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IHSA to implement shot clock in 2026-2027 high school basketball

CHICAGO - The shot clock is coming to Illinois high school basketball, and it will officially be a part of the game in a few years.

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors had a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 10, in Bloomington, where the start of the high school shot clock in IHSA basketball will begin in the 2026-27 school year, the IHSA announced Tuesday.

This was part of two recommendations the IHSA Basketball advisory committee made. The IHSA Board of Directors approved both.

"The IHSA has allowed the shot clock to be used in tournaments and shootouts the past two seasons, and the overwhelming feedback we have received from coaches is that it is time to embrace the shot clock in all varsity contests," IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a written statement. "We believe the two-season lead time will provide our schools with ample opportunity to install the shot clocks and get comfortable with hem from both a coaching and game administration perspective."

According to the IHSA, a 35-second shot clock will be required in varsity girls and boys basketball games beginning with the 2026-27 school year. Any shot clock for lower-level competition, including freshman, sophomore and junior varsity games, will be determined by different conferences and by mutual agreement with competing teams in non-conference games.

The second recommendation the basketball committee made was for a new state final time schedule. This recommendation was made to "ensure a two-day experience for all participating teams."

"It’s been fairly unanimous in the Illinois high school basketball community that moving the state tournament to a single-weekend format has been a success," Anderson said in a written statement. "Our coaches believe this new schedule will provide an even better experience for all the student-athletes, coaches, and fans. We look forward to seeing it play out when we celebrate America’s Original March Madness next winter."

IHSA approves state championship sites for girls flag football, bass fishing

The IHSA approved two future state championship sites on Monday.

IHSA announced on Tuesday that Willowbrook High School in Villa Park will serve as the host of the inaugural IHSA Girls Flag Football State Finals in the fall of 2024.

Villa Park will have a three-year hosting contract will debut on Friday and Saturday, October 18-19, and then return to Willowbrook High School for the 2025 and 2026 state finals.

"As one of the pioneers of girls flag football in Illinois, we are thrilled to host the first IHSA State Championship at Willowbrook High School," Willowbrook Girls Flag Football Head Coach Rachel Karos said in a written statement. "We are proud to be part of growing girls flag football in Illinois, throughout the U.S. and internationally. Through the support of the IHSA and the Chicago Bears, girls flag football creates tremendous opportunities for a diverse group of students – including engaging them with athletics, providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences and connecting them to scholarships. The inaugural IHSA State Championship will be a historic event to continue to drive the sport forward and inspire the next generation. We are excited to provide an experience that promotes inclusion, access, diversity and equity for female athletes in Illinois."

IHSA also announced that its Bass Fishing State Finals will compete at Lake Shelbyville in Shelbyville beginning in 2025. Shelbyville High School, the city of Shelbyville, Lake Shelbyville, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who oversee Lake Shelbyville and several local community chambers of commerce all prepared the bid for the state championships, according to the release.

It's a five-year hosting commitment that will put the State Finals in Shelbyville from 2025 to 2029.

"We are excited to start a new chapter as the IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals transition to Lake Shelbyville in 2025," Anderson said in a written statement. "We enjoyed our 15 years at Carlyle Lake and appreciate all that the Carlyle Lake staff and surrounding communities did to support the tourney and help it thrive. Lake Shelbyville is an equally worthy lake and we look forward to providing a first-class experience to our anglers there. We also need to thank the U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers, who oversee both Lake Shelbyville and Carlyle Lake, as their efforts to prepare and keep our students safe make them vital to the state tournament experience."