I’m guessing that Wednesday wasn’t a very fun day at the office for Illinois High School Association Executive Director Marty Hickman. Hickman had to knock the top-ranked girls basketball team in Class 4A, Homewood-Flossmoor, out of the playoffs an hour before it was to play its regional opener. The IHSA found a number of violations that were committed by the school and its first-year coach, Anthony Smith.
I’m not so sure that Hickman will want to pick up his phone today or do a search for “IHSA” on Twitter. The IHSA Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on Wednesday. One of the agenda items that passed was a new “success advancement” policies for non-boundaried schools. Those non-boundary — private — schools that have a certain amount of success in a specific sport will be bumped up to the next classification. You can read the IHSA press release here.
Closer to home, it means that the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball and girls soccer teams will be moving on up thanks to its phenomenal success. The girls basketball team was already playing up one class because of the 1.65 multiplier that the IHSA charges to all non-boundary school. Starting next year, Eric Orne’s crew will play in the highest classification — Class 4A — because of their success. The QND girls soccer team will be pushed up to Class 2A in the three-class soccer system.
Already subject to the multiplier, the QND teams are being targeted again for being too good.
As you could guess, the masses aren’t happy about this. QND backers are upset. Heck, even those from rival schools took to Twitter on Wednesday night to express their displeasure.
I wouldn’t have much of a problem with this “success advancement” policy if it was applied to all schools equally. To target private schools doesn’t seem to be very fair.
This only perpetuates the idea that the IHSA is less about competition and more about making sure everyone gets a medal and feels good about themselves at the end of the day.
Class expansion has ruined what was a premier basketball state tournament. It’s only a matter of time until the four-class system we have now will grow to five or six classes.
If for no other reason, they’ll expand basketball classes so that they have somewhere to put the QND girls in a few years.
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