Illinois high schools to vote on ending conference system for football

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(Illinois News Network) — Schools are considering a new proposal that could change the high school football schedule in Illinois.

Illinois’ high school football conferences could soon be a thing of the past. Schools will vote next month on a plan from the IHSA to replace conferences with districts.

The districts would be based on size and location, said Matt Troha, assistant executive director of the The Illinois High School Association, the organization that oversees high school sports in the state.

“What this plan would say is that the IHSA would group schools by enrollment, then by geography into what they’re calling districts,” Troha said. “Probably between eight and nine teams per district.”

The IHSA would schedule seven games a year, schools would then get to schedule two more games on their own.

Troha said there are two main drivers for the plan. The first is to make it easier for schools to get five wins and become eligible for the playoffs. The second is that conferences aren’t what they used to be.

“Conferences have continually broken up, or have seen people come and go throughout the state,” Troha said. “If you talk to school folks, they’ll say it’s football related.”

Troha said the change to districts could be dramatic for some areas of the state, but won’t be that big of a deal in others.

The proposal doesn’t affect any other high school sports or activities.

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