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IHSA Board Announces Three State Final Contracts, Approves Heat Safety Policy

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The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Monday, June 13, 2016, where the Board announced action related to three state final hosting sites, including extending a pair of state final contracts.

The IHSA Class 1A Boys Soccer State Finals will have a new home in 2017 (through 2021), as East Peoria High School will host the semifinals and finals at their stadium within the Eastside Centre in East Peoria on Cornie Clatt Field. East Peoria High School has hosted the IHSA Softball State Finals at its adjacent fields within Eastside Centre since 2001.

“We are excited to begin a new chapter of state soccer at a venue and in a host community that the IHSA has enjoyed a storied partnership with,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “East Peoria High School’s stadium and Cornie Clatt Field have undergone extensive renovations recently that will make for a top-notch state final venue and experience. Working with veteran hosts like EPHS and the Eastside Centre only makes us more confident in this decision.”

The Normal Cornbelters Professional Baseball team hosted the event the past five seasons at their ballpark, The Corn Crib in Normal.

“This decision is by no means a negative reflection on The Corn Crib, the Corn Belters or our great partners throughout the Bloomington-Normal community,” said Anderson. “Ultimately, the feedback from the high school soccer community was they would like to see this tournament return to a more traditional soccer facility. We appreciate the time, effort and resources they extended for this tournament the past five years.”

The two venues that were extended were the Class 3A and Class 4A Baseball State Finals at Silver Cross Field in Joliet (above) and the Dual Team Wrestling State Finals at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. Both extensions cover five years and run from 2017 through 2021.

Silver Cross Field has hosted the finals since 2007, in conjunction with the Joliet Slammers Professional Baseball Team and Joliet Township’s Central High School and West High School. The IHSA also received hosting bids from the Schaumburg Boomers, Kane County Cougars and Bloomington Cornbelters.

“Silver Cross Field is a great venue for championship high school baseball in Illinois,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “The surrounding community has really come out to support the tournament and teams throughout the years. There is no doubt that all of the venues who submitted bids have first-class facilities that would have done great jobs as hosts, but we feel like we have a good thing going with Silver Cross Field, the Joliet Slammers and Joliet Township, and are proud to return.”

The IHSA Dual Team Wrestling State Finals at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington were also extended. The event is also hosted by Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission.

“The events we host at U.S. Cellular Coliseum continue to be exceptional experiences for our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” said Anderson. “Additionally, there is great community support from the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission, who work to make these events memorable. We look forward to continuing that tradition.”

ACTION ITEMS
1. The Board approved a recommendation from the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to implement Specific Guidelines for Managing Heat and Heat Illness. The guidelines will be in place for all State Series contests and all member schools are encouraged to adopt the guidelines for regular-season contests. The IHSA is preparing additional information that will be released on its website and sent to member schools by early next week.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“This is a policy that our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has been working on for several years. It will take some time and resources to get our schools up-to-speed on these new heat guidelines, but it is for the safety of our student-athletes, so we know that they will embrace the concept.”


2. The Board approved a recommendation from the IHSA’s Financial Ad Hoc Committee to increase State Series ticket prices by $1 dollar (per game/session/day) at the Regional level in Baseball, Boys & Girls Basketball, Girls Gymnastics, Boys & Girls Soccer, Softball, Boys & Girls Volleyball and Individual Wrestling.

3. The Board approved a recommendation from the IHSA’s Financial Ad Hoc Committee to increase the financial value of State Series host guarantees for host schools in all IHSA sports.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“The changes to the ticket prices and host guarantee values are the result of recommendations created by an ad hoc committee consisting of IHSA member schools principals and athletic directors from around the state. A great deal of discussion and diligence goes into any financial change the IHSA considers. Despite the ticket cost increase, we still believe we offer fans an incredibly affordable option to watch their teams compete. More importantly, it allows us to return an additional $150,000-plus dollars to our member schools who host postseason events. The increases will vary by sport and level, but we know every dollar counts for our schools given the current economic situation in the state. Athletic Directors have expressed concerns to us specifically in cross country and track & field, which have become cost prohibitive as automated timing systems have become mandatory. We are glad to be able to address those concerns by significantly increasing host guarantees in those sports, while also returning more money to schools hosting in the other sports.”

4. The Board approved a recommendation to raise the ticket cost for the IHSA Girls Badminton State Finals from $5 to $6.

5. The Board approved the by-law interpretations for illustration #273 related to by-law changes regarding to the Scholastic Bowl season limitation voted on by the membership in January, as well as edits to illustrations 275-289 related to Dance and Cheerleading by-law changes. Click here for new illustrations.

6. The Board approved a recommendation to authorize the enrollment classification cutoffs for all of the IHSA’s sports and activities for the 2016-17 school year.

The cutoffs and school-by-school class listings will be posted on Wednesday, June 15 and can be viewed by clicking here.

7. The Board approved a recommendation to add a Copyright Policy to the IHSA Cheerleading and Dance Terms & Conditions that states the following: “The Association (IHSA) assumes no responsibility for the payment of copyright, royalty, or any other fees connected to the performances of any material in the cheer/dance competitive series.”

8. The Board approved a recommendation to change the 2017 IHSA Music Organization Contest dates from April 14-15 to April 21-22, 2017 to avoid contesting it over the holiday weekend.

9. The Board approved a recommendation to form an ad hoc committee to review the IHSA classification process. The ad hoc committee will be selected in and begin meeting in the 2016-17 school year.


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: Boys & Girls Basketball, Boys & Girls Bowling, Competitive Cheerleading, Competitive Dance, Boys & Girls Gymnastics, Boys & Girls Soccer, Boys & Girls Swimming & Diving, Wrestling, Athletes with Disabilities, Chess, Journalism, Music/Solo Ensemble, Music Organization, Athletic Officials, Scholastic Bowl, Speech-Debate, Speech-Individual Events, Drama & Group Interpretation, Sportsmanship, Sports Medicine, Student Advisory Committee, Athletic Administrators and Activities Director.

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.

One non-consent items was approved:
Officials
1. Eliminated the category for level of clinic from the last 3 years from factoring into an officials’ power ranking.

Some consent items of note include:
Boys & Girls Basketball
1. State Final session start times have been moved forward one hour to 11:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Boys & Girls Bowling
1. If an individual qualifier is not able to participate at the Sectional or State Final level, then the next eligible qualifier from the Regional or Sectional will be eligible to compete as an alternate.

Dance
1. At the state finals, the Top 12 scoring teams in Friday’s preliminary round will advance to compete in Saturday’s finals. Previously, only the Top 10 advanced.

Girls Gymnastics
1. One of the three team scores that are used for state series seeding purposes must be from a meet with a 2-judge panel on each event.

Boys & Girls Swimming & Diving
1. The qualifying standards were approved for the 2016-17 school year (click to see standards).

Chess
1. Add Sectional tournaments in 2018 that will serve as qualifiers for the state finals.


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 June 13, 2016, agenda:

1. The Board heard a report from the Associate Executive Director on concussion reporting from Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC) throughout the state during the 2015-16 school year. The IHSA is compiling historic concussion reporting data and will release the report in the near future.

2. The Board heard a presentation from members of Benton High School on the IHSA Classification Policy. The Board formed an ad hoc committee to explore their proposal (action item #8 above).

3. As a part of the classification approval process, the Board heard a report on the sports impacted by the success formula for the 2016-17 school year:
Sport: School (New Class)
Boys Baseball
: Wheaton (St. Francis) (4A).
Boys Basketball
: Belleville (Althoff Catholic) (4A), Rockford (Lutheran) (4A), Westchester (St. Joseph) (4A).
Girls Basketball
: Elmhurst (IC Catholic) (3A), Lombard (Montini) (4A).
Boys Cross Country
: Lansing (Illiana Christian) (3A).
Girls Cross Country:
Urbana (University) (2A).
Boys Football
: Lombard (Montini) (6A), Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (6A).
Boys Golf
: Winnetka (North Shore Country Day) (2A).
Girls Softball
: Kankakee (McNamara) (3A), Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (4A).
Boys Soccer
: Arlington Heights (St. Viator) (3A), Elmhurst (Timothy Christian) (2A), Peoria (Notre Dame) (3A), Rockford (Keith Country Day) (2A), Urbana (University) (2A), West Chicago (Wheaton Academy) (3A).
Girls Soccer
: Alton (Marquette) (2A).
Girls Track & Field
: Normal (University) (3A).
Girls Volleyball
: Joliet (Catholic Academy) (4A), Rockford (Keith Country Day) (2A), Wheaton (St. Francis) (4A).
Boys Wrestling
: Lombard (Montini) (3A).
Scholastic Bowl
: Peoria (P. Christian) (AA), Sterling (Newman Central Catholic) (AA), Urbana (University) (AA).

4. The Board heard a report from Board member Robert Nolting, principal at Andrew High School in Tinley Park, on the work of an ad hoc committee he is currently chairing that is reviewing IHSA rules and compliance on items that include transferring and open gyms. Nolting expects to present the work of the ad hoc committee to the Board in August and potentially introduce by-law proposals ahead of the 2016-17 legislative process that begins next October.

5. The Board heard an update from the Executive Director on the 2016 NFHS Summer Meeting.

6. The Board recognized IHSA Assistant Executive Director Ron McGraw, who was present for his final Board meeting prior to his retirement later this month.

7. The Executive Director recognized the 2016 IHSA Distinguished Service Award recipients, who will be honored at a banquet on June 13, 2016:
-Todd Moeller, O’Fallon (Boys Bowling State Final Manager)
-Mike Imes, O’Fallon (Boys Bowling State Final Manager)
-Dr. Cynthia LaBella (Medical Director, Institute for Sports Medicine, Lurie’s Children’s Hospital, Medicine Advisory Committee Member since inception in 1988)
-Julie Nelson, West Peoria (Boys Basketball Volunteer)
-David & Gloria Meyer, Pekin (Boys Basketball Volunteer)
-Joyce Blank, Peoria (Boys Basketball Volunteer)
-John Schrammel, Palatine (Girls Gymnastics State Final Worker)
-Jim Miller, North Central College (Soccer State Final Manager)
-Roger & Karen Cann (Girls Basketball Volunteers)

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