IHSA changes rules to competitive cheerleading schedule

BLOOMINGTON — The IHSA approved 11 proposals last month.

One of the approved proposals, which were tabulated and certified in the IHSA Office Tuesday, Jan. 8, and will take effect as of July 1, was Proposal 21. It called for the reduction of the competitive cheerleading season by eight weeks.

Under this proposal, the season would begin a week later than it started this season.

In years leading up to the proposal’s approval, the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association could hold its state competition after the IHSA state competition took place. That will no longer be the case when the approved proposal goes into effect.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda cheerleading coach Amber Weber said this could lead the ICCA to hold its state competition prior to the IHSA state competition.

“This, to me, makes much more sense than going to the ICCA state (competition) after we’d already competed at the IHSA state (competition),” Weber said. “It always seemed anticlimactic.”

For PBL, the 2012 season started Oct. 31 and will continue into Feb. 2, which is when it could compete in the IHSA State Tournament.

Under the new rules, the season would start a week later next year. That, Weber said, will lead to less time to prepare for the first competition.

The Panthers will not compete in the ICCA State Competition this year and has competed in only one ICCA event this year.

“We were not allowed to go to ICCA,” Weber said. “We would have qualified. We went to an ICCA competition and got a score high enough to qualify us for the ICCA. Our athletic director prohibited us from going because of all the nonsense. He really said that (athletic programs such as) basketball only go to one state. They kind of said they don’t really want to pay to go to two states. So there were a couple of issues with it, which I agree with.”

Weber said one ICCA competition was more than enough for her squad.

“We performed at one ICCA event, and I was really disappointed in the ICCA,” Weber said. “It’s political. I am all about IHSA competitive cheer. ICCA’s a little sketchy for me and most of the parents and administration feels the same way, so we try to steer clear of that.”

Here are the other 10 proposals approved by the IHSA:

Proposal 1 — Allows co-op agreements to be extended by simple notification, without resubmitting the paperwork (including conference approval) that is currently

required for a new co-op agreement.

Proposal 3 — Requires forfeiture of a football game if a school goes on strike after the Monday preceding the game and has not settled the strike by midnight preceding the day the game is scheduled.

Proposal 4 — Allows a school that offers only five classes per day to request a waiver of the requirement that athletes be passing 25 credit hours per week to be eligible for interscholastic participation. The waiver would allow a student to be eligible with only 20 credit hours per week.

Proposal 7 — Limits eligibility of international students to those students in foreign exchange programs approved by the IHSA and the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel to a maximum of one school term.

Proposal 8 — Makes a student-athlete ineligible in a particular sport if he/she transfers after the IHSA sport season has begun. Currently, a student can transfer and remain eligible if he/she transfers before classes have begun in the fall.

Proposal 9 — Removes the automatic eligibility provision for first-time transfers from a private school to a home public school, or from a private school to another private school, and requires in the case of any transfer not accompanied by a change in residence to another high school attendance area that the transfer be necessitated by either a change in the family’s financial position or extenuating circumstances documented by the sending school.

Proposal 12 — Requires that a student-athlete complete his or her eligibility within four years of enrolling in ninth grade.

Proposal 19 — Eliminates the game limitation for boys and girls volleyball players and limits players to no more than four tournaments, excluding the IHSA State Series. Players who do not participate in the IHSA State Series may participate in one additional tournament.

Proposal 20 — Shifts the Girls Bowling season one week later (to start on Monday of Week 20 and end on Saturday of Week 33), moves the date of the first contest four days later (to Friday of Week 21), and makes way for the potential addition of a regional tournament level.

Proposal 24 — Reduces the number of competitions a competitive dance squad may participate in (outside of the IHSA State Series) from seven to five.

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