By Phil Brozynski
Illinois High School Association member schools recently voted 336-78 to move the date of the first contest in girls volleyball back one week. It was one of four proposals voted upon by the principals of IHSA member schools.
The 2008 season officially started on Monday, September 1 (Labor Day). Although as of Monday the IHSA Web site did not reflect the change, the 2009 girls volleyball season will now start on Monday, August 24.
The vote will not affect the state finals, which will be played November 12-13.
While the vote itself is likely to be viewed as a positive change (it will open up an additional weekend for tournaments), what was disappointing was how few principals (the schools' designated voting representative) took the time to vote on the proposals.
Only 415 principals voted electronically on the four proposals. There are 777 member schools. That means that only 53 percent of principals took the time to respond to issues that affect a significant number of their students.
What is worse is that fewer than two-thirds of all principals have bothered voting the last three times the IHSA held balloting on issues that affect student-athletes. During the 2006-2007 school year, only 57 percent of principals voted on six proposed measures.
Only once during the last 13 times schools have been asked to cast a ballot have at least three-quarters of them (78 percent on five proposals put forth during the 2005-06 school year) bothered to vote.
Apparently, many principals cannot be bothered to vote on major issues that affect their students.
So what is it exactly that principals do?
Oh, that's right. When their school finishes fourth or better at a state athletic tournament, they show up to accept their medal.
I've never seen a principal fail to appear for THAT event.