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IHSA to elminate full contact summer football practice

IHSA to elminate full contact summer football practice

7 months ago by

QND also appears before the IHSA to discuss Success Factor

A majority of Illinois High School Association member schools who voted have decided to eliminate full pad football activities in the summer.

The IHSA Board of Directors announced the results of  a special legislative session vote on Tuesday. The revised version of the by-law passed by a vote of 170-87.

It covers workouts, 7 on 7 competitions and summer camps that occur prior to the start of fall practice.

“The vote reflects much of what we have heard from coaches on this issue,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “We had some individuals who opposed eliminating full contact from summer football activities, but the majority of the people we talked to said this change would not affect them. Given that about half of our football playing schools voted, we believe that many abstained knowing their summer practice plans would not be altered regardless of the result of the voting.”

A full text of By-law 3.157 with the newly revised language and rationale from the submitting committees, the Football Advisory Committee and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, can be found by clicking here.

“We believe this revision minimizes risk to football student-athletes, while allowing for the teaching of appropriate fundamentals,” said Hickman. “This is another important step in making high school football as safe as possible, while putting all of our schools on an even playing field regarding football activities during the summer.”

The IHSA will hold educational webinars for coaches and administrators to clarify the new by-law and answer questions on it. Coaches and administrators will be contacted with more information on the webinars in the coming days.

The Board discussed a pair of proposals from member schools regarding the football playoffs and how it relates overall to the grouping and seeding of all sports and heard from representatives from Chicago (University), Decatur (St. Teresa), Normal (University) and Quincy (Notre Dame) to discuss recent changes to IHSA Board Policy 17, the so-called "Success Factor" that automatically pushes state tournament qualifiers up a class the following season.

The IHSA didn't release any details of that discussion, but QND Principal Mark McDowell, who attended the hearing with girls basketball and softball coach Eric Orne, did talk about their visit.

"We suggested some alternatives and we clearly advocated that, as private schools, that we were in opposition to the success factor," McDowell said.  "We felt it was in our best interest to explain our concerns. We were well received. They were cordial." 

McDowell said one of their alternatives was to not make the Success Factor retroactive. "If this continues, girls basketball and girls soccer are impacted next year. In our opinion, IHSA has been changed retroactively. It shouldn't look back, it should look forward and we would start the clock next year and it would be in place going forward."

The Board discussed language for several items related to IHSA Board Policy 17. The Board will ask for clarifications from the ad hoc committee that recommended recent changes to Policy 17 and plans to review and take action on them at a future meeting. 


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