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IHSA Board Votes To Add Second Class To Boys & Girls Tennis State Series in 2016-17

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met at its regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, where the Board voted to move to a two-class system in Boys & Girls Tennis beginning in the 2016-17 school year.

Prior to the vote, the Board reviewed the results of a survey that was completed by IHSA member school Official Representatives this fall. Of the 265 respondents to the survey, over 76 percent (203) supported adding a second class. The IHSA has 338 total member schools that currently field a tennis team, while the State Series entries in 2014-15 were 311 schools entering in girls’ tennis and 293 schools entering in boys’ tennis.

“The idea for adding a second class has gained momentum in the tennis community over the past year,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “Our membership provided valid reasons for and against expansion, which the Board weighed carefully, but ultimately the survey reinforced that our schools would like to see a second class added. The Board feels like this is a decision that positively impacts the student-athletes and the sport.”

The class enrollment break will be determined based on placing the smallest 50 percent of the participating schools in Class A and the remaining half in Class AA. Based on the 2014-15 entries, the classification cutoffs would have been 1378 for girls and 1427 for boys.

“This is great example of IHSA member schools using their voice to have an impact in the process,” said Hickman. “This concept was born out of a presentation from Chicago Christian Athletic Director Eric Brauer to the IHSA Board of Directors last year, which was followed by a by-law proposal that provided for additional discussion at the IHSA Town Hall meetings. The support at the various levels throughout the process led us to today’s decision.”

Under the new two-class format, the state final tournament will have the same total number of qualifiers (128) as it did in the one-class era, with 64 singles and doubles players qualifying in each class. Sectionals will also be split, with the 32 total Sectionals that existed in the one-class system becoming 16 Class A Sectionals and 16 Class AA Sectionals.


ACTION ITEMS
1. The Board conducted its annual election of officers, with the following results:
President: Dan Klett, Wauconda High School
Vice-President: Scott Adreon, Maroa-Forsyth High School
Secretary: Tim McConnell, Erie High School

2. The Board approved a recommendation to appoint the following individual to fill the vacancies on the Legislative Commission:
At-Large Division 7: Jennifer Haertling, Steeleville

3. The Board approved a recommendation to form an ad hoc committee to review IHSA Policies and Procedures to be chaired by Board members Bob Nolting (Andrew) and Peter Groom (Fenwick). The committee members will be selected later this fall and begin meeting in 2016.

4. The Board approved the Program for International Students at West Chicago (Wheaton Academy).


ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
Minutes from all Advisory Committees can be viewed by clicking here.

1. The Board approved the consent items from the Advisory Committees in the following sports & activities: Girls Badminton, Baseball, Softball, Track & Field, Water Polo, Bass Fishing, Athletic Administrators, Athletes with Disabilities and News Media.

Consent items are recommendations that received approval from the sport/activity advisory committee, the Athletic Administrators Advisory Committee and the IHSA staff. Consent items can be viewed by clicking here.

Some consent items of note include:

Track & Field
1. State final qualifying standards for the 2016 school year.

Water Polo
1. Mercy rule eliminated from State Series to become consistent with the regular-season.

Non-consent items that were approved by the Board were as follows:
Track & Field
1. Use of the International starting line (waterfall starting line) during the IHSA State Series for the 1600- and 3200-meter run.

Bass Fishing
1. The fourth place boat from each Sectional will be the alternate qualifier if one of the three advancing boats cannot participate at the state finals for any reason.

2. On the day of competition at either the Sectional or State Final tournaments, schools will be limited to putting into the water the number of boats entered, or, in the case of the State Finals, the number of boats the school qualified. No additional boats containing coaches or other competitors from a school can be put into the water.


APPEALS & ELIGIBILITY RULINGS
1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Decatur (Lutheran). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.043.3 and its sub-sections.


DISCUSSION ITEMS
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 October 14, 2015, agenda:

1. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the October NFHS Section IV Meeting that was held in Iowa on September 17-18.

2. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) meeting held October 5-6 in Wisconsin.

3. The Board heard a report from Executive Director-Elect Craig Anderson on the New Principals Workshop that was held at the IHSA office on October 7.

4. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the October NFHS Board of Directors meeting that was held in Indianapolis on October 11-12.

5. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the by-law proposals that have been submitted for the upcoming legislative process.

6. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the upcoming IADA Division Meetings. The IHSA will have a staff member at each meeting, which are scheduled on the following dates:
Division 1 – Oct. 15 - 9:00 a.m. – De La Salle High School
Division 7 – Oct. 20 - 9:00 a.m. - Governors Run Golf Course, Carlyle
Division 6 – Oct. 21 - 10:00 a.m. - Pekin High School
Division 4 – Oct. 27 - 9:00 a.m. - Sterling High School
Division 5 – Oct. 28 - 9:00 a.m. - BSN Sports, Rantoul
Division 2 – Oct. 29 - 9:00 a.m. - Forest View Educational Center
Division 3 – Oct. 29 - 1:00 p.m. - Homewood-Flossmoor High School

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