IHSA Board Announces New Summer Road Race, Expands Student Leadership Conference Registration

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The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, September 14, where the Board announced a pair of upcoming student initiatives, including a new IHSA Road Race that is slated to begin in the summer of 2016.

The IHSA Road Race will be a 5K race that will debut on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Heartland Community College in Normal. The IHSA Road Race will feature three divisions: Wheelchair Division, Boys Division, & Girls Division, with each division open to any students who will attend IHSA member schools in the 2016-17 school year.

“This is a unique and exciting IHSA event,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “We have seen steady growth in our Athletes With Disabilities programs the past few years, especially in track & field and swimming. However, after no student-athletes entered the cross country program in 2013 and 2014, our committee shifted its focus to a road race. Based on the expertise of our committee, we think this will be a great participation opportunity for athletes with disabilities.”

The race will begin on the Heartland campus and finish in the adjacent Corn Crib stadium, which doubles as the host for the IHSA Class 1A Boys Soccer State Finals. The IHSA will be contacting member schools later this year with more details and online registration information.

“We would love for this to become an event that essentially marks the unofficial start to the IHSA season each summer,” said Hickman. “It will be a fun, unifying way to compete, seeing what schools and teams can bring the most participants. We appreciate the efforts of IHSA Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson, Heartland, the Normal Cornbelters and the cities of Bloomington and Normal for their efforts in helping us get what we think will be a great high school tradition up and running.”

Another IHSA tradition continues later this month when the IHSA Student Leadership Conference unfolds on September 28 at the Civic Center in Peoria. At Monday’s meeting, the Board authorized expanding the registration for the IHSA’s biannual event. The free conference hosted by the IHSA Student Advisory Committee (SAC) originally had allotted for 650 student attendees, but that total has already been met.

Schools who want to have students attend the Student Leadership Conference should register in the IHSA Schools Center as soon as possible.

1. The Board approved the formation of an ad hoc committee to review the Association’s Financial Arrangements and Ticket Price Policies.
Marty Hickman, IHSA Executive Director:
“We have tried to make a point of convening a committee like this every 10 years or so to review the Association’s financial position and see how we can best accommodate our member schools. With Craig Anderson set to take over the Executive Director position in January, it seemed like a natural time to audit our ticket prices and policies.”

2. The Board approved an IHSA financial contribution in a joint venture with Evanston Township High School to help offset the cost of upgrading the starting blocks in Evanston’s natatorium.
Marty Hickman, IHSA Executive Director:
“As an IHSA Swimming & Diving State Final host since 1958, Evanston Township has invested in the IHSA and the state meet, and we are glad to reciprocate. These updates were necessary to continue to make the IHSA state meet one of the best of its kind in the country. We appreciate all that Evanston Township has done for high school swimming in Illinois and will continue to do in the future.”

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 September 14, 2015, agenda:

1. The Board heard a report from Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha on the IHSA social media promotions for October’s NFHS National High School Activities Month.

2. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the upcoming NFHS Section 4 Executive Director Meeting in Iowa.

3. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on IHSA representation at the upcoming Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Conference in Springfield and the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) Conference in Peoria.

4. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director that over 30,000 coaches have now completed the IHSA Concussion Education program.

5. The Board heard a reminder from the Executive Director that nominations are due for the Legislative Commission and Board of Directors on September 15.

6. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the by-law proposals that have been submitted thus far for the upcoming legislative process in November. The deadline for submitting proposals is October 13.

7. The Board heard a report from Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson on Senate Bill 219 that would delay the implementation of the “return to learn concussion bill” to the 2016-17 school year.

8. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the annual IHSA New Principals Workshop the IHSA will host at its office on October 7.

9. The Board heard a report on schools who have filed waivers to play up a State Series classification. All waivers require a two-year commitment. The schools, sports, new class, and applicable years on each waiver are listed below:

School   Sport  New Class
 Chicago (De LaSalle)  Boys Basketball  4A  2015-16 & 2016-17
 Chicago (Marshall)
 Boys Basketball
 2015-16 & 2016-17
 Chicago (Marshall)  Girls Basketball
 3A  2015-16 & 2016-17
 Chicago (St. Rita)  Boys Basketball
 4A  2014-15 & 2015-16
 Chicago (St. Rita)  Boys Golf
 3A  2014-15 & 2015-16
 Chicago (St. Rita)  Wrestling  3A  2015-16 & 2016-17
 East St. Louis (H.S.)  Football  7A  2015-16 & 2016-17
 New Lenox (Providence Catholic)  Wrestling  3A  2014-15 & 2015-16
 South Holland (Seton Academy)  Boys Basketball
 2A  2015-16 & 2016-17
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