Full recognition approved for Boys Volleyball, Girls Wrestling


The following information is a press release from the IHSAA.

During its annual review of the Member School By-Laws on Monday afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. approved for full recognition the sports of Boys Volleyball and Girls Wrestling beginning next school year (2024-25).

The Board of Directors, led by this year’s President Stacy Adams of Valparaiso High School and Vice President Chad Gilbert of Charlestown High School, approved 12 proposals, eight (8) failed to receive enough support, and one other was tabled during the meeting in Indianapolis.

All proposals are considered in the order that the rule appears within the current by-laws. The Board of Directors has four options on each proposal: affirm, deny, table or amend a rule. A simple majority is necessary to act on any measure and all approved measures become effective immediately unless otherwise noted.

With full recognition, an IHSAA state tournament will now be established for both sports with those details being announced in the coming months. Girls Wrestling will be a winter sport while Boys Volleyball will be played in the spring just as they have in previous years and during the IHSAA’s Emerging Sport Process.

The Indiana Boys Volleyball Coaches Association has been administering its state tournament since 1994 while the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association has been conducting a girls wrestling state tournament since 2017.

After being added to the Emerging Sport Process in 2022, both have seen significant growth over the last 24 months.

Girls Wrestling now touts more than 1,400 individuals representing 177 different schools while Boys Volleyball teams have now climbed to more than 100.

They become the latest sports to be fully recognized following Unified Flag Football in 2018 and Unified Track & Field in 2013. Both are co-ed sports as part of the IHSAA’s partnership with Special Olympics Indiana. Prior to those, Boys & Girls Soccer became official IHSAA sports in 1994.

Girls Lacrosse

A measure that would have added the sport of Girls Lacrosse to the Emerging Sport Process, was tabled to the June Executive Committee meeting.

Other items:

• A proposal that would change the criteria for classifying schools based on the percentage of member schools sponsoring a team and entering the state tournament the previous year failed for lack of a motion. Currently, 95% of schools must play a sport for it to have fourclasses. The measure authored by Franklin Community Principal Steve Ahaus called for that to be lowered to 75% with 50% needed for three classes and 25% for two classes. The Board did instruct the IHSAA staff to further study this measure for consideration for the next realignment cycle in two years.

• A change to the Tournament Success Factor failed 1-17. With several team sportschanging formats to a one-game regional and two-game semi-state, a proposal from Yorktown Principal Stacey Brewer called for the current threshold of three points (i.e. one regional championship and a sectional championship) accumulated to continue playing in a higher class be increased to four points (i.e. two consecutive regional championships). The Board changed this threshold from two points to three points a year ago.

• A pair of changes to the Out-of-Season Limited Contact Program that would allow three sessions per week for two hours per session for team and individual sports was unanimously approved (18-0). The proposal was made by Commissioner Paul Neidig on behalf of recommendations from the participation study committee.

• A measure proposed on behalf of the Indiana Volleyball Coaches Association to raise the number of players on a non-school team from three to four failed 0-18.

• An additional moratorium week determined by each member school was unanimously approved (18-0) and amended to take effect next summer (summer of 2025). The additional week of no contact between athletes and coaches must occur between Week 48 of one school year and Week 4 of the next school year.

• Approved by an 18-0 vote the timeframe an affected party may seek a review of an adverse decision increase from seven (7) days to 30 days.

• Approved 18-0 a proposal that now requires the principals at both the sending and receiving schools in transfer cases to consult one another and provide written verification that there are no athletic motivations and that a transfer is in the best interest of the student.

• Regarding the Undue Influence rule, the Board approved 18-0 that a student who receives no eligibility in a sport due to a Past Link, may have full eligibility in other sports at their new school.

• The group voted down a proposal on behalf of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association that would have moved the first authorized practice date one week earlier from Monday of Week 37 to Monday of Week 36.

• A pair of submissions for baseball and softball that would have provided an option for a varsity player to exceed the game limit if the player participates on a sub-varsity level to facilitate a full roster were voted down 0-18.

• A proposal from Roncalli Principal Kevin Banich that asserted beach volleyball is a distinct sport as opposed to indoor volleyball and would allow student-athletes to play both during the high school volleyball season failed to generate any sport (0-18). In straw polling from the membership, the measure only received minimal support (24.7% in favor).

• The elections for next year’s leadership of the Board and Executive Committee were also held. Larry Cochren of Washington High School was voted president of the 2024-25 Board of Directors and Jim Brown of Fishers High School was elected vice president.

Chad Gilbert of Charlestown High School was named chairman of the 2024-25 Executive Committee and Brian Strong of Logansport High School was confirmed as vice chairman.

About the 2023-24 IHSAA Board of Directors

The IHSAA is governed by its legislative body, the Board of Directors. Composed of 19 individuals

elected by member school principals from three legislative districts, they serve staggered threeyear terms. Twelve board seats are filled by any qualified individual (open seats), and seven board

seats are filled by two qualified female representatives, two qualified minority representatives,

two qualified urban school representatives and one qualified private school representative. The

Board of Directors meets annually with the responsibility of establishing the Association’s ByLaws and regulations.

2023-24 IHSAA Board of Directors

District, Seat Board Member Term Ends

District I, Class 1A Tom Finicle, Southwood June 2026

District I, Class 2A Paul Voigt, Churubusco June 2024

District I, Class 3A — June 2026

District I, Class 4A Jeff Hamstra, Chesterton June 2024

District II, Class 1A Martin Brown, North Vermillion June 2024

District II, Class 2A Kye Denney, Wes-Del June 2026

District II, Class 3A Chris Conley, Delta June 2024

District II, Class 4A Jim Brown, Fishers June 2026

District III, Class 1A Jeff Doyle, Barr-Reeve June 2026

District III, Class 2A Tim Grove, North Knox June 2024

District III, Class 3A Larry Cochren, Washington June 2026

District III, Class 4A Tom Black, East Central June 2024

North District, Female Patti McCormack, Lowell June 2025

North District, Minority Stacy Adams, Valparaiso* June 2025

North District, Urban Brian Strong, Logansport June 2025

South District, Female Kris Painter, Terre Haute North Vigo June 2025

South District, Minority Kyle Duncan, Brownsburg June 2025

South District, Urban Chad Gilbert, Charlestown** June 2025

Private School Joe Herrmann, Evansville Mater Dei June 2025

* President

** Vice-President

About the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA)

The IHSAA is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization that is self-supporting without the use of tax monies. Since its founding in 1903, the Association’s mission has been to provide wholesome, educational athletics for the secondary schools of Indiana. Its 407-member high schools – public, institutional, parochial, and private–pay no annual membership fee or incur entry fees to play in the Association’s tournaments. A state tournament series is conducted annually in 24 sports, 11 for girls, 11 for boys and two co-eds (unified flag football, unified track and field). A 19-person board of directors, elected by member school principals, governs the organization.

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