IHSA discontinues tournaments for boys gymnastics, debate

The Illinois High School Association board voted Monday to discontinue state tournaments for boys gymnastics and debate because not enough schools were fielding teams.

IHSA policy holds that state tournaments won't be held when the "state series has less than 7% of member schools entering a team."

"This was a difficult decision that comes after significant discussion and a diligent review of historic data and participation trends," IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a news release.

Since 2000, boys gymnastics has averaged just over 50 schools participating, but that number shrank to 46 teams in 2022 and 40 teams in 2023, the news release said. The IHSA currently has 817 member high schools.

Lake Park High School won the 2023 state championship this spring.

The IHSA has added five sports (cheerleading, dance, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, girls wrestling) and two activities (bass fishing, esports) since 2006. Plans to add playoffs for girls flag football and eight-player football are in the works.

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