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Illinois Outdoors

Plans emerge for IHSA bass tourney

April 04, 2008 at 04:07 PM

High school bass fishing in Illinois has moved one step closer to reality with the establishment of tentative terms for a state tournament.

Pending approval, May 1-2, 2009 has been set as a tentative date for the country’s first high school state bass tournament. Lake Shelbyville has been mentioned as a possible location for the tournament, which would likely consist of 40 boats with two anglers in each vessel.

To set the field, sectional tournaments will be April 17, 2009, with an April 18 rain date. Number of sectionals will vary based on the number of teams. Sites will vary depending on the location of competitors.

Those were among the decisions made by an advisory committee that met last Thursday with Dave Gannaway, Illinois High School Association assistant executive director. The group spent nearly five hours setting regulations, though conditions must be approved by the IHSA board of directors.

Most rules are typical of organized bass tournaments, with at least one exception. Boats must return to shore if competitors need to use the bathroom. Schools will also be limited to two boats with two anglers fishing at any one time. Boys and girls can compete. Anglers will be accompanied by an adult captain.

Richwoods swim coach Mic McCormick attended the meeting along with East Peoria track coach Mark Propst and Illini Bluffs athletic director Joe Stoner. Propst said about 300 of 756 IHSA member schools have expressed interest.

“I think it’s going to give an opportunity for some kids who aren’t athletes,” Propst said. “As soon as it was in the paper there were kids asking about it and wondering who was going to coach our team.”

To prepare for the tournament, McCormick started a Richwoods fishing club last fall.

“We meet once a month and have probably 15 kids who come on a regular basis,” McCormick said. “For the most part they’re not the kids who are involved in three sports or who are involved in the debate team, the speech team and the musical.

“A lot of these kids aren’t involved in anything else.”

McCormick said selecting teams at the school level will likely be left up to coaches.

“At this point it is being run like more of a club or an activity than a sport and it doesn’t have all the rigid guidelines of a sport,” McCormick said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read more in the Sunday edition of the Peoria Journal Star.

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Wish they had this when I was in school!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/04 at 05:05 PM

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