The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met for its regularly scheduled virtual meeting on Monday, October 19, 2020, where the Board provided a timetable on winter sports decisions, and also voted to provide a one-time accommodation to the IHSA’s Independent Team By-law (3.100) in some sports.
The Board set a special board meeting for October 28 to announce more details about winter sports.
“We understand that student-athletes, coaches, parents, officials, and fans are anxious to learn more details about the plans for IHSA winter sports,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We feel like we are making positive strides in our discussions with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to be allowed to conduct IHSA winter sports as scheduled. We believe we have a plan to do so safely and want to provide IDPH with ample time to review the winter sports plans, and supportive data, we have provided them. We expect to have a response from IDPH with final recommendations for winter sport plans, including any accommodations and postseason plans, by October 26. We will then reconvene our Board to officially vote and announce that information shortly thereafter.”
The Board’s accommodation to the IHSA Independent Team By-law (3.100) will be applicable for the 2020-21 school year only and will grant specific exemptions to spring and summer season sports. Winter sports (basketball, wrestling, boys swimming & diving, cheerleading, dance, bowling, girls gymnastics), which remain in their traditional season, will have no accommodation related to the by-law.
“The Board determined it was prudent to make modifications to the independent team by-law for the sports that were displaced from their traditional high school season,” said Anderson. “They also came up with what we believe is a reasonable compromise for summer sports. The Board is hopeful that the high school teams will be given priority when conflicts occurs. We believe making a modification now will allow high school coaches and non-school team coaches to begin communication on how they can collaboratively resolve scheduling conflicts.”
Sports competing in the IHSA’s 2021 spring season (football, boys soccer, girls volleyball) will be granted the accommodation to participate simultaneously on school teams and non-school teams throughout the duration of their high school season (Feb. 15-May 1).
Sports competing in the IHSA’s 2021 summer season (baseball, softball, track & field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, lacrosse, boys tennis) will be granted the accommodation to participate simultaneously on school teams and non-school teams beginning on June 4. The summer season is slated to run from April 19 to June 26.
“Given the unique challenges of this school year, it remains important for our Board to be flexible and creative in seeking participation opportunities for students,” said IHSA Board Vice-President Robert Nolting, the Principal at Andrew High School in Tinley Park. “From my perspective, I am less worried about teams competing for conference or postseason titles this year. The goal is to get kids back being active to benefit their mental and physical well-being. These (independent team) by-laws aim to preserve competitive equity, but for this school year, we feel the right decision is to provide an accommodation that maximizes participation.”
1. The Board conducted its annual election of officers, with the following results:
President: Katy Hasson, Rockridge High School
Vice-President: Dr. Robert Nolting, Andrew High School
Secretary: Tim Moore, Bloomington High School
Hasson is the 36th individual to serve as the Board President since Aurora High School’s C.P. Briggs first filled the role in 1903. She becomes the second female President of the IHSA, following Linda Layne from Fenger High School in Chicago, who held the position from 1994-1996. Hasson follows Erie High School Principal Tim McConnell, who reached a term limitation on the Board after eight years and served as the Board President from 2017-2020.
IHSA Board President Katy Hasson:
“I am honored to lead this outstanding group of administrators as we work to meet the challenges of this school year. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve on the Board of Directors for the past four years and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the tremendous IHSA Staff to advance the mission of this great organization.”
2. The Board approved a recommendation for the IHSA staff to move forward with developing virtual IHSA State Series’ in all applicable activities. IHSA staff members will now work to develop best practices to conduct their respective activities, if possible.
3. The Board approved a recommendation to approve a program for international students at Schaumburg (S. Christian) High School.
4. The Board approved an annual waiver of IHSA By-laws 3.021 and 3.022 for Berwyn-Cicero (Morton). IHSA rules allow schools who only offer 25 credit hours (five classes) per semester, and on a weekly basis, the ability to apply for a waiver.
5. The Board approved a recommendation to the IHSA Boys & Girls Basketball Terms & Conditions that will move the State Series seeding dates up two days to allow more time for assigning officials.
APPEALS & ELIGIBILITY RULINGS
1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Arlington Heights (St. Viator). The student was ruled ineligible for not meeting compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.
2. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Jacksonville (Routt). The student was granted limited eligibility and was seeking full varsity and State Series eligibility.
3. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Bartonville (Limestone). The school was appealing the student’s two-race ineligibility ruling by the Executive Director following a violation of By-law 3.101.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
Minutes from all Advisory Committees can be viewed by clicking here.
1. The Board approved the consent items from the Advisory Committees in the following sports & activities: Girls Badminton, Boys & Girls Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball, Bowling, Track & Field, Water Polo, Bass Fishing, Athletic Administrators, Athletic Officials, Sports Medicine, and Student Advisory Committee.
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.
Non-consent items are recommendations from sport or activity committees that did not receive a majority vote from the Athletic Advisory Committee or IHSA staff. There were no non-consent items on the agenda.
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 October 19, 2020, agenda:
1. The staff and Board of Directors welcomed two new Board members in Geneseo High School Principal Travis Mackey and New Trier Athletic Director Augie Fontanetta.
2. The Board heard a presentation from members of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) on a plan for the 2021 spring football season that would have the IHSA schedule regular-season games and then conduct a modified playoff system. Representatives from the IHSFCA included IHSFCA Executive Director Kevin Crandall, Mark Grounds from Jacksonville, Josh Jostes from Maroa-Forsyth, Todd Kuska from St. Rita, Ken Leonard from Sacred Heart-Griffin, former Glenbrook North coach Bob Pieper, Mike Stine from Naperville Central, and Darren Sunkett from East St. Louis. The Board did not act on the recommendation and plans to revisit it in the future.
3. The Board discussed a presentation from the September Board meeting that recommended wrestling season be postponed. The Board intends to take action on the wrestling season at its special meeting scheduled for October 28.
4. The Board heard a report on the presentation of the 2020 NFHS Heart of the Arts Midwest Section Award to Sandburg High School’s Carter Schott during the school’s senior band night on October 16.
5. The Board heard a report on the IHSA’s New Administrator Workshop, which was held virtually on September 30 and was attended by 75 administrators from IHSA member schools.
6. The Board heard a report on the NFHS Section IV Meeting, held September 16-17.