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IHSA Boys & Girls Lacrosse State Series to Begin in Spring of 2018

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The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, where the Board announced that the IHSA will debut its Boys Lacrosse State Series and Girls Lacrosse State Series in the spring of 2018.

“The addition of lacrosse builds on the IHSA mission of offering a wide range of participation opportunities for high school students in Illinois,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “The IHSA Board has been extremely diligent in evaluating lacrosse’s status as an IHSA sport over the past seven years, and based on the continued growth, felt the time was right to begin in the spring of 2018.”

The IHSA Board initially approved the start of a State Series in both Boy and Girls Lacrosse at their meeting in October 2009, contingent upon 65 schools simultaneously entering the Boys Lacrosse State Series and 40 schools entering the Girls Lacrosse State Series. The entries were reviewed each January, but both thresholds were never reached. In 2015, 42 schools entered the girls’ tournament, but the boys’ entries came up short of 65. The benchmarks were not met this past January, but have since grown to 83 boys’ entries and 59 girls’ entries.

“The number of participating schools and students has continued to grow,” said IHSA Board President and Wauconda High School Principal Dan Klett. “The Board is confident that there will be healthy participation numbers in 2018, which made us comfortable moving beyond the threshold numbers (65 and 40) from 2009 and simply establishing a start date for 2018. This is an important day for the IHSA and a decision we believe will spur growth in high school lacrosse throughout the state.”

The IHSA Boys & Girls Lacrosse State Finals are tentatively set to occur annually during Week 47 of the IHSA standardized calendar, which would slate the inaugural state finals to take place on Friday and Saturday, May 25-26, 2018. The tentative schedule would include boys’ and girls’ semifinals on Friday and third-place/state championships on Saturday.

“We heard from many schools on the importance of establishing a starting day,” said Anderson. “Now that our membership knows definitively that the IHSA lacrosse state series is happening in 2018, it allows them time to better integrate, budget, and build their programs. Subsequently, it allows us time to focus on taking the internal steps necessary to facilitate the tournament, as well as to recruit more officials, and determine a state final host site.”

The IHSA, which currently offers 14 Boys Sports and 15 Girls Sports, will offer a State Series in 31 total sports for high school students in Illinois in 2018, in addition to State Series’ in eight activities.

“The IHSA prides itself on providing comprehensive sport and activity options for students, and we are excited to have the lacrosse state tournaments join that offering,” said Anderson. “Kudos to the Illinois High School Lacrosse Association (IHSLA) and Illinois High School Women’s Lacrosse Association (IHSWLA), as well as the many many high school coaches and administrators who have carried the banner for lacrosse throughout the years. Not only have they helped grow high school lacrosse in Illinois, but they have been great advocates of the sport and resources for the IHSA throughout this process.”

The last sport added by the IHSA prior to lacrosse was competitive dance, which debuted in 2013. The Board will announce information on state final hosting bids in the coming months.


ACTION ITEMS
1. The Board approved a recommendation to extend the IHSA Bass Fishing State Final hosting contract at Carlyle Lake with the City of Carlyle for five years, from 2017 to 2021.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“Carlyle has been onboard with our vision for this tournament from the very beginning and helped bring it to fruition. Not only is Carlyle Lake a beautiful body of water that fits our tournament well, but it is also one that has been both competitive and rewarding to our fisherman throughout the years. Everyone from the local high school, to the City of Carlyle, to the Army Corps of Engineers who oversee the lake have been phenomenal to work with. All of these groups and many other committed volunteers put a great deal of pride into hosting a first-class event for our coaches and competitors. We are pleased to keep the first high school association bass fishing tournament in the country at its original venue through at least 2021.”

2. The Board approved a recommendation to grant authority to the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to review and approve recommended programs wanting to provide concussion education/training per the terms of the Sports Concussion Safety Act.

3. The Board approved a recommendation to move the start times for the quarterfinal matches of the 2016 IHSA Boys Volleyball State Finals back one hour to accommodate a morning event at tournament host Hoffman Estates High School. The schedule for Friday, June 3, 2016 will now be as follows:
Quarterfinal Match 1: 2:00 p.m.
Quarterfinal Match 2: approximately 3:00 p.m.
Quarterfinal Match 3: 5:00 p.m.
Quarterfinal Match 4: approximately 6:00 p.m.

4. The Board approved a recommendation to reemploy the Associate Executive Director, Assistant Executive Directors and Executive Assistant.

5. The Board approved a recommendation to authorize the Executive Director to appoint member school Athletic Directors to serve as Tellers for IHSA Nominations, Elections and Proposals during the 2016-17 school year.


APPEALS & ELIGIBILITY RULINGS
1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Chicago (St. Rita). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.047.

2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Quincy (Sr.). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.022.


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 April 19, 2016, agenda:

1. The Executive Director and Associate Director provided a report on a Safety in Sport meeting held in Indianapolis in March by the Korey Stringer Institute and other national constituents.

2. The Board discussed the IHSA’s open Coordinator of Special Programs position. Kayode Adegoke, who served as the IHSA Coordinator of Special Programs from 2013 through 2016 recently concluded his tenure in the position after accepting a new job in Chicago.

3. The Board recognized IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson for being named the IWCOA Man of the Year. He was recognized as a part of their annual banquet in April.

4. The Board discussed the two-class tennis system and intends to forward any concerns on the tournament structure to the IHSA Tennis Advisory Committee.

5. The Board heard an update on the 2016 Dr. Marty Hickman IHSAF Golf Outing, scheduled to be held at The Den at Fox Creek on Tuesday, June 14. Click here for more details.


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