Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

January 2006 Board Meeting Summary

Board Approves Strategic Planning Action Team State Tournament Structure Changes

The Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Board of Directors responded positively Friday (January 20) in its regular quarterly meeting to recommendations from its State Series Structure Action Team that will have significant impact for the members of the IESA.

Beginning next school term (2006-07), IESA will conduct boys baseball in a three-class structure with a four-class structure in girls basketball, boys basketball and girls volleyball. No changes to classification at this time are being made to girls softball, cross-country, boys wrestling, or track and field.

"This action by our Board is a defining moment in the history of IESA," said Executive Director Steve Endsley. "The members of the action teams took their roles very seriously. They did their research, developed many concepts and finally reached conclusion on the unanimous recommendations they presented to our Board."

Strategic Planning for the IESA was launched the weekend of January 21-22, 2005, when more than 30 volunteers from across the state met as the Planning Team and created 10 belief statements, 12 strategies and a revised Mission Statement. One of the strategies was that "IESA will review state series structure and state series administration." Another of the strategies was that "IESA will provide the appropriate financial resources to meet the mission of IESA."A third was that "IESA will review the IESA Constitution."

The State Series Structure Action Team met three times before sending its recommendations to the Board. The Financial Resources Action Team met twice before sending its recommendations to the Board. The Constitution Action Team has met three times and the Board heard a report of progress being made by that action team Friday. Minutes of all the action team meetings are published in the Strategic Planning section of the IESA Web Site at

The change to a four-class structure in boys and girls basketball and girls volleyball allows IESA to re-organize the state final playing schedules in the 7th Grade State Series and the 8th Grade State series from two 16-team tournaments that take four days to complete for basketball (three for volleyball), to four state finals that will be played over only two days at four different sites. In basketball, there will be four state finals, Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 3A and Class 4A, on the 7th grade weekend and four more state finals on the 8th grade weekend. The eight teams in each state final will compete in quarterfinal round games beginning Saturday morning and the four survivors will battle in semifinal games Saturday evening. The third place and championship games will be played the following Thursday evening. In girls volleyball, the structure is the same but the state final playing days will be Saturday and the following Tuesday.

Teams will be assigned to their class based on the number of schools entering teams in the respective 7th and 8th grade series. The total number of schools entered by the entry deadline date will be divided by four with 25 percent of the schools entered assigned by their enrollment into one of the four classes.

In baseball, a three-class system will be implemented. Schools will be divided by their enrollments with one third of the schools entered assigned into Class 1A, Class 2A and Class 3A respectively. The three state finals will be played on Friday and Saturday of each weekend at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria.

Because there are nearly 100 more schools that enter the state series in boys baseball than in girls softball, the action team, after looking at the entry numbers, declined to recommend expansion to three classes in softball. However, the action team's recommendation to change the playing days in the girls softball regionals was approved. Beginning next fall, all regional quarterfinal games will be played on Wednesday of Week 10 in the Standardized Calendar and the semifinals and championship game will be played on Saturday. If a regional has only four teams, all its games will be played on Saturday of Week 10. This will save the school from traveling an extra day to play the championship game---a change that was also supported by the softball advisory committee.

In all of the affected sports, there will be 16 regionals and eight sectionals in each class with eight teams advancing to the state final tournament. The State Series Structure Action Team will review the remaining sports and any recommendations they might develop will also be put before the Board. Again, no changes to softball, cross-country, wrestling or track and field are being planned for 2006-07.

"What a difference playing our state finals in two days compared to four days is going to make to our member schools and their fans," Endsley said. "Our State Series Action team had as their main priority to reduce the number of nights a team had to travel that continues to win at our state finals. It never was about giving out more trophies or giving more kids a chance to win, nor was it in response to the recent action taken by the Illinois High School Association. It was always about reducing the travel and the monetary expense to our member schools. In a few isolated instances, teams may travel a bit more for regional play but I hope our membership looks at the overall benefits for the majority of the membership. The third baseball class does bring eight additional teams to the finals and the Action Team looked specifically at the enrollments of the classes in baseball. A school with a 7-8 enrollment of 135 was playing a school with an enrollment of 1100. With the third class, that same school will now play in class 2A where the approximate enrollment of the class will be 96-181."

"The total number of teams that have advanced to the state finals in basketball and volleyball remains the same as in previous years. But the schools and their fans will only travel two days instead of four if they play for a trophy. Everyone will have ample time to make plans for their team's appearance in the tournament."

"And the new format for the state series may help us recruit new membership and participation in the state series. School administrations now know that if their school participates and achieve the success of playing in the state tournament, they will only have the expenses of two days compared to four."

"When you take a close look at what is going to happen, you'll also see that a No. 1 seed will only play one less game in the state series than in the past," Endsley added. "To be state champion, a No. 1 seed in the regional is going to have to win six games instead of seven."

"We know and understand that at the state finals, it's going to be an adjustment to play two games on the first day. But, for the four teams that advance to the semifinals, they know they will be coming back to play for a trophy."

If the new class system would have been in place for the 2005-06 school year, the breakdown would have been as follows:

Class System Breakdown
Class # of Schools in Class Enrollments
1A 82 18-95
2A 81 96-181
3A 81 182-1079
Boys Basketball
Class # of Schools in Class Enrollments
1A 96 15-80
2A 96 80-136
3A 96 137-270
4A 96 271-1079
Girls Basketball
Class # of Schools in Class Enrollments
1A 86 12-85
2A 85 86-153
3A 85 154-308
4A 85 309-1079
Girls Volleyball
Class # of Schools in Class Enrollments
1A 89 12-77
2A 88 78-138
3A 88 139-278
4A 88 279-1079

Changes in the annual membership dues and entry fees into the athletic state series also were approved by the IESA Board. Beginning next school term (2006-07), the dues paid by each member school will increase from $50 to $75 per year, and the entry fee for each athletic state series will increase to $45. The Board also approved that thee be an annual review of membership dues and entry fees.

"Our Association must use membership dues and entry fees to operate," Endsley observed. "Our dues were last increased in 1989. In 1995, we last raised the athletic entry fees from $25 to $30. Much of the increase in fees will be used to offset our anticipated costs in administering the expansion of the state series and to help offset what we anticipate will be a decline in state final tournament revenue because of the reduction in the days of the playing schedule. Also, it will help us meet the demands of our expanding computer technology."

The IESA Board also approved the Financial Resources Action team recommendation that the contract with Wilson Sporting Goods be renegotiated addressing the issue of costs associated with the shipping of the official balls used in the state series to the host schools, the insufficient supply of official balls provided to the host schools, and the impact of expansion in the state series.

The Board took the following action regarding these advisory committee recommendations:


1) Approved a provision in the Terms and Conditions to cover games in the state series stopped by weather, darkness or mechanical failure. Such games will be suspended games and will be replayed from the point when the game was stopped. Line-ups and batting order will remain as they were when the game was stopped. Pitching limitations still apply when the game is resumed. The coach of the team trailing at the time of the suspension may forfeit the contest at which time the game will be considered a complete game.

2) Approved clarification of the existing Safety-Base rule.

3) Approved a change in the pitching rule to allow a pitcher to throw in the second game of a doubleheader as long as they do not exceed seven innings in one day. Pitchers can throw seven innings in a day in any combination of innings per game.

4) Approved a change in the pitching substitution rule to allow a starting pitcher who has been removed from pitching to another position to return once to the game in the pitching position. Relief pitchers do not have this opportunity.

5) Approved assigning three umpires-in-chief to the Class 1A, Class 2A and Class 3A state finals tournaments.

6) Approved a change in the starting time of the sectional from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.


1) Approved a requirement that hosts of sectionals must have a course that is 3200 meters in length, can accommodate 75-90 runners in a single race and have a starting area large enough for 12-14 teams.


1) Approved requiring that a host rotation system be in place in each of the geographic speech areas beginning with the 2006-07 (next) school term.

2) Added Solo Acting as an event in Individual Events. Solo Acting is a dramatic presentation by an individual student that may be a monologue, a selection in which two or more characters are portrayed or storytelling.


1) Authorized the IESA staff to launch a Character Campaign which will incorporate a number of print and internet pieces to define the core character values embodies in good sports and good citizens. A different core value will be highlighted each month during the 2006-07 (next) school term.

2) Approved an IESA Sportsmanship Logo Contest with the winning design being used in conjunction with the Character Campaign. Details of the contest can be found on the IESA Web Site.

3) Tabled a recommendation to create a Sportsmanship Award to recognize outstanding behavior by a school ion each of the (14) IESA Board of Directors Divisions.

4) Approved a plan to distribute Sportsmanship Rating Forms at all levels in all athletic state series beginning next (2006-07) school term.

5) Tabled a recommendation to develop and distribute Sportsmanship Banners to member schools.


1) Approved a provision in the Terms and Conditions to cover games in the state series stopped by weather, darkness or mechanical failure. Such games will be suspended games and will be replayed from the point when the game was stopped. Line-ups and batting order will remain as they were when the game was stopped. The coach of the team trailing at the time of the suspension may forfeit the contest at which time the game will be considered a complete game.

All Sports

1) Approved a requirement that schools hosting the regional in each team sport send the playing bracket to the IESA Office for publication on the IESA Web Site in advance of the start of the respective state series.

The Board took the following action regarding other business of the Association:

1) Authorized the IESA Staff to pursue a sponsorship agreement with Medtronic. The company sells defibrillators and accessory equipment and trains school staff in use of the equipment in compliance with state legislation requiring member schools to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) in each physical fitness facility, and to have a trained AED user at the facility during times of activity.

2) Authorized the IESA staff to enter into an extended agreement with the current IESA merchandise vendor, The Cubby Hole, Carlinville, Illinois.

3) Heard reports from the Sportsmanship Review Panel regarding multiple ejections from separate games involving East St. Louis Jackson and Nokomis.

4) Heard reports of situations that have been brought to the attention of the IESA staff regarding out-of-season play and coaching contact by personnel from member schools, of non-school participation by students from member schools during the sport season, and breach of contract guidelines. The administrative staff was directed to bring a revised interpretation of By-Law 3.043 to the next meeting for discussion.

5) Heard a report from the Executive Director regarding the Board of Directors seats up for election this year. Nominating ballots will be mailed to member schools in the divisions where elections are scheduled to be conducted. Those Board Divisions are B, F, G, H and I.

6) Received copies of the "Make The Right Choice" DVD from the National Federation of State High School Associations for review. The DVD addresses issues and education regarding steroids.

7) Voted to require that the principal and athletic director of Ford Heights Cottage Grove appear at the next Board of Directors Meeting to explain the school's noncompliance with IESA by-laws regarding student physical examinations, and allowing non-students to represent the school in interscholastic athletics.

8) Discussed attendance by members of the Board who will attend the (upcoming) annual Summer Meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

9) Denied a request to allow Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy to use eighth graders on the school's high school junior varsity team. IESA By-law 3.045 prohibits grade school students from participating on teams with high school students.

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 20 meeting:

Division C---Mr. Spiezio informed the Board of an issue involving a student from Braidwood Reed-Custer wanting to wrestle for the school team after he has previously wrestled for a club team (By-Law 3.043) The student has not been allowed to join the school team.

Division N---Mr. Graham mentioned that a school inquired about a multiplier and class expansion. These topics were discussed by the State Series Action team.

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