Starting next school year, high school athletic teams will be allowed to play one extra game each season, if the school is willing to pay.
The WIAA Executive Board has authorized the addition of a WIAA Foundation Game, which allows teams in certain sports to play one more game above the allowable limit during the regular season.
The games will initially be limited to varsity teams only and be played during the regular season the sports of basketball, volleyball, soccer (boys and girls), softball (slowpitch and fastpitch) and baseball.
Teams wanting to play a Foundation Game will have to pay a fee to the WIAA and incur any expenses for the event. Schools will be able to keep all revenue from ticket sales and concessions.
“This is really a win-win for the WIAA and the member schools, using a very similar model to what other State Associations have had in place for quite some time,” said Mick Hoffman, WIAA executive director. “Coaches and players will have the flexibility to schedule and play in an extra contest while proceeds from the rights fees will help fund Association costs that directly support student-athletes.”
The WIAA said the decision to offer Foundation Games was made in lieu of potential budget cuts.
The “rights” fees paid to the WIAA for Foundation games will vary depending on sport and school classification.
The fees will be $50 per school for baseball and softball (slowpitch or fastpitch), range from $50-$100 for volleyball and soccer (boys and girls) and range from $175-$225 for basketball (boys and girls).
Schools will be required to sign up for a Foundation Game prior to the start of the season.
The WIAA is working to form a Foundation, which will allow the WIAA and its member schools to engage a wider range of donors for increased financial stability.
Initially, the rights fees will help offset WIAA budgets with the hopes that the money will eventually go to help fund Foundation efforts like grants, scholarships and insurance costs.