State Stories


April Board Meeting: IHSA Membership Approves Changes To Summer Football

Bookmark and Share
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors announced the results of a special legislative session vote by the IHSA membership on a by-law modifying allowable summer football activities at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

The revised version of By-law 3.157, which eliminates full pad football activities in the summer and defines allowable practice activities, passed by a vote of 170-87.

“The vote reflects much of what we have heard from coaches on this issue,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “We had some individuals who opposed eliminating full contact from summer football activities, but the majority of the people we talked to said this change would not affect them. Given that about half of our football playing schools voted, we believe that many abstained knowing their summer practice plans would not be altered regardless of the result of the voting.”

A full text of By-law 3.157 with the newly revised language and rationale from the submitting committees, the Football Advisory Committee and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, can be found by clicking here.

“We believe this revision minimizes risk to football student-athletes, while allowing for the teaching of appropriate fundamentals,” said Hickman. “This is another important step in making high school football as safe as possible, while putting all of our schools on an even playing field regarding football activities during the summer.”

At its February (18) meeting, the IHSA Board authorized a special meeting of the Legislative Commission to consider this by-law proposal.

The Legislative Commission met in a special session on March 18 (click for release), where they approved moving the by-law forward to an all-school ballot vote by the IHSA membership between March 19 and April 21.

The IHSA will hold educational webinars for coaches and administrators to clarify the new by-law and answer questions on it. Coaches and administrators will be contacted with more information on the webinars in the coming days.

1. The Board approved a recommendation to approve new by-law interpretations for the 2014-15 IHSA Handbook. The new by-laws and interpretations are linked below:

2014-15 By-laws and interpretations

2. 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 2014-15 school year.

3. The Board closed the IHSA investigation into Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s athletic
programs and reinstated head coach Anthony Smith. Smith is eligible to coach at any IHSA
member high school immediately.

IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman:
“We appreciate the cooperation of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and its administration
throughout this process. They were forthcoming in providing the Board with the information
they needed to make this decision. Given that they have worked diligently to rectify the
processes and procedures that allowed these violations to occur, the Board felt it was prudent
to close the investigation and reinstate Coach Smith."

1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Addison Trail High School. The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.043.3.

2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Arlington Heights (St. Viator). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-laws 3.030 and 3.040.

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 22, 2014, agenda:

1. The Board discussed a pair of proposals from member schools regarding the football playoffs and how it relates overall to the grouping and seeding of all sports.

2. Representatives from Chicago (University), Decatur (St. Teresa), Normal (University) and Quincy (Notre Dame) met with the Board to discuss recent changes to IHSA Board Policy 17.

3. The Board discussed language for several items related to IHSA Board Policy 17. The Board will ask for clarifications from the ad hoc committee that recommended recent changes to Policy 17 and plans to review and take action on them at a future meeting.

4. The Board discussed voting in IHSA elections and whether third-party software may be able to increase participation.

Theme picker