By Phil Brozynski
The Illinois High School Association does listen....occasionally.
After nearly universal condemnation of the changes to the state tournament schedule made last fall, the IHSA Board of Directors approved a recommendation at its last meeting to modify the tournament schedule to more closely mirror what was in place under the previous two-class system.
What does it mean?
No more regional semifinals and finals on the same day.
No more sectional semifinals and finals on the same day.
No more 10 minutes rest between matches.
And no more three-hour bus rides to Pekin on a Monday to play a Class 4A supersectional at 6:00 p.m. in front of a few dozen fans, coaches, officials and maintenance staff.
The IHSA board approved a recommendation that beginning in 2008 all Class 1A-4A regional preliminary and semifinal matches will be played at the regional site on Wednesday and Thursday. Regional championship matches will be played on the subsequent Saturday.
Sectional semifinal matches will be played at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and sectional finals will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. All supersectional matches will be played on the subsequent Saturday.
Saturday regional finals and supersectional matches can be played beginning anytime between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.
These changes will allow for fans to travel to regional and supersectional championship sites regardless of distance, and will give coaches and players time to prepare for regional and sectional final opponents.
Now if the IHSA would just do something about those “loaded” sectionals.