Sports

WIAA amendment will limit booster club involvement

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Last week brought several changes for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

The WIAA’s representative assembly, the governing body of high school athletics in the state, passed 13 of the 20 proposed amendments during its annual meeting at Emerald Downs in Auburn.

The most publicized amendment passed by the representative assembly Monday limits booster club involvement in high school sports.

The amendment requires local school boards to approve booster-club stipends over $500.

The WIAA representative assembly is a 53-person group of school district superintendents, principals and athletic directors.

The amendment, which passed 49-4, grew from a request by the Bellevue School Board to look at limiting booster clubs.

The board made the request after the school district learned the Bellevue High School football booster club was paying head football coach Butch Goncharoff a $60,000 stipend from its booster club fund in addition to the $5,600 stipend he earns from the school district. Bellevue has won five of the past six Class 3A state championships.

But the new amendment that will most likely have a bigger effect on the Federal Way School District is one that changes the classification of schools.

The new amendment will reclassify schools, based on enrollment, after a four-year period instead of every eight years. The WIAA hopes to promote a more equitable distribution of schools.

Before this school year, the WIAA reclassified several schools to put an equal number of teams in each of the six classifications.

The new rule reshaped the South Puget Sound League into three eight-team divisions, including a 3A division.

Originally, Federal Way, Todd Beamer and Decatur high schools were slated to be 3A schools, but the three schools were barely above the Class 3A enrollment and remained 4A schools. That could change when the schools are reclassified again in 2010.

Other notable amendments passed last week:

• A student who has enrolled in a different school and has been determined to be recruited will be deemed ineligible at all levels of play and for all sports for one full calendar year. The penalty will begin on the day the determination is made that the student has been recruited.

• A coach may have one organizational meeting with the incoming freshmen or sophomores at each middle or junior high school for students who are enrolled in the school whose attendance area is within the high school’s attendance area. The coach may also have one meeting with the squad prior to the opening day of practice.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com.

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