University of Illinois Tabbed to Host IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals Through 2025


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University of Illinois Tabbed to Host IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals Through 2025

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The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Monday, February 10, 2020, where the Board approved a five-year contract extension to continue hosting the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals at the State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana. 

“IHSA State Wrestling and Champaign-Urbana are synonymous with one another,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We have had a wonderful experience there working with the University, the arena, and staff from Visit Champaign County for over 50 years. High school wrestlers in Illinois dream about wrestling there, so we are excited to extend this longstanding tradition for five more years.”

The IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals were first hosted in the arena formerly known as The Assembly Hall in 1967, and would return again in 1969 and 1971. The IHSA State Finals have been held there every year since 1973.

“The University of Illinois and IHSA have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship for many years, and we are thrilled to continue with this extension of the state wrestling championships at State Farm Center,” University of Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said. “The energy and excitement that wrestlers, their coaches and the passionate wrestling fans bring to the Champaign-Urbana community is very noticeable on that special weekend. We look forward to continue to host the nation’s best high school wrestling championship at our state’s best competition venue.”

The extension comes as a result of a collaborative hosting bid from the University of Illinois Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Visit Champaign County, and the State Farm Center.

“For over 50 years, we have been the proud host of the IHSA State Wrestling Individual Championships, welcoming over 650 athletes from 250 schools each year,” said Jayne Deluce, the President & CEO of Visit Champaign County. “It’s an honor to continue to serve these tremendous student-athletes, their families, and fans, who return each year for a turn under the spotlight in Illinois’ premier college sports facility."

The 2020 IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals are slated for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 20-22, 2020. The new contract will encompass the state tourney from 2021 through 2025. Anyone attending the 2020 State Finals is encouraged to check out Visit Champaign's dedicated website for IHSA State Finals:

1. The Board approved host guarantees for the schools who host Boys and Girls Lacrosse Sectional Quarterfinal games. The quarterfinals were previously hosted by the higher seed and financially independent of the State Series tournament, but are now played at pre-determined Sectional host sites and will be financially inclusive of the State Series tournament.

2. The Board approved a recommendation to set its meetings dates for the 2021-22 school year on the following dates:
-Monday, August 24, 2020
-Monday, September 14, 2020
-Wednesday, October 14, 2020
-Monday, December 14, 2020
-Wednesday, January 13, 2021
-Monday, February 8, 2021
-Saturday, March 13, 2021
-Tuesday, April 13, 2021
-Monday, June 14, 2021

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 Cross Country, Football, Boys/Girls Golf, Boys/Girls Tennis, Boys/Girls Volleyball, Sportsmanship.

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 Administrator Advisory Committee or IHSA staff.

Four non-consent items were approved.

Boys & Girls Cross Country
1. The number of 2A and 3A Boys/Girls Cross Country Sectionals will be reduced from five to four.  As a result, this will eliminate three regionals for each gender in those two classes. Additionally, in an effort to maintain a number of state qualifying teams and individuals that have been in place for the last several years, there will be an increase in the number of teams and individuals that will advance out of all sectionals. In Class 1A, each sectional will advance six teams and the first ten overall finishers who are not members of the six qualifying teams. For Class 2A and Class 3A, each sectional will advance seven teams and the first ten overall finishers who are not members of the seven qualifying teams.

Boys & Girls Golf
1. In the IHSA State Series Tournament, players will be scheduled to play in groups of three players. Players were previously scheduled in groups of four. Groups of four are still allowed when necessary.
2. The field for Day 2 of the state finals will be expanded beginning next year, with the top 8 teams (and ties) and top 40 individuals (and ties) not on one of the qualifying teams advancing.  In 2019, the top 8 teams and 24 individuals advanced to the second day of the state finals. -OR- This marks an increase of 16 additional individual players advancing to the second day of the state finals.
3. The IHSA Boys & Girls Golf State Finals will occur one week earlier, in Week 14 of the IHSA standardized calendar, beginning in 2021.

Some consent items of note include:

1. Eliminated the rule requiring eight regular-season games be played in order for a team to be eligible for the IHSA Playoffs.

Boys Volleyball
1. Regional Finals moved to Thursday of Week 47 and Sectional Semifinals to Saturday of Week 47.

Boys & Girls Tennis
1. In round one and round two of the championship draw, regular scoring shall be used with a 3rd set super tie break. This scoring format shall also be used for the 5th/6th medal match.

1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.

2. The Board modified the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Sycamore. The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.022. The Board ruled the student-athlete eligible immediately, based on a procedural error by school personnel that resulted in the student-athlete being short the necessary credit hours.

3. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from LaSalle (L.-Peru). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.

4. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling denying a Cooperative Agreement between Elgin (Westminster Christian) and Elgin (Harvest Christian Academy) in baseball and softball. Harvest Christian is not eligible for a cooperative team per IHSA by-laws because its enrollment is greater than 200.

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 February 10, 2020, agenda:
1. The Board heard an update from members of the Classification Task Force.

2. The Board heard a presentation from administrators from high schools who are members of the Central Suburban, Mid Suburban, North Suburban, and Upstate 8 Conferences. The group presented on their Conference Harassment Policy, which the IHSA Board will review for potential inclusion as an IHSA Policy in the future after a review and discussion with the Sportsmanship Advisory Committee.

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