The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors approved a recommendation to delay the start of the Boys and Girls Lacrosse State Series until the 2011-12 school year, at the earliest, at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 10, 2011.
In October 2009, the IHSA Board approved the start of a Boys and Girls Lacrosse State Series as early as the spring of 2011, contingent upon 65 boys teams and 40 girls teams entering into the state tournament. That number was based upon the 65 and 40 teams, respectively, that had registered on the IHSA Emerging Sports List, which is the official number used by the IHSA Board when considering adding a new sport or activity, at the time of the meeting in 2009. The Board generally considers adding a new sport or activity when close to 10 percent of the member schools are participating in it.
“This decision won’t come as surprise to most of our membership,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “We had a thin margin of error to reach the benchmark of 65 teams and we had been preparing folks behind the scenes that this result was likely. Several schools who had anticipated being able to start lacrosse programs a year ago, simply could not today given the financial situations in their districts. We could have waited until the February 1 spring sport deadline to reach this decision, but felt like it was better to end the speculation and allow everyone to begin preparing for the spring accordingly.”
Since last October, the number of boys teams who registered on the Emerging Sports List has grown to 68 teams and the girls list to 42 teams. However, as of today (January 10), only 47 boys teams and 33 girls teams are entered to participate in the state tournament, respectively. The IHSA has received confirmations from 14 schools on the Emerging Sports List who would not be able to enter into the State Series this season, making the team benchmarks impossible to reach.
“This decision does not change the IHSA’s plan to go forward with a boys and girls lacrosse state series, it just delays it,” added Hickman. “This is actually probably a good thing for the long-term health and growth of the sport, which is the exact reason the Board placed parameters on the number of teams needed to begin a state series. Our biggest fear would be that we forced things through and tried to start before our schools were ready.”
Schools are encouraged to once again sign the Emerging Sports List in preparation for participation this spring and next season.
- The Board approved a recommendation to a change the Girls Gymnastics Terms & Conditions (VI. F. 3b - Tournament Structure and Time Schedules – Time Schedules-State Final Meet – Preliminaries) that will move the start time at the state final meet for Friday’s preliminaries to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday’s final round to 5:30 p.m.
At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the January 10, 2011, agenda:
- The Board met with Maine South Principal Shawn Messmer, Athletic Director Steve Adams, Assistant Athletic Director Jaret Kirshner and head football coach David Inserra to discuss incidents involving counterfeit passes and other sideline issues at the 2010 Football State Finals.
IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman:
“We appreciate the cooperation of Maine South and its administration since these incidents occurred. They were genuinely sorry and recognized that these negatives have overshadowed the great positive they achieved in winning a state title. They also provided a well thought out plan to prevent these types of abuses from occurring in the future. I will complete additional follow-up with the school on some questions raised by our Board in the coming days and then review all the applicable information before making a ruling on an appropriate penalty. I intend to have that ruling to the school later this week and will have no further comment until Maine South receives that ruling and I have the opportunity to discuss it with them.”
- The Board discussed coaches attending non-school team practices.
- The Board heard a report from IHSA Coordinator of Special Programs Tracie Brown on this year’s Wheelchair Basketball event held in conjunction with the Class 1A/2A Boys Basketball State Finals at the Peoria Civic Center.
- The Board heard a report from Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson on the IHSA Bass Fishing Tournament.
- The Board heard a report from Assistant Executive Director Ron McGraw on the possibility of holding wheelchair events at the IHSA Track & Field State Finals.
- The Board heard a report from Associate Director Kurt Gibson on the IHSA’s partnership with Country Financial.
- The following schools have been suspended from IHSA membership for not attending IHSA Principals Rules Meetings for two consecutive years: Carrier Mills (C.M.-Stonefort), Chicago (Academy of Scholastic Achievement), Chicago (Austin Business and Entrepreneurship), Chicago (Best Practice), Chicago (Bowen), Chicago (Curie), Chicago (Dunbar), Chicago (Farragut), Chicago (Fenger), Chicago (Henry Ford Power House Charter), Chicago (Hyde Park), Chicago (Juarez), Chicago (Julian), Chicago (Las Casas), Chicago (Little Village), Chicago (Manley), Chicago (North Lawndale), Chicago (Orr), Chicago (Prosser), Chicago (Senn), Chicago (St. Gregory), Chicago (Tilden), Chicago (UCCS-Woodlawn), Chicago (Westinghouse College Prep), Dongola, Elkville (Elverado), Lanark (Eastland), Normal (Calvary Christian), Plainfield (Christ Lutheran Academy), Rockford (Christian Life), Rockford (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart), Valmeyer, Waukegan (St. Martin de Porres).
All schools have been invited to a make-up meeting at the IHSA office on January 12. Failure to attend this meeting will result in suspension from IHSA State Series sports and activities.
- The Board heard a report from Associate Director Kurt Gibson on the IHSA Drug Testing Program.
- The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the NFHS Winter Meeting.
- The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the 2010 Town Meetings/Principals Rules Meetings and A.D. Division Meetings.