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IHSA Board Approves Formation of Esports Advisory Committee

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The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Monday, December 10, 2018, where the Board approved the formation of an advisory committee for Esports.

The committee will be charged with developing recommendations on a format for a potential IHSA Esports State Series and State Final in the future.

“We are excited any time we can entertain the possibility of offering Illinois high school students more opportunities to represent their schools in competition,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We know that students benefit in the short- and long-term when they are involved in a high school sport or activity. Esports may present us with a chance to expand our mission by creating another new and unique State Final experience.”

The IHSA Esports advisory committee will consider working in conjunction with PlayVS, the Official High School Esports League. PlayVS is the exclusive partner of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and has partnered with the NFHS to operate high school esports leagues for over 19,500 high schools nationwide.

“The IHSA was the first state high school association in the country to offer a Bass Fishing State Final, and we will always strive to be innovators,” said Erie High School principal and IHSA Board President Tim McConnell. “Esports has tremendous participation among high school students that only continues to grow, so it’s important that we continue to look at ways to connect with high school students and their interests.”

The Esports advisory committee is scheduled to meet for the first time in the spring of 2019.

1. The Board approved a recommendation for a Student Exchange Visitor Program at Peoria (P. Christian) High School.

2. The Board approved a recommendation to increase the pay of officials working the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals as a result of more matches being added due to a format change approved in June.

3. The Board approved a recommendation for a one-time by-law/policy adjustment for cooperative agreements and requests to play-up falling in line with the two-year classification cycle beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. Schools currently in Coops or who have petitioned to play up a classification that were scheduled to run through the 2020-21 school term can choose to end their Coop or play up petition prior to next school in order to be in line with two-year classification cycles that begin in 2019-20.

1. The Board modified the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Moweaqua (Central A&M). The Executive Director ruled that the student had six semesters of eligibility remaining beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The Board modified the ruling to eight semesters of eligibility beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Alton (Marquette). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.034.3 and its sub-sections.

3. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Chicago (Holy Trinity). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.

4. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Mt. Prospect (Prospect). The student sought an accommodation for an extra year of eligibility. The student may continue to practice with the team.

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 December 10, 2018, agenda:

1. Representatives from the accounting firm, Striegel Knobloch & Co LLC, presented the annual audit to the Board. The audit can be reviewed by clicking here.

2. The Board discussed the results of a member school survey taken at IHSA Town Hall Meetings in November on whether the Board should consider implementing a socioeconomic policy that would impact a school’s classification enrollment. The Board will discuss the topic further in their strategic planning sessions this spring.

3. The Board discussed the Track & Field Advisory Committee’s recommendation to increase medals to the Top 8 finishes in each event, instead of current Top 6 format.

4. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the 11 States Meeting held in Chicago last week.

5. The Board discussed the IHSA investigation regarding the Nazareth-Simeon Quarterfinal Playoff Football game and pending litigation related to the game.

6. The Board heard a report on upcoming Athletes with Disabilities training and education for the IHSA board.

7. The Board heard a report on the 11 proposals moved forward to the All-School Ballot by the Legislative Commission at their second meeting on November 28. Member schools have from December 3-17 to vote online. To see the 11 proposals, click here.

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