The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on Monday, April 29 that the 2013 IH
SA Bass Fishing State Final Tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 3-4 at Carlyle Lake in Carlyle, has been postponed due to potentially dangerous water levels and will be rescheduled to unfold in Carlyle later this spring.
The IHSA Board of Directors made the decision to postpone the finals based upon discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who oversee Carlyle Lake. IHSA staff members also visited the lake on Sunday (April 28) to assess the situation.
“We could not hold the tournament as scheduled on May 3rd and 4th due to safety concerns,” said IHSA Associate Director and Bass Fishing administrator Kurt Gibson. “We want to make a decision on the new state final date as soon as possible so that Carlyle and the qualifying schools can plan accordingly. Yet, we also need to exercise a certain level of patience, as our colleagues in Carlyle predict and monitor how the lake will drain over the coming days.”
The IHSA postponed the tournament in 2011 when the Carlyle area was hit with storms that produced 10 inches of rain in a little over a week. The tournament was contested during the third week of June (17th & 18th) in 2011.
“Situations like this are not ideal, but it is good that we have a successful blueprint to follow from 2011,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “Safety is the number one priority and we will wait until the professionals who oversee Carlyle Lake give us the ok to move forward with the tournament. We knew that when we started bass fishing it would present weather challenges that are innately unique in comparison with sports like baseball or softball.”
Several of the IHSA Sectional tournaments were delayed due to weather this season, as the 22 Sectionals originally scheduled for April 19 were ultimately completed on April 26. 52 boats qualified at the Sectional level for the state final tournament.
“The weather has made it a difficult spring for our outdoor sports and activities,” said Gibson. “Many of our teams fished in difficult conditions at the Sectional level and we know the qualifiers would be willing to fish this weekend rain or shine. However, the weather is outside of our control and the state tournament presents different challenges with nearly three times as many boats on the water in comparison to a Sectional tournament. Simply put, we need to respect the process and wait for the experts in Carlyle to let us know it is safe to conduct this tournament.”