The Illinois High School Association governs many sports and activities in Illinois, including Illinois Scholastic Bowl.
The IHSA started sponsoring a Scholastic Bowl State Tournament in 1986-7, with Quincy beating Salem in the first ever Championship Match. In 1991-92, IHSA split into two classes, with Rockridge winning the first Class A (small school) Championship.
Though its recommendations need to be approved by administrative committees, most decisions regarding IHSA Scholastic Bowl are made by the Scholastic Bowl Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee consists of seven people who have one closed meeting per year, typically in April or May, that is run by an IHSA Administrator. Decisions made by the Advisory Committee are encoded into the Terms & Conditions, Rule Book, and Case Manual. Until about 2002, the only one of these documents to exist was the Terms & Conditions.
Many of the Advisory Committee rules have to do with match format. Some of the ways in which IHSA questions are different than mACF are: bonus parts are read all at once followed by up to thirty seconds for teams to discuss, there is a lot of computation as well as some grammar and extremely annoying miscellaneous topics, matches are 30/30 in length, and teams must have exactly five students. Another rule which generally is only enforced during the State Tournament is that teams must wear matching tops.
All tossups are worth 10 points, with no powers or negs. Bonuses have either three, four, or five parts worth a total of 20 points each. Three-part bonuses earn teams six points for the first part they get correct, 13 points if two are answered correctly, or 20 for all three; four-part bonuses are worth five points per part; five-part bonuses are worth four points per part. People seem to think this is okay because "it helps prevent ties" and "three-part bonuses' parts are harder than those of four- or five-part bonuses, while five-part bonuses' parts are easier than those of three- or four-part bonuses", even though the first reason is silly and the latter is nonsensical since it's unrealistic for anyone to modulate the difficulty of their questions that precisely. Teams have 30 seconds (which they may end early) to work on all the bonus parts at once; parts not answered correctly by the controlling team rebound to the other, which has no additional conferral time.
The tournament seeds the top eight teams in each Sectional, plays a Single Elimination Regional, plays a Round Robin Sectional with head-to-head as the top tiebreaker, and plays pools at State, which has been held in the Peoria Civic Center since 1997.
6/6 Science (of which 5/5 is Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) 6/6 Math 6/6 Social Studies (of which 3/3 is History) 6/6 Literature and Language Arts (5/5 of the former and 1/1 of the latter) 4/4 Fine Arts 2/2 Miscellaneous (including some Agriculture, Family Consumer Science, Drivers Education, Industrial Arts, and Consumer Education)
Illinois quizbowl had, over its history, been almost exclusively tied to short "buzzer-beater" questions, with bonus questions that were often patterned and varied wildly in difficulty. During the 1990s, questions were written by Answers Plus, which often had incorrect answers in packets and vague questions that led to arguments. As more and more teams began to see how quizbowl was played in other states, the demands for better questions crescendoed.
Starting in 2000, a question-writing cabal was put together consisting largely of former coaches, though over time several college students and recent college grads joined the group. The question-writing cabal remains secretive; even those inside it are deliberately kept as in-the-dark as possible. After the questions for 2009 were particularly awful, Jonah Greenthal explored several channels to find out as much as he could about it; what he discovered is documented here. Writers who have outed themselves include Greenthal, Matt Laird (beginning 2010), Trygve Meade, and Kelly Tourdot; while self-outed former writers include Tom Egan, Donald Taylor, and Matt Weiner. The results have been of mixed quality.
Top Teams from the IHSA State Championship Tournament
Clicking on the year brings you to the article showing the full results for each year's State Championship Tournament. (NOTE: The information below only goes up to 2009.)
State Championship Results
|Years||AA Champion||AA Second Place||A Champion||A Second Place|
|1987-88||Quincy Senior||Wheaton Central|
|1989-90||IMSA||Joliet Catholic Academy|
|1992-93||Quincy Senior||IMSA||Winnebago||Latin School|
|1994-95||Richwoods||New Trier||Winnebago||Latin School|
|1997-98||IMSA||Hinsdale Central||Latin School||St. Teresa|
|1999-2000||Stevenson||Naperville Central||Byron||University (Normal)|
|2001-02||Wheaton North||Hinsdale Central||Latin School||Carterville|
|2002-03||Wheaton North||Auburn (Rockford)||Stillman Valley||Carlinville|
|2003-04||Wheaton North||Stevenson||Latin School||Carterville|
|2004-05||Stevenson||Wheaton North||Latin School||Eureka|
|2005-06||Fremd||Carbondale||Latin School||Illinois Valley Central|
|2006-07||New Trier||Wheaton North||Lutheran Schools Association (Decatur)||Columbia|
|2011-12||IMSA||Macomb||Peoria Christian||Chicago Christian|