IHSA Board Modifies Basketball Uniform Rules

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IHSA Board Modifies Basketball Uniform Rules

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors approved a recommendation at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 12, 2011, to modify three rules from the NFHS Basketball Uniform Rules for the 2011-12 season.

The modifications address the most common illegal uniforms violations that have occurred around the state and the Board’s modifications will make those offending uniforms legal immediately.

“Over the past few years, we have come to the realization that a large percentage of our member school basketball teams are in violation of the NFHS uniform rules,” said IHSA Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson. “We have unsuccessfully tried to make some changes to the uniform rules at the national level, which led to the decision by our Board to provide a remedy for the majority of our schools with illegal uniforms.”

The modifications made by the Board are as follows:

NFHS Rule 3-4-1e: modified to read: “Side inserts, including trim/piping/accent color(s), shall not extend into either the front or back torso of the jersey to a point closer than one inch of any number.”

NFHS Rule 3-4-4b: modified to read: “Lettering above or below a number on the front torso of a jersey may be arched, but the first and last letters must be on the same horizontal plane and neither shall extend beyond the mid-point of the number.”

NFHS Rule 3-4-4d: modified to read: “Any point on any letter, decorative accent in an identifying name, or decorative accent not part of an identifying name shall not be closer than one inch to any point on any number(s).”

“Traditionally, we follow the NFHS Rulebook without exception, so this is certainly rare that we ask the Board of Directors to grant a rule modification, said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “However, we believe that this change makes sense and will make the lives of our coaches, student-athletes and officials easier, while also maintaining the integrity of the uniform.”

As a result of the change, schools who have previously received a waiver from the IHSA no longer need to present their waiver to the game officials.

“It’s important to note that today’s changes do not uniformly eliminate illegal uniforms,” added Gibson. “Rather, they allow exceptions to common, but illegal, uniform styles that we believe do not hinder the ability of the game officials and game administration to recognize the uniform number.”


1. The Board approved a recommendation to raise the pay for IHSA Individual Wrestling State Final officials by $90. The tournament will begin on Thursday beginning in 2012 which will result in additional matches.


1. The Board approved the consent items from the Fall Advisory Committee Recommendations. 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

Consent items of note include…


1. State Final time schedule moved to start times of 9:30 a.m., Noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Track & Field
1. Fully Automatic Timing (F.A.T.) systems will be required at all IHSA Sectional meets.

2. The Board approved the following non-consent recommendations from the Fall Advisory Committees…

Girls Badminton
1. Schools who qualify an odd number of players shall receive one courtesy pass for a female teammate to act as a warm-up partner.

2. At the state final tournament, a Games Committee will be selected by the IHSA for both days of the tournament to make decisions on violations of the IHSA Terms & Conditions, Manager’s Manual, Code of Conduct and the Badminton Case Book.

1. The seeding dates for baseball and softball will be moved back one week. The IHSA staff will look to implement later seeding dates in other sports whenever it is possible and relevant to do so.

1. Implements the adoption of an NFHS rule to allow Volleyball Officials to wear a white long sleeved polo.


1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Rockford (Auburn). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.045.

2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Skokie (Niles North). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.047.

3. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Springfield (H.S.). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.041.


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 12, 2011, agenda:

1. The Executive Director provided the Board with a report on the IHSA Town Meetings/Principals Rules Meetings and Athletic Director Division Meetings.

2. The Executive Director provided the Board with a report on the results of the Legislative Commission Action and the 14 Amendment Proposals that were voted onto the all-school ballot.

3. The Board heard a report from Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson on the hotel arrangements in Peoria for the 2012 IHSA Boys Basketball State Final Tournaments after the Hotel Pere Marquette announced it will be closed for this year’s tournament due to renovations.

4. The Executive Director provided a recap on the Eights States Meeting in Chicago and the National Athletic Directors Conference in Indianapolis.

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