Illinois overhauls high school football landscape


Whatever the Illinois high school football landscape looks like right now, won’t be recognizable come 2021. That’s when the Illinois High School Association will implement Proposal 23 that eliminates conferences for football and gives the IHSA the authority to create “districts” based on enrollment and geography.

Proposal 23 was passed in December by schools around the state by a vote of 324-307 with 69 “no opinion” votes.

Here are the basics of the overhaul:

The IHSA will divide the state’s current eight classifications into eight districts per class with eight to nine schools. Each district will play a round-robin schedule set by the IHSA with the remaining one or two non-district games scheduled by individual schools.

The top four teams in each district will qualify for the playoffs, which means the number of the teams in the postseason (256 teams) won’t change from the current number. Non-district games will not count toward playoff qualification, and the IHSA won’t allow district teams to face each other until the third round playoffs at the earliest.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.