PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Time to make a decision.
The Illinois High School Association believes it has waited long enough. The IHSA Board of Directors will vote on the state basketball hosting bids Monday.
The vote was originally scheduled for April 21 but the IHSA canceled that vote during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said he wanted the board to meet in person to discuss such an important decision so the vote was postponed until June 15.
The board will still have to meet virtually but the IHSA believes it’s time to determine which cities will host its boys and girls championship basketball tournaments.
“We have reached a juncture where we believe it will become detrimental to the potential host venue or venues, as well as our staff, if we continue to wait any longer,” Anderson said in a statement Wednesday. “We appreciate the patience of everyone involved in this process.”
Peoria, which has hosted the boys basketball state finals for 25 years, has bid to keep the tournament at the Peoria Civic Center. Champaign, the longtime host before Peoria acquired the rights for the state tournament, has put in a bid to get the games back to the University of Illinois campus.
Normal has played host to the girls basketball state finals since the early 1990’s and wants to keep the tournament at Redbird Arena. Peoria also has bid for the girls championships.
The 2021 state tournaments will be under a new format with all four girls title games played in one week. And all four boys championships, classes 1A-4A, will be played the following the week.
In previous years, the small school girls and big school girls tournaments were played on separate weekends. Same for the boys state finals, meaning it took four weeks to play four tournaments.