From Abingdon to Zion and to the borders in every direction in between, the Illinois High School Association’s nearly 800 member high schools are spread out across the 57,918 square miles that constitute the Land of Lincoln. The size and diversity of the state can be seen in the make-up of IHSA member schools, as the membership consists of public, private, charter, magnet, university, religious, collegiate preparatory, selective enrollment and career academy high schools, in addition to a school for the deaf and a school for the visually impaired.
If you are new to the IHSA website, it is important to remember that the IHSA utilizes a unique system for identifying its schools, as all schools begin with their city name first. For example, Fremd High School in Palatine will be listed as Palatine (Fremd) in the School Directory, as well as in any references to its teams or individuals competing in IHSA State Series sports and activities. The IHSA has long used this system to easily distinguish all of its member schools, as well as to avoid confusion when schools have the same name (i.e. Mt. Carmel High School in Mt. Carmel and Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago) or share a directional denotation (there are 14 IHSA member schools that have the word ‘Central’ in their name).
Public schools in the same geographic regions can be approved to form Cooperative Teams (Coops) in all or select sports and activities. Coop’s must meet several regulations to gain approval, including approval from each of the involved schools, approval from their conferences and data that proves that the coop will not limit participation opportunities.
A small number of high schools in the state that are not eligible for full IHSA membership may be granted Associate or Approved member statuses upon application, which allows them to compete against IHSA schools, but not participate in IHSA State Series postseason events.