have to play in what is typically very warm weather -- at least by Wisconsin standards. Many times, games played early in the season are stopped for mandatory water breaks. Now, this will happen more often, slowing the pace of games and putting more players at risk for heat-related problems, whether it be in practices or games.
The basis for the move is somewhat understandable, as the schedule had teams playing three games in ten days should they advance to the second round of the Wisconsin playoffs. Instead of pushing the season back a week, and sending championship football teams more into an overlap with winter sports practice schedules, the board chose to possibly inconvenience football coaches a bit by having them start their season earlier.

Of course, as we noted when we first brought you this story, the state's coaches seemed split over whether the "three games in ten days" issue was really a problem to begin with.

Now, we'll see how they like starting earlier, and if it's worth a little less strain on the athletes in the late fall to make this switch with the calendar.

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