IHSSBCA All State Program

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The IHSSBCA All-State Program is a program designed to annually recognize the best players in Illinois, as well as to encourage players and coaches to continually improve. It has been sponsored by the IHSSBCA since the 2001-02 season.


The All-State program dates back to at least 1998 when it was originally proposed by Tom Egan. Egan met resistance with some coaches serving on the Board of Directors who thought it would distract from the selection of Team Illinois, the all-star team sent each year to the Panasonic Academic Challenge. A team was selected in 1999 at the Team Illinois Selection Event, independent of Egan's specific plans. Egan had certificates made up, but neglected to use the terminology "All-State", instead labeling them as "Team Illinois". They were given to the players who made the team, with "honorable mention" certificates given to the players who gained the most favor with the committee, but did not make the team.

In 2001, the program was expanded to include some players who were not necessarily present at the selection event. They were the first group to be termed "All-State", but were drawn from very limited nominations, and were mixed Class A and Class AA players. As doubts began to surface about this methodology, Egan's plan was finally approved for the 2002 season.

Each of the eight sectionals in each of the two classes (A, small school and AA, large school) would vote for ten players in each sectional to comprise an “All-sectional” team. Players would be nominated by their coaches, with coaches restricted to nominating no more than two players-per-team. The top five players from each sectional would then have their nominating materials forwarded for All-State consideration.

Each sectional would also name one coach to serve on that class’ selection committee. Originally, coaches were barred from ranking players from their own sectional, though this rule was changed after one year.

When the IHSA experimented with splitting the sectionals into sub-sectionals, each sub-sectional was given six “All-Sectional” slots to vote for, with the top four advancing for “All-State” consideration.

Egan ran the program for seven years (2001-02 to 2006-07). The program was taken over by Matt Laird for the 2007-08. A non-unanimous vote of the Board expanded the number of All-Sectional slots to 15 for each sectional, and for each coach to now nominate 3 players from their team.

One rule, in place since the first year, allows coaches to appeal directly to the All-State coordinator, if they feel that a legitimate All-State player has not been advanced. Some problems had emerged earlier, such as coaches from a particular conference voting as a bloc, or coaches refusing to vote for a second, legitimate player from a team, in order to “spread the wealth”. Through 2008, this had only occured twice, and in one case led to a player being named All-State.

Until 2005, all coaches who appeared at the seeding meeting were permitted to vote for the All-Sectional teams. After which, only coaches who had coached in a minimum of six matches or who had nominated a player were eligible to vote.

For three years (2002-2004), the All-State recipients were invited to the IHSA State Finals (if they were not already scheduled to appear) to receive their awards, which could involve driving several hours for seconds of recognition. In 2005, there was no formal recognition for the All-State players. Starting in 2006, All-State players were invited to attend the annual IHSSBCA banquet held at Illinois State University in Normal.

The All-State Team

At the Team Illinois Selection Committee Meeting in 2001, an "All-State" team was selected from among the players who had assembled. Selection was based on a small pool of players, and some top players were excluded, not having been in attendance for the tryout. The selection was limited to the coaches and officials already selecting Team Illinois. Even though the IHSSBCA does not recognize this group as being an "All-State" team, they are listed here:



Voting Procedure

At the sectional seeding meeting, the selection of the All-Sectional team occurs after the seeding of teams. Coaches review the nomination forms and letter of support for each player. They then rank the players, with the top ten (now 15) players named All-Sectional. The top players have their materials forwarded for All-State consideration.

The nomination forms and letters are copied and then forwarded to the selectors, who generally have three weeks to review the forms and letters, and then rank their top 20 players. After the votes are tallied, the top ten players in each class are named “First Team All-State” and the next ten are named “Second Team All-State”.


Each All-Sectional player receives a certificate. Each All-State honoree receives two certificates (one of which is given to the player’s coach) and a medal. The certificates included a handwritten citation of the player’s name and school. Since 2006, each All-State player also received free tickets to the annual IHSSBCA banquet.

Special Individual Award Groups

Honored as All-Sectional Three Times

Honored as All-State Three Times

Honored as First Team All-State Twice

Honored as First Team and Second Team All-State

In all cases, the first year of the award was the year in which the player earned Second Team honors.

Honored as Second Team All-State Twice

Special Team Award Groups

Teams with Two Players Honored as First Team, Same Year

Teams with both First Team and Second Team Players, Same Year


  1. Li and Zhukovitskiy are the only teammates to concurrently earn All-Sectional honors three times.
  2. Weiss is the only player to be named All-Sectional four times.
  3. Team won the IHSA State Title.
  4. Team won its IHSA Sectional Tournament, and advanced to the State Championship Tournament.
  5. Team did not advance to the State Championship Tournament, but was voted first in the end of the year coaches poll.