Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

January 2009 Board Meeting Summary

IESA Board Accepts Rawlings Ball Adoption Plan

BLOOMINGTON - The Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Board of Directors has accepted a ball adoption plan from St. Louis-based Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. The vote took place at the IESA regular winter meeting on Friday (January 23, 2009). The adoption of the official ball is for the next five school years - through the 2013-14 academic year.

The Rawlings ball will be used in the IESA state series in boys baseball, girls softball, girls basketball, boys basketball and girls volleyball beginning next school year. Should the IESA implement a new state series activity where a ball is used and Rawlings produces a ball for that activity, Rawlings will be given the first chance to provide the ball for that emerging sport state series activity.

Since the 1995-96 school year, product from Wilson Sporting Goods Company has been the official ball used in the state series in the five sports. The IESA agreement with Wilson concludes this (2008-09) school year. The girls volleyball state series in March 2009 will be the last IESA sport and state series in which a Wilson ball is used.

In making its decision, the IESA Board reviewed ball adoption proposals from most of the major ball manufacturers. Wilson Sporting Goods was invited to bid but the company did not submit a proposal.

"History has a tendency to repeat itself, and our member schools return to the use of Rawlings product," said Steve Endsley, IESA Executive Director. "Rawlings balls and equipment were the choice of a large number of our member schools, particularly in baseball and basketball, for many years prior to 1995-96. Rawlings has a strong reputation in the sporting goods industry for the quality of its product and the dependability of its service," he said.

The Rawlings official balls to be used at all levels of IESA competition for the next five school years in the respective state series are: Baseball (RIESA), Softball (IESA 12Y47L), Girls Basketball (COMPWIESA), Boys Basketball (COMPIESA) and Girls Volleyball (VB1001).

School Suspension Appeal Denied

Joliet St. Paul the Apostle School was suspended from participating in any IESA state series as of January 1, 2009, for failure to attend the required Division Meeting for two consecutive years.

IESA Constitution article 1.370 requires each member of the Board of Directors to call meetings of the member schools in their division at least once annually. The article stipulates that "each member school principal or his/her designee shall be in attendance. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in probation for one year. The second consecutive violation will result in suspension from participation in the state series for a period of one year beginning on January 1 following the school's non-compliance with this rule."

Representatives of the school appeared before the Board Friday to appeal the suspension. The Board voted to uphold the suspension. The IESA Division Meetings are held in the fall each year. Joliet St. Paul the Apostle School must be represented at a Division Meeting next fall as a condition for reinstatement in order for the suspension to be lifted January 1, 2010.

The Board also received the reports and acted on recommendations from the Strategic Planning action teams for Emerging Activities and Fine Arts, which will have significant impact on member schools. In addition, the Board acted on the recommendations from the advisory committees in softball, baseball, cross-country and cheerleading, approved new by-laws and administrative procedures in the IESA Coaches Education program, and tied up a number of loose ends.

Strategic Planning

The Board received the reports from the Strategic Planning action team for Emerging Activities and acted accordingly:

At its meeting Oct. 15, 2008, the action team developed a survey that member schools completed online in December of 2008. The survey asked member schools to help identify potential emerging activities, including Chess, Tennis, Golf, Boys Volleyball, Soccer, Bowling, Football and Swimming. At its meeting Jan. 13, 2009, the action team developed a plan to obtain data from all member schools regarding potential new activities during the annual re-enrollment of membership for next (2009-10) school year.

During the re-enrollment period (late March-early June), member schools will be asked to provide online preferences regarding golf, bowling, chess, boys volleyball and coed soccer. The survey will seek data regarding need for a season, if any; date of a state final; structure of the state series; and a timetable to implement state series competition if the activity is adopted by the IESA Board of Directors.

The Board authorized making the Emerging Sports action team a standing IESA committee similar to the advisory committees. This committee will meet in June of 2009 to review the data obtained from the membership during the re-enrollment period and will make recommendations to the Board thereafter.

The Board discussed the need to establish policy for adding new state series competition and agreed to put one in place at a future Board meeting.

The Board received the report from the Fine Arts action team and acted accordingly:

The action team reviewed the existing speech, music and art activities in light of internal and external forms of communication regarding the activities, and generated a series of concepts to expand publicity, promotion and public relations for the activities. The Board authorized the IESA staff to implement the concepts wherein possible.

Member schools will be required to provide the IESA Office with the name and email address of their athletic director and Fine Arts/Activity director during the re-enrollment this school year.

Baseball Advisory Committee

The Board approved a recommendation to move the mandatory starting time of the sectional from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The change allows the traveling team an additional hour for travel and allows for the field to dry longer from morning dew.

The Board approved a change in By-law 4.014 that invokes the 15-run rule after three innings in all IESA baseball contests. Previously, the 15-run rule went into effect after the fourth inning.

Softball Advisory Committee

The Board approved a recommendation to mandate that in the Regional Tournament at sites without lights, a game cannot start later than 5:00 p.m.

A motion to approve a recommendation that seeding meetings cannot start prior to 7:00 p.m. unless all schools in the respective Regional are willing to start earlier did not receive a second.

Cross-Country Advisory Committee

The Board approved a recommendation to increase the number of Class A sectionals from eight to nine. Next fall there will be nine sectionals in both Class A and Class AA.

The Board approved a recommendation to advance any individual runner who finishes in the top 10 at the sectional to the state final meet.

The Board approved a recommendation to set noon on the Wednesday preceding the sectional meet as the deadline for changes on the sectional entry form. Each school entered in the sectional may list up to ten runners on the sectional entry form. Seven of the runners listed on the form can compete in the meet.

A motion to approve a recommendation to award medals to the top ten individual finishers in the sectional meets did not receive a second.


The Board approved a recommendation to further establish the parameters for cheerleading at athletic contests. Change to By-law 3.140 stipulates that there shall be a maximum of twelve (12) cheerleaders performing sideline cheers on the floor at one time, provided the facility can safely accommodate this number. A game official may always ask for the sidelines (end lines) to be kept clear or reduce the number of cheerleaders on the sidelines (end lines) for the safety of the players. A new question and answer addresses the number of cheerleaders that can participate in a cheer on the floor. During full timeouts, between quarters, and at halftime, the limit on the number of cheerleaders that can perform is no more than the size of the school squad, provided the squad can complete its performance without stopping play.

The Board also approved recommendations to update the Vault section of the Cheerleading Terms and Conditions and to change the point deductions for a major violation from ten (10) points per judge to five (5) points per judge and a boundary infraction from two (2) points per judge to one (1) point per judge per incident.

Coaches Education

The Board added a penalty to by-law 2.110 for persons who are in non-compliance with the coaches qualification requirements. The addition states that "any coach who does not meet the IESA coaching qualifications will be suspended for a minimum of two (2) games and will not be permitted to coach again until he/she has completed an approved IESA coaching education course. Additionally, any contest in which the coach participated while in violation will be forfeited." The by-law also provides that the IESA Board of Directors may apply additional sanctions to schools with multiple coaching qualifications violations.

The Board approved an addition to by-law 3.014 that stipulates that only team bench personnel listed on the regional entry form will be permitted on the bench during state tournament series play. The online regional entry forms will have space for schools to indicate whether each coach listed meets the requirements of the by-law.

The National Federation Coaching Education Program was added to the list of approved coaching education courses. The others approved are the ASEP/IESA Coaching Essentials and the ASEP/IHSA Coaching Principles courses.

Other Business Items

Scholar Attitude: This year's 11th annual Scholar Attitude Award luncheon will be Tuesday, April 28, at 11:00 a.m. the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. Fifteen (15) boys and fifteen (15) girls will receive the Scholar Attitude Award. Stephen Bargatze will again be the featured speaker. The deadline for receipt of nominations in the IESA Office is Feb. 22, 2009. Judges will meet in the IESA Office March 18, 2009, to select the 2009 winners.

Division Meetings: The Board heard a report regarding attendance and an evaluation of the required Division Meetings that were conducted for the third time this fall.

The IESA Constitution requires that each member school principal or designee attend the annual division meeting. IESA conducted a total of 21 divisional meetings statewide in 2008 with a total of 640 individuals attending. The first year a school misses attending the required meeting the school is placed on probation. If a school misses a meeting two years in a row it is suspended from participating in all IESA state series for a period of one year beginning January 1 following the school's second consecutive non-compliance. Forty-eight (48) member schools were placed on probation for the 2009-10 school year for failure to attend a 2008 meeting. Forty-nine (49) member schools were on probation for the 2008-09 school year for failure to attend a 2007 meeting. Fifty-seven (57) member schools were placed on probation for the 2007-08 school year for failure to attend a 2006 meeting.

Rules Violation Fines: The Board instructed the IESA staff to develop a policy for applying fines to member schools that violate the IESA Constitution and By-laws. The Board also asked the staff to look at the feasibility of assessing fines for ejections from athletic contests.

Use of 5th and 6th Grade Players: The Board adopted a policy that students in fifth or sixth grade who participate on the school's seventh and/or eighth grade teams must abide by all IESA rules and regulations during the IESA season for that sport.

Treasurer's Report: The Board received and accepted the treasurer's report for the fiscal period ending December 31, 2008.

Financial Reports: The Board accepted the financial reports for the state series in Girls Softball, Boys Baseball, Cross-Country, Cheerleading and Speech.

Board Meetings: There are two regular meetings remaining in the 2008-09 school year. One is scheduled April 3, 2009, and the other is scheduled June 19, 2009.

Advisory Committee Dates: The dates for the upcoming advisory committee meetings are March 5 for basketball, April 2 for wrestling, April 6 for volleyball, June 2 for Music, June 5 for scholastic bowl and June 10 for track and field.

Executive Director's Report: Repair work to the IESA Office building was completed in the late fall. That work included caulking and a new roof. The Board then discussed possible office expansion and renovation.

Associate Executive Director's Report: The Board heard about several situations that occurred during the recent girls basketball season and the IESA Office response to them. The Board placed Decatur Robertson on probation because its seventh grade girls basketball team did not appear at the regional tournament nor did it inform the host school that it was not going to participate. Decatur Robertson would face suspension from IESA is the situation occurs again. The Board also instructed the IESA staff to develop a penalty to be applied to schools that do not appear at the state series competition taking into consideration host school expenses, and the opponent's expenses in team sports.

Assistant Executive Director's Report: The Board was able to review the status of the IESA Coaches Education program and adopted by-law changes and administrative policies regarding the program (see elsewhere in this article.) The Board heard an update of the Division Meetings (see elsewhere in this article).

Project Manager Report: The Board received an update regarding the status of current and future sponsorships, and an update regarding publication of the six fall state final programs.

Special Olympics Project: The Board heard a report of the "Run With The Law" segment of the annual Flame of Hope Torch Run culminating at the summer games of the Illinois Special Olympics on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal. Police officers from throughout Illinois participate in the Flame of Hope event, and school resource officers will participate in the "Run With The Law" segment.

Division Reports

At each meeting of the Board of Directors time is devoted for each board member to report on communication with and requests from the member schools in the member's division. In addition, Board members also may make observations regarding the operation of the Association. Following is a report of those from the January 23 meeting:

Division G: Mr. Bunting received an inquiry from a member school regarding the rotation of regional hosts. No action was taken.

Division L: Mr. Cameron was contacted concerning the pending ball adoption.

Division M: Mr. Ervin discussed the seeding process as related to inclement weather.

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