WIAA Reworks Bylaws in Wake of Fight over Messmer/Shorewood's Playoff Eligibility
State athletic association clarifies rule governing playoff eligibility of teams that left a conference without WIAA approval.
Following controversy over a WIAA rule and the Shorewood/Messmer football team's playoff eligibility in October, the state school athletic association changed the wording in its bylaws Wednesday to eliminate future confusion.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WIAA met Wednesday to discuss its playoff seeding, but also alter the bylaw governing the playoff eligibility of teams that leave a conference without WIAA approval.
The combined team also known as Messwood had initially been denied eligibility for the playoffs because it left the Woodland Conference in 2007 and WIAA rules state teams that do so are not eligible for the playoffs for four years.
Messmer/Shorewood officials argued they had followed the rules as they were written and should be deemed playoff eligible this year because the team had joined the Midwest Classic Conference in 2011 and finished with a record above .500.
But Messwood went to court to fight WIAA's ruling, and won a temporary judgment saying the WIAA must consider them for the playoffs.
Shorewood was knocked out in the first round by Milwaukee Riverside. It was the team's first trip to the playoffs in 30 years.