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Tony Ingold Re-Elected as President of IESA Board of Directors; State Wrestling Format Changed; Track and Field State Finals to Remain in East Peoria; Baseball Bat Regulations Revised

During a very busy quarterly meeting, the IESA Board of Directors approved the formation of a two-class system for the wrestling state series; elected officers, approved a recommendation to keep the state track and field meets in East Peoria; revised the baseball bat regulations; acted on committee recommendations in several activities, and tied up other loose ends at its regularly scheduled meeting that was held on January 19, 2018.

Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, Board members, Mrs. Chavers, Mr. Frost, and Mr. Graham canvassed the election ballots and certified that the results were accurate. Mr. Tim Haupt (Division A); Mr. Jeff Owens (Division E); Mrs. Danette Young (Division L); Mr. Tod Davis (Division M); and Mr. Patrick Drees (Division N) were all re-elected to the Board of Directors. After the meeting was adjourned sine die, the re-elected members were seated and election of officers took place. Tony Ingold, Superintendent at East Peoria District #86 was re-elected President of the IESA Board of Directors. Also re-elected to officer positions were Chris Graham, Principal at St. Joseph who will serve as Vice-President and Mr. Tony Frost, Principal of Elmwood Elementary School who will serve as the Secretary-Treasurer.

Wrestling State Series Format

A major change to the format of the IESA state wrestling series will take place in 2019 as the Board approved the recommendation of an ad-hoc committee to move to a two class system in wrestling based on a school's 7-8 enrollment. Currently, there is no classification and all schools are in one class. "It is important for the wrestling community and our membership to understand the reason this change is being made," said IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley. "In keeping with our basic philosophy that providing opportunities for students at this level is of utmost importance, we have allowed schools to enter two students in each weight class at the regional level of competition. As the number of schools entering the state series has increased over the years, it is becoming increasingly difficult to host a regional due to the number of schools assigned to each regional. The two class system will have fewer schools assigned to each regional which will allow more schools the opportunity to host. The change has nothing to do with the prevailing thought of everyone gets a trophy. Instead, it has everything to do with continuing to allow schools to enter two wrestlers in each weight class. The one class system with allowing two wrestlers per weight class from each school was not sustainable given the increase in the number of schools entering the state series."

Each class will have 16 regionals, 4 sectionals, and one state final. Three wrestlers in each weight class will advance from regional to sectional; four wrestlers in each weight class will advance from sectional to state. There will be a total of 608 wrestlers at the state final---304 in Class A and 304 in Class AA. Each weight class at the state final will be a 16 man bracket and there will be six places awarded in each weight class in both Class A and Class AA along with the top four teams in each Class receiving team trophies.

The change does not affect the state series dates and the state finals for both classes will be held at the same site. The Association is currently accepting bids to host the IESA state wrestling finals from 2019-2023.

State Track and Field Meets to Remain in East Peoria

The Board approved extending the contract with East Peoria Robein and East Peoria Central to continue to serve as the hosts of the Class A and Class AA state track and field meets through 2023. Both state meets are held at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria. "East Peoria Robein and East Peoria Central do a wonderful job of hosting these two meets," said Endsley. "The time and effort these two schools put in to provide a great experience for everyone who attends the meets is outstanding. The EastSide Centre is a great venue for this event which attracts thousands of people to the Peoria area each May and provides lasting memories for the student-athletes, their coaches, and families. We look forward to the next five years and many years to come."

Baseball Bat Regulations

The Board approved changes to the baseball bats which can be used during the IESA baseball season. A change was necessary because bat manufacturers will no longer be producing a bat with a 2 1/4" barrel diameter. The new regulations for 2018 continue to allow the use of a BBCOR labeled bat; or a 30" and under with a 2 1/4" barrel diameter; or a bats 30" and under in length as long as that bat has a USA baseball logo imprinted on the bat and the barrel diameter is 2 5/8". Effective with the 2019 season, no bat with a 2 1/4" barrel diameter will be allowed. Click on the following ink to view the new regulations: https://www.iesa.org/activities/bbb/bats.asp.

Activity Committee Action

Baseball: In addition to approving the new bat regulations, the Board approved an exception to the NFHS playing rules that will allow either the starting pitcher or a relief pitcher to return to the mound once per game provided it is within the regulations of the re-entry rule; also modified a committee recommendation that regional semi-final games must start no later than 11:00 a.m. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations: https://www.iesa.org/documents/advisory/IESA-BBB_Minutes.pdf

Golf: The Board approved a cart policy for spectators and coaches at the sectional level; approved moving the sectional playing date from Tuesday of week 10 in the standardized calendar to Wednesday of week 10; and modified the Circle 11 rule for boys and Circle 13 rule for girls. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations: https://www.iesa.org/documents/advisory/IESA-GO_Minutes.pdf

Cross-Country: The Board approved an additional starter at each sectional; payment of $30 to each IHSA licensed official who serves as an umpire or works in staging; approved a recommendation that there must be 45 minutes scheduled between the start times of the two varsity races at the sectional; approved a recommendation that numbered bibs are required to be worn at the sectional meet; and approved a recommendation that no runner will be disqualified for the wearing of an improper uniform after the race has started unless the uniform is altered after being approved at the start line by an official. In order to balance the number of full teams assigned to each sectional, the Class A meet will have 8 sectionals; Class 2A will have 9 sectionals, and Class 3A will have 9 sectionals. In all three classes, the top three teams will advance to the state meet. However, in Class 1A the top 8 individuals not on the top 3 teams will advance to the state meet while only the top 5 individuals in Class 2A and 3A not on one of the three teams advance. The Board approved a staff recommendation that on the day of the sectional the only races that can be held prior to the completion of the awards ceremony are the varsity girls race and the varsity boys race. Any additional races (open j.v., etc.) would have to be held AFTER the completion of the awards ceremony. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations: https://www.iesa.org/documents/advisory/IESA-CC_Minutes.pdf

Softball: The Board approved a suspended game policy for regular season softball and baseball games. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations: https://www.iesa.org/documents/advisory/IESA-GSB_Minutes.pdf

Speech: The Board approved changes to the Terms and Conditions; approved new contest area groupings, and approved a new recognition award for Lifetime Service. The first award winner will be Ken Bradbury, IESA Speech Consultant and after the first year the award will be re-named the Ken Bradbury Service Award. Click on the following link to see the Board action on the committee recommendations: https://www.iesa.org/documents/advisory/IESA-SP_Minutes.pdf

Other Business Items

Scholar Attitude: The 20th annual Scholar Attitude Award luncheon will be Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. Only one student from each of the 15 membership divisions will be selected. The deadline for receipt of nominations in the IESA Office is Feb. 16, 2018. Judges will meet in the IESA Office March 21 to select the winners.

Division Meetings: The Board heard a report regarding "attendance" at the required Division Meetings that were conducted online in the fall. Only 20 schools were placed on probation for failure to attend one of the meetings. All schools that failed to attend a meeting in 2016 attended a meeting this past fall so there are no schools that will be suspended for failure to attend in two consecutive years.

Treasurer's Report: The Board received and accepted the treasurer's report for the fiscal period ending December 31, 2017.

Board Meetings: There are two regular meetings remaining in the 2017-18 school year. One is scheduled April 6, 2018, and the other is scheduled June 15, 2018.

Cross Country Entry Fees: The Board approved raising the cross-country entry fee $35. The reason for raising this fee is that cross country sectional hosts have no admission dollars to help offset the costs of hosting a sectional meet. Host schools have been assessing the schools assigned to their sectional their share of the deficit. The amount a school owes to the host school is often times an unbudgeted expense. Host schools will now receive a financial report and can request reimbursement for their expenses up to $1000. This will eliminate the assessments to schools.

Open Gym Update: The Board approved adding language to the open gym by-law. Language was added that open gyms can be held at off-site facilities. While this was previously allowed, the new wording will clarify that schools can hold open gyms at off-site locations.

Tuition Student Eligibility: The Board clarified the wording of the eligibility of tuition students by requiring districts to charge at least 100% of the per capita cost of conducting and maintaining the schools of the district attended. Previously, the wording simply said tuition must be charged as required by the Illinois School Code without a specific amount. The new wording now requires schools to charge 100% of the cost for a tuition student to be eligible.

Legislative Waiver: The Board updated the wording on the legislative waiver by-law. The wording was updated to reflect that a student of a certified staff member of a school within the district is eligible as opposed to the certified staff member must be working at the school where the student attends.

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 19 meeting:

Division I: Mrs. Marquardt was contacted by a school inquiring about the regional assignments in basketball and why some regionals have 4-5 teams assigned to them and other regionals may have 6-7 teams assigned to them. This is almost always due to either schools that enter just the 7th grade state series or schools that drop their entry in the state series. She also received an inquiry about the overlap between girls softball and girls basketball. This issue has been discussed numerous times by the IESA Board of Directors. There are no plans to change the dates of the girls seasons for a variety of reasons---mainly to keep the length of the girls basketball and boys basketball the same.

Division N: Mr. Drees inquired about the pass gate list for state series contests. He had received questions about the removal of a guest for the administrators and coaches who receive free admission. It was explained that the removal of the guest was a direct attempt to control the number of free admissions at the state series and so host schools could easily control the pass gate list. After discussion, the Board voted to add that the administration and coaches listed on the pass gate form may each list a spouse (not guest) for free admission.

Division O: Dr. Stuart was not in attendance due to a death in the family but he asked that the Board discuss the growing shortage of officials and if any member was aware of programs to recruit new officials. The topic was discussed and the consensus was that it takes everyone's effort to recruit more officials.

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