The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, where the Board heard two appeals and discussed several items.
APPEALS & HEARINGS
1. The Board modified the Executive Director’s ruling on Champaign (Judah Christian). The Board ruled that all of the school’s State Series results and awards from the 2018-19 school year will stand. The Executive Director had initially ruled that the school must forfeit all State Series results from 2018-19 school year after it was discovered that the school did not meet IHSA membership requirements in 2018-19 due to its status with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The school has since resolved all matters with ISBE and is in good standing as an IHSA member school.
2. The Board modified the Executive Director’s ruling on an appeal by Calumet City (Thornton Fractional North), Chicago Heights (Marian), Flossmoor (Homewood-F.), Harvey (Thornton), Lansing (Thornton Fractional South), Richton Park (Southland College Prep Charter), South Holland (Thornwood). The schools sought changes in the IHSA Speech-Individual Events Regional assignments due to an imbalance in Regional representation. The Executive Director initially ruled that the assignments met the guidelines of IHSA Policy 18, however, the Board cited circumstances that warranted a modification of the assignments.
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 January 15, 2020, agenda:
1. The Board heard a report on the request for proposals to host the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals and IHSA Boys Basketball State Finals beginning in 2020-21. The IHSA received a proposal to host the Girls Basketball State Finals at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena, as well as a proposal to host the Boys Basketball State Finals at the State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana. A bid was submitted to host both the Girls Basketball and Boys Basketball State Finals at the Peoria Civic Center, as well as a second bid to host only the Boys State Tournament at the Peoria Civic Center. The host request proposals were due to the IHSA office on January 10, 2020, and each encompasses three years (2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23). The IHSA announced in June, 2019 (click for release) that a new state tournament format will debut in 2020-21.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“We are humbled and appreciative that these three communities continue to see tremendous value in hosting our prestigious state tournaments. The IHSA has longstanding ties to all three communities through several State Final Tournaments, including America’s Original March Madness. We know that there are great people behind each, who would put on a first-class experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans alike. Our goal is to review the bids and make site visits in the coming months, followed by a recommendation to our Board of Directors to vote at their meeting on April 21, 2020.”
2. The Board held a discussion on the State Final dates for Baseball and Softball. In January, IHSA member schools voted to pass a by-law amendment that moves the start of the baseball and softball seasons back one week beginning in 2021. The aforementioned amendment and vote does not impact the IHSA’s current state final dates. The Board will have future conversations on the state final date ahead of sending out request for proposals to host the IHSA Baseball and Softball State Finals in the future.
3. The Board held a discussion on football contracts as it relates to the anticipated IHSA district football system. In 2018, IHSA member schools voted to implement a district system beginning in 2021 that would require schools to schedule games in Week 1 and Week 2. The IHSA would then schedule all other games. The district system was rescinded in a member school vote in 2019 and will not be used in 2021 or beyond. After the initial vote, some schools had already begun scheduling games for Week 1 and Week 2 of 2021. After its discussion, the Board made the interpretation that the Executive Director can provide relief for schools from Week 1 and Week 2 contracts in 2021 due to the elimination of the district system.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“We have many schools who are members of conferences with 10 teams or more, where their entire football schedule is made up of conference games. Some schools in that situation scheduled games in Week 1 and Week 2 of 2021, but no longer require them because of the elimination of the district system in January. The Board felt like these teams should be allowed to compete in their conference as they usually would, and not be held to those Week 1 and Week 2 games they contracted in 2021 because of districts. I believe the number of schools in this situation will be minimal, but we have heard from a few, so it was important for our Board of Directors to provide oversight on how to handle them.”
4. The Board held a discussion on the IHSA Strike Policy. Future discussions are planned with CPS leadership, which may result in recommendations for changes to the current Policy via Board Policy or a by-law recommendation.
5. The Board heard a report on the Classification Task Force that was established by the Board in November. More updates from the Task Force will be released in future Board meeting recaps.
6. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the NFHS Winter Meeting held January 3-6, 2020.
7. The Board heard a presentation from Vinay Mullick from UpMetrics. UpMetrics currently works with multiple IHSA schools to help measure data related to participation in athletics and activities.
8. The Board heard a report on the presentation of the IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award to Fowler Connell (click for release).