IHSA Board Selects Football & Dance State Final Sites


IHSA News & Announcements Archive


IHSA Board Selects Football & Dance State Final Sites

Bookmark and Share
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA offices in Bloomington on Monday, June 11, 2012, where they approved recommendations to accept a pair of state final hosting bids.

The Board tabbed U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington to host the inaugural IHSA Competitive Dance State Finals, while DeKalb and Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium will host the IHSA’s eight Football State Championship games in odds years beginning in 2013.

Both winning bids encompass five-year hosting terms. U.S. Cellular Coliseum will host the first-ever IHSA Competitive Dance State Finals in January and continue to host the event in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. U.S. Cellular Coliseum has also hosted the IHSA Competitive Cheerleading State Finals since 2007, the second year of the event.

“The IHSA Cheerleading State Finals have developed into an elite event at U.S. Cellular Coliseum and we look forward to the Competitive Dance state meet following suit,” said Hickman. “The Dance State Finals will incorporate many of the same elements as the Cheer state meet, while also introducing some new challenges. Given the great relationship we enjoy with both U.S. Cellular Coliseum and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, we feel very confident that we will house a second top notch state final event at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.”

The IHSA’s eight football title games will be held in DeKalb on Thanksgiving weekend in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. The games will remain at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium in Champaign in even years (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020). The schedule variation was necessitated by a change in the Big Ten Conference football schedule that will have the University of Illinois playing home games on the IHSA state final weekend in odd years.

Huskie Stadium becomes the fourth-ever host site for the state football title games. Illinois State University hosted the games from their inception in 1974 until 1998 and the University of Illinois has been the championship home since 1999. From 1981-1984, Northwestern University hosted the two largest class games (5A & 6A), while the 1A-4A games were played at ISU.

Hickman pointed out a unique portion of Northern Illinois University’s football bid that caught the attention of the IHSA staff and Board.

“Athletic Directors from over 100 IHSA member schools signed the bid, pledging their support for playing the games in DeKalb,” said Hickman. “Schools from as far away as Galva, Peoria Richwoods and Zion-Benton, places you don’t necessarily associate with DeKalb. It went a long way to showing us how much it meant to the entire region to have the state championships played there. Ultimately, all three football bids were extremely strong and almost interchangeable.”

Other bids in football included Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Illinois State University in Normal, while Dance bids were also submitted by Rockford’s BMO Harris Bank Center, Moline’s iWireless Center, Springfield’s Prairie Capital Convention Center and the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

“We are honored to receive so many strong bids in both football and dance,” added Hickman. “We are appreciative of all the venues and communities who wanted to host and be associated with our state final events. It helps validate that not only are these events impactful on the participants and fans, but that they are also positive influences on the local communities.”


1. The Board of Directors approved a recommendation from the IHSA’s Ad Hoc Committee that studied opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities. The IHSA Board has directed the IHSA staff to develop pilot programs that include separate participation opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities at the state final level in the sports of Boys & Girls Cross Country, Boys & Girls Swimming & Diving, Boys & Girls Bowling and Boys & Girls Track & Field. The pilot programs will begin during the 2012-13 school year and the IHSA staff will present plans on how the pilot programs will work in each sport at the August Board meeting.

A press release on the Board’s decision to establish pilot programs is available by clicking

2. The Board approved a recommendation to eliminate IHSA Board of Directors Policy 14 (Guidelines for Summer Baseball and Softball Programs) from the IHSA Handbook. The policy eliminates separate IHSA baseball and summer softball seasons.

IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman
“Very few high school teams in the state were taking advantage of the summer baseball and softball program guidelines offered by the IHSA. Most individuals choose to play in travel leagues or other local leagues and the disparity in rules between the IHSA summer season and these leagues created some confusion. The Board felt this Policy’s time had come and gone, thus, they decided to eliminate it.”

3. The Board approved a recommendation to accept the Classification Cutoff Enrollments for the 2012-13 school year. The changes include moving to 25% breakdowns per class in all Four-Class sports (Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Girls Volleyball). In addition, an exception will be made to maintain that the boys and girls programs at each school are in the same class for the following paired sports.
-Boys & Girls Basketball
-Baseball & Softball
-Boys & Girls Cross Country
-Boys & Girls Track & Field

***The chart showing all schools and their respective classifications for each sport for the
2012-13 school year will be posted on the IHSA website on Wednesday, June 13***

IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman:
“Since we moved to four classes, there have been many individuals who felt that breaking up the four-class sports into 25% percent increments is the best way to classify our schools. Ultimately, the Board felt like that format made the most sense after moving closer to that threshold a year ago. Naturally, many of the schools who fall into the lower end of the enrollment spectrum in a particular class may believe they belong in a different class, but our member schools also understand that the enrollment cutoffs need to be drawn somewhere. What we heard from the coaches and athletic directors from many of the schools in that situation is that they felt better about the process knowing that the classes were split equally.”

4. The Board approved a recommendation to accept proposed interpretations for the 2012-2013 IHSA Constitution and By-laws for the IHSA Handbook.

5. The Board approved a recommendation to appoint Erie High School Principal Tim McConnell to the IHSA Board Directors as the representative for Board Division 4, replacing Jim Boyd from Port Byron (Riverdale) who is retiring at the conclusion of the school year.

6. The Board approved an exception to the Pepsi Tournament Showdown Schedule, allowing the tournament to last 15 days, one day beyond the allowable by-law, in order for the tournament finals to be played at Wrigley Field.

7. The Board approved a recommendation to make the IHSA’s Performance-Enhancing Substance Testing Education Program a requirement to be completed by all member school coaches.

8. The Board approved a recommendation to upgrade the technological infrastructure in the IHSA office.

9. The Board approved a recommendation to appoint Forsyth (Decatur Christian) principal Greg Bradley to the Treasurer role on the IHSA Board of Directors for a three-year term.

10. The Board approved a recommendation to approve the Terms & Conditions for the IHSA Competitive Dance State Series, which will begin in 2012-13.

11. The Board approved a recommendation to approve Minerva Promotions to serve as the official apparel provider for Sectional sites in the Competitive Dance State Series.


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: Boys & Girls Basketball, Boys & Girls Bowling, Competitive Cheerleading, Boys & Girls Gymnastics, Boys & Girls Soccer, Boys & Girls Swimming & Diving, Wrestling, Chess, Journalism, Music-Solo & Ensemble and Organizational, News Media, Officials, Scholastic Bowl, Speech-Debate & Individual Events, Speech-Drama & Group Interpretation, Sportsmanship, Sports Medicine, Student Advisory Committee, Athletic Administrators and Activities Director.

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.

Some items of note include:

Boys & Girls Basketball
A. All Country Financial Threepoint Showdown shooting at the Regional and Sectional level will be conducted the day of the Regional/Sectional final.

Boys & Girls Soccer
A. The Class 1A State Final start times for the Third-Place and State Championship matches will be moved to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.
B. If a tie exists during an IHSA Soccer State Series contest (except for the 3rd place state final games), teams shall determine a winner by playing two (2) ten-minute overtime periods, and if a tie still exists at the end of the second overtime then go to Penalty Kicks (PKs).

A. A random draw will determine the order that the weight classes will be wrestled for the Individual State Championships. The draw will occur during the winter drawing in December.

News Media
A. The formation of an annual IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award.

2. The Board reviewed the non-consent items and passed the following proposals:

A. Byes will be included as a part of the blind draw.
Rationale: When the bye is part of the draw, this gives the top 4 seeded wrestlers equal opportunity for a first round match. This would allow higher seeded wrestlers to get a chance to wrestle in the first round along with a chance to earn team bonus points.


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 June 11, 2012, agenda:

1. The Executive Director is proud to present the 2012 IHSA Distinguished Service Award winners, who will be honored at a banquet on June 11. The 12 honorees are:
-Hector Carabez, Glenview
-Pat Creek, Quincy
-Mike Creek, Quincy
-Dan Cunningham, East Peoria
-Greg Gaa, Peoria
-Ron Gibson, Naperville
-Bill Laude, Frankfort
-Michael Nissen, Rolling Meadows
-Matt Piescinski, Charleston
-Sally Renaud, Charleston
-James Tidwell, Charleston
-Patricia Wozny, Chicago

2. The Executive Director discussed the upcoming NFHS Summer Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

3. The Executive Director reviewed a high school merchandising and brand protection program for schools in Illinois via the NFHS. Individual schools can choose to be a part of the voluntary program, which can help with trademarking school names/logos and getting merchandise into local retailers. Information on the program will be included for all member schools in the IHSA All-School Mailing.

4. The Board recognized Board members Jim Boyd of Port Byron (Riverdale) and Ron Connor of Clinton who completed their final meetings on the IHSA Board.
Please login or register to post comments.

Theme picker