On May 24, Platteville beat Dodgeville 10–5 in a softball regional quarterfinal game.
But Dodgeville, not Platteville, advanced to play Prairie du Chien in the regional semifinal, because Platteville was forced to forfeit the game because the Hillmen played an ineligible player, as defined by Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.
The player had been suspended under Platteville High School’s activities code, but had appealed her suspension. Under the code, players who appealed their suspensions remained eligible until the appeal was decided.
WIAA rules, however, specify that players who are suspended under their school’s athletics or activities code are not eligible to compete during appeals.
The Platteville School Board voted Monday night to change its activities code to reflect the WIAA’s rules.
“We need to change the policy” to adhere to WIAA rules, said PHS activities director Alan Minter.
The school board’s vote also changed the activities code’s definition of when two “moderate” violations constitute a “major” violation of the code.
Previously, the code said that “violations accumulate through the high school experience.” The board’s vote changed the policy to set a nine-week suspension for a major violation, or two moderate violations within one calendar year of each other.
“Basically, they’re on probation for a year” after the first moderate violation, said Minter.
School board member Eric Fatzinger voted against the change, citing the change in alcohol incidents from a level four offense to a level three offense.
The changes the board voted on are not likely to be the last changes to the high school’s activities code. Minter and Principal Jeff Jacobson are working on other changes to the activities code with the high school’s activity code committee.
“Our code blends athletics and activities together,” said Jacobson. “And blending a number of weeks of forensics or the school play — the language doesn’t match” with athletics suspensions.
One possible change could be with the nine-week suspension, which matches one quarter of the school year.
“There’s a huge difference between missing nine weeks of the football season and nine weeks of the basketball season,” said district superintendent Connie Valenza.
“Most schools are on a percentage basis, and we are going to be looking at something like that in the code,” said Minter.
Jacobson said most school districts have separate codes for athletics and other cocurricular activities.