Boys Volleyball, Girls Wrestling approved as IHSAA Emerging Sports
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WFIE) - During its annual review of the by-laws on Monday afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. voted unanimously to add girls wrestling and boys volleyball to its new Emerging Sport Process.
The Board of Directors, led by this year’s President Jeff Doyle of Barr-Reeve High School and Vice President Jim Brown of Fishers High School, approved 38 items 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.
The Emerging Sport Process, known as Rule 1-4 and approved a year ago by the IHSAA Board of Directors, helps pave a way for those sports and participation to continue to grow with an eye toward eventually becoming a recognized sport and sponsorship of an official state tournament. The two sports become the first to earn the designation.
By earning the designation as an emerging sport, the IHSAA will now provide rule books, conduct coaches rules meetings, and provide coverage in the IHSAA’s Catastrophic Medical program. Both sports will now be subject to all IHSAA rules and policies, including the General Eligibility Rules.
For a sport to become officially recognized and an IHSAA state tournament be sponsored, 50 percent of the membership must be participating in the sport. The IHSAA currently has 407 member schools around the state.
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.
Representatives of both coaches associations submitted requested information in recent weeks including data on participants in Indiana as well as other states, suggested playing rules and potential practice seasons as well as letters of commitment from member schools that either currently sponsor or intend to sponsor a program.
According to the data submitted from those coaches associations, there are 42 schools fielding boys volleyball teams around the state while 350 girls representing 113 schools in this year’s girls wrestling state tournament.
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