The 2002 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Championship Tournaments ended the sixteenth State Championship Series conducted in Scholastic Bowl by the IHSA. It was the eleventh season in which there were separate State Championship Tournaments held for small schools (Class A) and large schools (Class AA). For the sixth year, both tournaments were held at the Peoria Civic Center.
Teams were assigned to one of eight sectionals within each class. Teams were seeded by the coaches, and teams would be assigned to one of four Regionals within each Sectional. Within each Sectional, the winners and runners-up of each single elimination tournament would advance to the single elimination Sectional. The determination of the geographic boundaries of the Sectional was arbitrarily decided by the IHSA Office.
In the State Championship Tournament, teams would be randomly assigned to pools of four, and play a three match round robin. The winners of each pool would advance to the Championship Match, and the runners-up in each pool would advance to play for third place. Ties were broken by head-to-head results or total points scored (in the event of a three way tie)
Each round was comprised of 30 toss-ups and accompanying bonus questions.
The top four teams earned trophies and medals for team members, coaches, principals, and activities directors. The trophies were of the design smaller than that of the athletic trophies given out by the IHSA.
For the second year, the questions were written by a group of retired coaches and person from other states. Tom Egan served his second year as chief editor.
The Latin School swept through their pool with a 3-0 record. University High School finished 2-1 and advanced to play for third place.
Carterville advanced with a 3-0 record in the pool. Pleasant Plains, Fairfield, & Cuba were all tied with 1-2 records. Pleasant Plains advanced on total points (378, 322, 334).
Homewood-Flossmoor, New Trier, and Wheaton North were all tied with 2-1 records. Wheaton North and New Trier advanced to the championship and third place match, respectively, based on total points (585, 744, 802)
Hinsdale Central advanced with a 3-0 record in the pool. Auburn advanced with the second best record in the pool (2-1).
- Eleven years after their first trip, and in their eighth appearance, Wheaton North and their long time coach, Susan Martin finally won their first IHSA State Championship. It would be the first of three in a row, and was the second of five consecutive trips to the State Championship Match.
- The Latin School's third state title brought them into the elite company with IMSA and Quincy as the only three-time state champions. Latin also broke the tie it had been in with Winnebago as the only two-time champions in Class A.
- Class AA's Pool #1 was thrown into chaos after one round. With Wheaton North the odds on favorite to win, they were upset by a Homewood-Flossmoor Team starring Parag Bhayani. This easily ranks among the bigger upsets in Tournament history. Entering the final round, the only thing that would save their chance of getting to the finals was a huge win over Libertyville (which they got), and a New Trier win that held down Homewood-Flossmoor's scoring (which New Trier did). In appreciation, the entire Wheaton North team stood and applauded New Trier when they went up to receive their third place awards.
- This was the first appearance by Auburn. Not only have they not missed the Tournament since; they have not failed to place in the top four.