IHSA district proposal does not pass; DVC-Southwest Suburban football merger continues

IHSA football district plan does not pass, Naperville North and Waubonsie Valley shakes hands
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The IHSA recently announced that a new proposal to switch to a district football scheduling system failed at the most recent board meeting by a (272-379-76) total. The districts would have been determined by geographical location, with eight districts in each of the eight football classes. Over 89% of members participated in the vote, the highest number for the IHSA in over a decade.

New football conference for DVC teams continues

The failure of the IHSA district proposal means that the recently announced 15-team merger between the DuPage Valley Conference and the Southwest Suburban Conference football teams will be allowed to continue beginning in the fall of 2024. The merger between the DVC and the SWSC was created to prevent challenges that came with non-conference scheduling for current DVC teams, Metea Valley, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley and DeKalb. The Southwest Suburban Conference was also down to nine teams when Bolingbrook announced it would be leaving for the Southwest Prairie Conference. The new mega-conference is only for football and will not include any other sports at this time.

New look divisions for DVC-SWSC teams

There will now be the Blue, Red and Green Divisions for the 15 teams in the new football conference. For now, the Blue Division will include the top five schools in terms of enrollment and success formula. The Red Division has the next five and the Green Division has the bottom five.

The 2024 breakdown has Homewood-Flossmoor, Lincoln-Way East, Lockport, Naperville North and Neuqua Valley in the Blue Division. Andrew, Lincoln-Way West, Metea Valley, Naperville Central and Sandburg are in the Red Division. Bradley Bourbonnais, DeKalb, Lincoln-Way Central, Stagg and Waubonsie Valley make up the Green Division.

Because of the division system, games like the Crosstown Classic between Naperville Central and Naperville North, Neuqua Valley against Waubonsie Valley and the Eola Bowl between Waubonsie Valley and Metea Valley, must be played as non-conference games.

Benet Academy will also remain in the CCL/ESCC mega-conference for football, which has existed since 2019.

Girls Flag Football headlines proposals passed by the IHSA

Several other football related measures were passed by the IHSA, including a proposal to allow teams to conduct preseason scrimmages with other schools.

A girls flag football schedule was also approved to begin in the fall of 2024 as an official IHSA sport with a limit of 25 regular season games. The inaugural state finals will be held on October 18th and 19th, 2024.

Boys gymnastics was officially eliminated as an IHSA sports after a history that dates back to 1952.

There is no longer a tournament match limit in boys or girls volleyball.

The number of girls wrestling contests permitted was raised from 18 to 25.