IESA Headlines

IESA Board Approves Classification Changes to State Track and Field Series for 2021; Approves State Sites for 2019-20; Acts on Activity and Athletic Committee Recommendations; Bowling Finals to Remain at Joliet Town and Country Lanes

During a very busy summer meeting that was held on Friday, June 14, the IESA Board of Directors approved the formation of a four class system for the state track and field series that will begin in 2021. The Board also approved a staff recommendation to keep the bowling state finals at the Joliet Town and Country Lanes through 2022. In addition, there were numerous advisory committee recommendations that the Board acted upon including approving the state final sites for the 2019-20 school year. The lineup of state final sites is posted on the IESA Web Site To view the 2019-20 state sites and dates, click on State Hosts and Dates under Activities on the left hand side of the home page.

Beginning in 2021, there will be a four class system in place for the track and field state series. Approximately 25% of the schools entering the state series will be in each of the four classes. Classes 1A and 2A will hold their sectional competition on what is now the Class A sectional date and their state competition will be held on what is now the Class A state meet date. Classes 3A and 4A will hold their sectional meets on what is now the Class AA sectional date and their state date will be what is now the Class AA weekend. There will be 10 sectionals in each class. It is important to note that this does not go into effect until 2021. The 2020 state series will still operate as a two class system. "A quick review of the results from this past year showed that 80% of the top eight finishers in each event in the Class A meet were from schools that would be in Class 2A under a four class system and 75% of the top 8 finishers in the Class AA meet were from schools that would be in Class 4A," said Steve Endsley, IESA Executive Director. "The change to a four class system starting in 2021 should not significantly change the total number of athletes participating at the state meet each weekend."

The IESA Bowling state finals will remain at the Town and Country Lanes in Joliet through 2022. The facility has served as the only host of the finals since state competition started in 2011. "We are very appreciative of the all the work Jeff Bailey and his staff at the Town and Country Lanes devote to our bowling state finals," said Endsley. "They are very accommodating and we look forward to our finals continuing to be held at the facility."

In addition to the above changes, the Board also acted on recommendations from the advisory committees in Scholastic Bowl, Music, Track and Field, Wrestling, Volleyball, and Bowling as well as tied up other loose ends. Advisory committees are composed of coaches, administrators, and officials with expertise in the respective sport or activity. Each sport/activity has an advisory committee and generally meets once a school year. The advisory committee reviews the Terms and Conditions, administrative procedures and all other aspects of the sport/activity and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. Here are the highlights of action taken by the Board on IESA activity committee recommendations:

IESA Activity Committees


The Board approved an administrative recommendation that host schools will receive 85% of the contest entry fees and the Association will pay the cost of all the awards. Previously, contest hosts received 95% of the entry fees and the award costs were paid by the host schools from the fees received. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations and the minutes of the meeting:

Scholastic Bowl:

The Board approved a change to the procedure for breaking ties in pool play during a tournament. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations and the minutes of the meeting:

Track and Field:

In addition to the change to a four class system effective with the 2021 track season, the Board also approved a couple of other noteworthy recommendations. Students in grades 5-7 will now be permitted to participate in their individual events at either or both the 7th grade and 8th grade level but at no time can an individual compete in the same event at both grade levels. For example, a 7th grade athlete could participate in the 7th grade 100 meter dash; the 8th grade 200 meter dash; and two relays at the 7th grade level. At the sectional level both the 100 meter dash and the hurdle event will be run as timed finals only. A slight revision to the state meet time schedule was also approved. Each school will receive four coaches wristbands that must be worn by coaches for admission to the state meet. Coaches who fail to wear the wristband during the state meet or lose them during the weekend will be required to pay admission and enter through the main spectator gate. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations and the minutes of the meeting:

Wrestling: The Board approved a recommendation to cross bracket the championship bracket semi-final losers at the regional and sectional level. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations and the minutes of the meeting:

Volleyball: The Board approved an administrative recommendation to limit the number of sets an individual may participate in during any given day to nine. If a school has four matches scheduled in one day in a tournament, an individual player cannot play more than nine sets. Nine sets is the maximum number of sets that any player may play in any day. This is true for all regular season play, regular season tournaments, and state series play. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations and the minutes of the meeting:


The Board approved an administrative recommendation to require bowlers from the same schools competing in the same division to appear in matching tops and appropriate bottoms. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations and the minutes of the meeting:

IESA Board of Director Committees

Staff Relations:

The Board set salaries for the 2019-20 school year for all employees.


The Board approved a $1 increase to the student admission ticket price for the wrestling regional and sectional tournaments. This will now bring the student admission price for wrestling to the same as other activities.

Other Business:

Assistant Executive Director Reports - Ms. Alappattu updated the Board on the Student Leadership Conference which will be held in September and presented information on the IESA Partnership with Illinois Special Olympics. Mr Frasco updated the Board on the Scholastic Bowl state tournament held in Peoria in early May and discussions held by the Emerging Activities committee.

Associate Executive Director Report – Mrs. Schaefbauer shared with the Board the new requirement for track coaches to wear a wristband to be admitted to the state track and field meet. She passed out information regarding a survey that was sent to the membership. Staff will discuss the information that was received from the survey.

Executive Director Report - Mr. Endsley recommended and the Board approved a slight change to the start time of the class 3A baseball games that are played on Friday of the state finals. He also presented information on schools using service from Arbiter Sports to help schools manage scheduling and game officials. Discussion was also held regarding the Scholar Attitude program and ways to publicize the opportunity for students to apply for the award.

State Series Finances – The Board received financial reports for Wrestling, Boys Basketball, Girls Volleyball, Music, and Bowling.

Treasurer's Report – The Board received and accepted the treasurer's report ending May 31, 2019.

State Series Roster Correction – The Board approved a policy that will allow a school to make a correction to their state series roster if they fail to list a student and then that student who was omitted from the roster participated in a state series game. If a school has a non-rostered player play in a state series game and the school wins that contest, it will be considered a forfeit if there are no spots to add a player. If, however, there are roster spots available and an individual played in a state series game and that team won the contest, the team will be allowed to continue to advance in the state series provided the school can document the player participated in at least 60% of the school's regular season contests and the school completes a reinstatement form. The player will have to miss the next contest as a penalty and the school will be assessed a $50 penalty fee. "The basic message we are sending to schools and those with the responsibility to complete the state series roster form is to be very accurate with the roster that is being submitted," said Endsley. "When a clerical error is made, this policy will allow a school who plays a student that was not listed on the roster and the school had roster spots available and they win that state series contest to continue to advance but the player will have to serve a next game suspension and the school will pay a penalty fee. If there was no roster spot available and a student plays who is not listed on the form and the team wins, that contest will be considered a forfeit. Schools must be sure to accurately list all players who may participate in the state series."

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 constituents 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 June 14 meeting:

Division A: Mr. Haupt was contacted by a member school regarding the possible addition of flag football. There are no plans to add this as an IESA state series activity.

Division B: Dr. Hogue inquired about the possibility of teams forming a co-op in wrestling. Schools are allowed to co-op in wrestling.

Division F: Mr. Johnson was asked to relay to the IESA staff appreciation for all of the work and commitment they devote to the various activities.

Division H: Mr. Ingold inquired about the procedures schools should follow to make personnel changes in the IESA member center.

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