State Stories


IHSA Archives Opens Door to the Past

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The IHSA is opening the video vault.

Over the course of the next few months, the Illinois High School Association will conduct a pilot program that will post full-length video of past state tournament events on YouTube. If successful, the program will dig deeper into the vault to bring long-forgotten film and video back to light in the Internet era.

The oldest items in the IHSA library are 16mm films and kinescopes of boys basketball championship games, beginning with the 1947 contest between Paris and Champaign. After that date, surviving film and video is sparse until the 1987-88 school year, when the IHSA and its television partners began to produce coverage of state final events in a variety of sports. The broadcasts of most of these events have been preserved.

To get the ball rolling, two frequently requested items have already been posted on YouTube. "March Madness", the popular video history of the boys basketball tournament produced in 1989, features highlights of many great tournament games and more than 30 interviews. As a bonus, footage of tiny Hebron's overtime win in the 1952 state championship, the first IHSA event ever televised, is also available.

Starting Sunday, October 12, video from IHSA's fall sports calendar will be posted, including classic state final broadcasts of cross country, girls swimming and diving, boys soccer, girls volleyball, and football. Throughout the rest of the school year, events from winter and spring sports, as well as activities such as speech and bass fishing, will appear on a weekly basis.

If you're a fan of black-and-white film, stay tuned for a special treat. In March the IHSA Archives will premiere more than an hour of never-before-seen footage of IHSA's March Madness as it was played in the 1930s.

At the moment the IHSA library contains about 1,600 state final events on film and video. Fans are welcome to suggest games and events to post by emailing or mentioning @IHSAArchives on Twitter.

The IHSA Archives YouTube channel can be found at

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