IHSA Announces New Individual Wrestling State Final Format
The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors approved a recommendation for a format change to the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, September 12, 2011.
The new format will feature 16 qualifiers per each of the 14 weight classes in each of the three classes. The format will also feature consolation wrestlebacks beginning after the quarterfinal rounds and the top six individuals in each weight class will medal. In order to complete the expanded tournament, the state tournament will now begin on Thursday, which had previously been reserved for warm-up mat time and meetings.
“Essentially, what we have done is taken the Class 3A tournament format and copied it for Class 1A and Class 2A,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “All of the coaches and individuals were currently arriving at Assembly Hall on Thursday afternoon for skin checks, coaches meetings and mat time for the wrestlers. Being able to expand the number of state final qualifiers, keep the format Class 3A was accustomed to intact and avoid a schedule that would require more missed class time or hotel expenses makes this a win-win format in my mind.”
Since the IHSA expanded to three classes in individual wrestling in 2009, Class 1A and Class 2A each brought 12 qualifiers per each of the 14 weight classes to the state finals, while Class 3A featured 16 qualifiers in each weight class. Previously, Class 3A was made up of 40 percent of the competing schools, while 30 percent were allocated to Class 1A and 30 percent to Class 2A, resulting in the larger number of Class 3A qualifiers. The classification changes made by the IHSA Board in June provided an equal 33 percent distribution of schools to each class, which led to Monday’s format changes.
“We appreciate all the input that the IHSA Wrestling Advisory Committee and the state wrestling community as a whole provided us during this process,” said IHSA Assistant Executive Director and Wrestling Administrator Craig Anderson. “They let us know what things were the most important to them and in the end, I think we made some compromises that will result in the IHSA state final tournament continuing to be one of the best in the country.”
Monday’s changes will go into effect for the 2012 state tournament, which is scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 16-18 at Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.