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IHSA Approves Football Districting, forcing Aces back into Illinois play for football

December 19, 2018

MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. -- A seismic change came for Mount Carmel on Tuesday, with the Illinois High School Association approving “Proposal 23”, one of 10 proposals passed. Proposal 23 will separate Illinois schools into district play, thus forcing Mount Carmel into Illinois play starting in 2021 per the proposal.

Proposal 23 received 324 yes votes to 307 no votes -- just skimming it by the required majority to pass through for an amendment to pass. A record-high 702 of 818 IHSA schools voted on the proposals that were on the ballot this year.

Officially, the proposal still involves a nine-week regular season and playoff classes will be determined in advance of the season. Where it changes -- schools from each class are to be placed into eight geographic groups by the IHSA Office to play a round-robin schedule, the remaining open slots on the schedule can be scheduled at the school’s discretion. Lastly, the top four teams in each of the eight groups qualify for the playoffs, based on the intra division games.

As aforementioned, the proposal will not take effect until the 2021 football season, but it’s a massive change for Mount Carmel, a school which currently competes in the Big Eight Conference for all sports. The potential change could possibly lead to the Aces leaping from the Indiana-based conference in other sports in the future.

How it affects rivalry games such as Princeton remains to be seen, but it’s likely a welcome change for Mount Carmel. The Aces have a 3-9 record over the past two seasons against Indiana foes, while boasting a 4-2 record against Illinois foes over the same stretch -- meaning a more than likely positive outcome for the Aces.

The other proposals that passed included (via the IHSA’s website):

Proposal 1 -- Requires that the IHSA Executive Director make all eligibility decisions involving students transferring into any school district with then or more high schools from a school outside the district’s jurisdiction.

Proposal 6 -- Allows the IHSA Executive Director to grant limited elgibility, which would not include varsity or state series competition, to international students who are not part of a qualified foreign exchange program.

Proposal 9 -- Allows the IHSA Executive Director to grant limited eligibility, which would not include varsity or state series competition, to a student who transfers before the start of his or her sophomore year, and who would otherwise be ineligible.

Proposal 10 -- Allows the IHSA Executive Director to grant permission for a diver to practice with an independent team during the sport season if his or her school lacks diving facilities.

Proposal 11 -- Allows the IHSA Executive Director to approve an athlete’s participation in an event conducted by the junior affiliate of a sport’s National Governing Body.

Proposal 13 -- Allows grade school and junior high school students to participate with high school students in interscholastic agricultural events.

Proposal 15 -- Moves the start of practice to Monday of Week 6 on the IHSA Standardized Calendar for the following sports: Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Tennis, Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball, and Girls Swimming and Diving.

Proposal 20 -- Allows non-varsity football games to be played on Thursday of Week 8 on the IHSA Standardized Calendar.

Proposal 22 -- Allows school that are members of the Illinois 8-Man Football Association to participate in a post-season playoff conducted by the I8FA.

Proposal 23 -- Directs the IHSA to implement a football scheduling system for regular-season varsity games that would involve the following: a nine-week regular season, playoff classes determined in advance of the season, schools from each class placed into eight geographic groups by the IHSA Office to play a round-robin schedule; the remaining games on the regular season schedule to be arranged by the individual schools at their discretion; the top four teams in each of the eight groups qualify for the playoffs, based on games played within each group. This proposal will take effect starting with the 2021 football season.

Proposal 25 -- Sets separate team and individual season limitations for Girls Wrestling.

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