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. In 2012-13, IHSA switched to a bonus format similar to mACF in which bonus parts are read one part at a time, and each bonus has three parts worth ten points each. Before that, bonuses were read with all parts at once, teams had 30 seconds to confer, there were a variable number of parts, and bonuses were worth a total of 20 points. The IHSA distribution includes a lot of math, much of which is computational, and some bad miscellaneous subcategories. Teams must have exactly five students to prevent disqualification. If a team does not wear matching tops, then their opponent is given 30 points. All tossups are worth 10 points, with no powers or negs, and bonuses bounceback.
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.
5/5 Science 5/5 Math 5/5 Social Studies 5/5 Literature and Language Arts 3/3 Fine Arts 1/1 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 grew.
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.
David Reinstein belonged to the cabal in 2011-12 and 2012-13. When he told the IHSA that several questions had significant quotes that could be found on the internet, the IHSA fired him. In the aftermath, some writers dropped out of the process or were not asked to write again. As a result, the 2013-14 questions are expected to be horrible.
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|