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Spring Meeting of IESA Board of Directors Recap---Additional Penalties Added for Player, Coach, and Fan Ejections

The regularly scheduled spring meeting of the IESA Board of Directors was scheduled to be held on April 3, 2020 but due to the COVID-19 situation the meeting was held via a video conference call on April 17. During the meeting, the Board approved a major change to the penalties assessed to players, coaches, and fans who are ejected from contests. In addition, the Board modified the by-laws regarding the eligibility of transfer students and the eligibility of students who live out-of-district but attend school tuition free in the district where their parent or guardian is employed. They also tied up other loose ends and discussed the financial impact of the COVID-19 situation.

The IESA Athletic Directors Advisory Committee recommended a change to the penalties assessed to players, coaches, and now fans who are removed from a contest for unsportsmanlike behavior. The IESA Board of Directors approved the recommendation and it will become effective with the start of the 2020-21 school year. With the change, a player who is ejected from a contest will now be required to miss the next two contests at the level at which the ejection occurred and all contests in the interim and complete the National Federation of State High School Associations Sportsmanship course. A second ejection by the same player in any sport will result in a five-game suspension and a $100 fine. Previously, a player who was ejected was only required to miss one contest for the first offense and two games for a second offense. For coaches who are ejected, the automatic two game suspension for the first offense and five game suspension for the second offense was not changed. Coaches who are ejected will still serve a two game suspension at the level at which the ejection occurred and all other contests in the interim but will now be required to complete the NFHS Sportsmanship course and pay a $100 fine. A second offense will result in a five-game suspension and a $250 fine. A fan who is ejected will be required to watch the NFHS Sportsmanship course before he/she can return to watch contests. "These changes to the penalties assessed to players, coaches, and fans are a direct attempt to change the behavior and culture at the junior high/middle school level regarding proper sportsmanship at the interscholastic level," said IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley. "In particular, a coach who is ejected one time will continue to serve a two-game suspension but will now have to pay a fine of $100 and watch a sportsmanship video. A second ejection will result in a five-game suspension and a $250 fine. We have been saying for years that coaches are role models and there is no reason for a coach to be ejected at our level. We hope this revised penalty helps coaches to understand that their behavior should reflect the values of education-based activities. Further, schools will be held responsible for any fan that is ejected by requiring that fan to watch the NFHS Sportsmanship video prior to returning to watch contests and provide proof to the IESA Office that the video was viewed. The number of ejections by players, coaches, and fans during the 2019-20 school year totaled exactly 100. That is simply unacceptable at the junior high/middle school level. I hope these new penalties change those numbers dramatically."

The IESA Board of Directors approved two other recommendations from the Athletic Directors Advisory Committee. Effective with the start of the 2020-21 school year, a student who transfers after the first day of practice in a given activity will be allowed to join the team for his or her new school only if he/she did not tryout, practice, or participate in a contest for the previous school. They would still need to sit 11 days before participating in a contest for the new school.

Previously, a student who transferred was ineligible for a sport at the new school if he/she transferred after the beginning date of practice for that sport. Now, as long as the student did not tryout, practice, or participate for the old school he/she can join the team at the new school provided the new school allows someone to join the team after the season has started. Another recommendation that was approved is a change to the eligibility of students who live out-of-district but are allowed to attend tuition free in the district where the parents or guardian are employed. Previously, only the students of certified staff members were eligible to participate in IESA activities. The change will now allow students of any staff member employed by the district to be eligible.

The Board took the following action regarding recommendations from the athletic directors, basketball, and cheerleading advisory committees:

Athletic Directors

In addition to the three recommendations mentioned above, the Board also approved the recommendation from the Athletic Directors advisory committee that a policy for an accommodation request be included in the IESA Handbook.

The Board DID NOT APPROVE the following recommendation from the athletic directors advisory committee:

**To allow 7th graders free admission into the 8th grade regional contests and 8th graders free admission into the 7th grade regional contests. Ex. Director's Note: This is the third consecutive year the athletic directors committee recommended this type of policy and just like the previous two years, the IESA Board of Directors once again did not approve the recommendation. Schools that host basketball and volleyball regionals and sectionals SHALL NOT allow the 7th grade team in free at the 8th grade games and/or the 8th grade team in free at the 7th grade games. This has always been the policy but we continue to receive reports that some schools are allowing this. The problems occur when a 7th grade regional host allows the 8th grade teams free admission into the 7th grade regional but then a week later the 8th grade regional host does not allow the 7th grade teams in free to the 8th grade regional. The IESA state series does not allow for free admission except for those people listed on the regional entry form. Host schools are expected to abide by this policy.

Boys/Girls Basketball

The IESA Board of Directors APPROVED the following recommendations from the basketball advisory committee:

**To allow the clock to be stopped if there is a running clock situation when free throws are being administered with one minute or less left in play.

**To require a sectional host to reschedule a contest postponed by weather to Thursday. If the sectional host cannot hold the contest on Thursday due to a conflict, the competing schools will have the opportunity to host. If both schools express and interest in hosting, a coin flip will determine the host.

**To help offset the increased expenses of having a trainer on site at state activities, to raise the student admission price at the all state level activities from $2.00 to $3.00.

Cheerleading

There were no recommendations from the cheerleading advisory committee.

Other Business Items

Treasurer's Report: The Board received and accepted the treasurer's report for the fiscal period through March 31, 2020 and April 8, 2020. The Board was informed that the PPP loan the Association applied for was approved and the funds would be available later that day. Schools were previously informed that they would receive 75% of their music entry fees but there have been four schools who have informed the IESA Office they did not want a refund of the fees to help with the finances of the Association. General discussion concerning the impact of the COVID-19 situation was held.

Financial Reports: The Board accepted the financial reports for the state series in girls basketball, cheerleading, and speech.

Scholar Attitude Award: The Board was informed that the luncheon honoring the 2020 Scholar Attitude Award winners would not be held due to the COVID-19 situation.

Award Medals: The Board accepted a four-year bid from A & M Products, Princeton, IL to provide the medals distributed to students in the various activities.

Board Meetings: There is one regular meeting remaining in the 2019-2020 school year. It is scheduled for June 19, 2020

Division Reports

There were no Division Reports.



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