IHSA News & Announcements Archive


IHSA Board Sets Schedule For Inaugural Individual Girls Wrestling State Finals, Extends Two State Final Hosting Contracts

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met for its regularly scheduled meeting, which included both virtual and in-person attendance, on Monday, June 14, 2021, where the Board finalized the schedule and location of the first-ever IHSA Individual Girls Wrestling State Finals in 2022.

The Board approved the tournament structure developed by the IHSA Wrestling Advisory Committee to conduct the first-ever girls state finals at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday, February 25-26, 2022. The IHSA previously conducted its Dual Team Wrestling State Finals on this Saturday and will now extend that tournament to two days, running it concurrently with the Individual Girls Wrestling State Finals at Grossinger Motors Arena.

“This is an exciting development for the IHSA and for female wrestlers around the state,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “The number of female participants continues to grow, and we are proud to be able to offer an incredible venue and stage to recognize them on. This is an important step for Illinois high school wrestling as a whole.” 

The IHSA Individual Girls Wrestling State Finals will consist of the quarterfinal round and the first two rounds of wrestlebacks being contested on Friday morning and afternoon. The semifinals, consolation rounds, and place matches will follow on Saturday morning and afternoon. The event will culminate with a Grand March of the finalists, followed by the state championship matches in 14 different weight classes.

The IHSA Board first approved the formation of the IHSA Individual Girls Wrestling State Finals at their meeting in June, 2020, before asking the IHSA Wrestling Advisory Committee to develop the tournament schedule and structure.

Over 800 girls from IHSA schools were eligible to wrestle during the 2019-20 school year after completing the required testing to determine their weight class. In 2020-21, the IHSA wrestling season ran from April 19 to June 12 as a result of the pandemic and the IHSA was not able to conduct a postseason.

Richards High School’s Mia Palumbo (above) made history on February 15, 2018, when the then-freshmen became the first female wrestler to win a match at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals.

1. The Board approved a recommendation to a modification of the IHSA Scholastic Standing By-laws (3.022 and 4.022) for the first semester of the 2021-22 school term (students are eligible first semester of 2021-22 if they passed three classes in second semester of 2020-21). The Board had modified the by-laws in December to help ease scholastic issues brought about by remote and hybrid learning during the pandemic.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“The Board continues to recognize the challenges faced by many students in the spring and believes that continuing the academic modifications make sense as schools transition back to a more normal manner of service for the 2021-22 school year.”

2. The Board approved a recommendation to extend the IHSA Bass Fishing State Final hosting contract with Carlyle Lake in Carlyle for three more years. The contract extension will encompass the 2022, 2023, and 2024 state finals.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“The city of Carlyle, Carlyle High School, the Army Corp. of Engineers who oversee Carlyle Lake, and a host of volunteers from around the area have been with us since day one. They helped us realize the dream of a bass fishing state championship and have embraced the event as a community in every way possible. We are proud to return there to conduct the event for three years.”

3. The Board approved a recommendation to extend the IHSA Speech-Individual Events State Final hosting contract with the Peoria Civic Center for five more years. The contract extension will encompass the state finals from 2022-2026.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“The Peoria Civic Center provides a great setup and space for this event and has been a wonderful setting for it since 2010. We appreciate their support of IHSA activities and look forward to our continued partnership.”

4. The Board approved a recommendation to allow a one-year Cooperative agreement in the sport of football between Olympia High School and Delavan High School.

5. The Board approved a recommendation to use the actual enrollment, and not IHSA classification enrollment, when determining the membership assessment of single-gender schools.

6. The Board approved a recommendation to reduce the number of required students on a team in order to be eligible for the IHSA Academic Team Award.

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:
Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cheerleading, Chess, Dance, Sportsmanship, Gymnastics, Journalism, Music, Officials, Scholastic Bowl, Soccer, Speech, Student Advisory, Swimming, Wrestling, 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.

One non-consent item was approved:
Student Advisory Committee
1. The annual Student Advisory Committee retreat will be held on August 1, 2021.

1. The Board held a hearing with administrators from Grayslake North High School to discuss the school violating IHSA by-laws 2.010 and 6.011 by knowingly allowing an ineligible student-athlete to participate in a football contest this year.

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 14, 2021 agenda:

1. The Board heard a report on the three new by-laws that will take effect on July 1, 2021, as a result of the membership’s annual legislative process in November and December. A full release on the new by-laws and by-laws changes can be found by clicking here.

2. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the future of an IHSA State Series in esports.

3. The Board reviewed a request for an enrollment waiver for LaMoille High School/Amboy High School cooperative, but took no action.

4. The Board agreed to work on creating a timeline and process for gathering input from member schools during the 2021-22 school year concerning the possible implementation of the shot clock as early as the 2022-23 school year. 
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“I expect to have a good discussion with the membership on this topic over the next school year.  I could envision the shot clock being phased in over the next handful of years to allow the membership adequate time to become accustomed to the shot clock, purchase the necessary equipment, and identify workers who will be able to manage the clock.”

5. The Board recognized outgoing Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Executive Director Steve Endsley, who will retire on June 30 after over 20 years of service to the IESA and its membership.


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