by Brian Wiencek
On Tuesday, the Illinois High School Association officially approved districting for football, along with 10 other proposals. Districting for football will not take effect until the 2021 season.
The resolution puts the IHSA in charge of scheduling 7 of a school’s 9 regular season football contests, based on where a school falls in a geographic and class district. The top four teams in each district would then be selected for the IHSA playoffs. Schools will still be responsible for scheduling any remaining non-district or “non-conference” games.
The districting proposal was the closest vote to pass, out of all 11 proposals, 324-307.
“We hope that it will effectively address conference realignment and scheduling concerns,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a press release earlier today, “while helping create long-term sustainability and growth for high school football in the state.”
Currently, Waubonsie Valley football is in the DuPage Valley Conference, which will have six teams, beginning the 2019 season, including Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley, Naperville North, Naperville Central and DeKalb. Because of a lack of conference opponents, DVC schools have had to play non-conference games out-of-state or travel long distances within Illinois.
One of the challenges with this resolution is that schools will not know they’re class or district for another two years, as it will take this long for the IHSA to tabulate numbers for determining factors like school enrollment. Until 2021, however, it will be business as usual for football, playing in their existing conferences.
The IHSA press release states that the proposal was denied two times before (2009, 2014), but passed this time. The support for the proposal may have been due to the increase in conference realignment over the past few years.
For more information or to read the IHSA’s press release, visit ihsa.org.