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June 22, 2024

Illinois Appellate Court: IHSA Cannot Cancel School’s Sports For Probation Status By State Board Of Education –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 19, 2021

Hutsonville, IL. (ECWd) –

The Illinois Fifth Appellate Court issued its Order today in Hutsonville School District v Illinois High School Association.

The Order:

Held: The trial court’s denial of petitioners’ motion for temporary restraining order was erroneous where petitioners’ motion pled sufficient facts to make a prima facie case for the entry of a temporary restraining order.”

This case was brought by the Hutsonville School District seeking a restraining order to prohibit the IHSA from precluding school on probation for noncompliance with the Governor’s August 4, 2021 COVID-19 Executive Order mask mandate, from participating in the State Series.

Appellate Court reversed the Circuit Court’s denial of the restraining order.

From the Court’s Analysis:

  • we find the petitioners set forth a prima facie case of irreparable injury in the absence of an injunction and that they had no adequate remedy at law
  • We now turn to whether petitioners had a right to compete in the State Series that needed protection and the likelihood of the success on the merits of the case. We consider these elements together because “once the plaintiff established a fair question that his rights had been violated, he also established a fair question that he would likely prevail on his claim
  • We first note that neither the legitimacy of the Governor’s mandates nor the ISBE’s ability to place a school on probation for its failure to adopt the Governor’s mandates is at issue in this case. While Executive Order 2021-18 imposes a mask mandate on schools, it does not speak to the school’s eligibility to participate in IHSA State Series or a school’s status as an IHSA member.
  • the IHSA constitution and by-laws are devoid of any reference to schools that have a probationary classification issued by the ISBE, regardless of the reason for the classification. There is also nothing in the IHSA constitution or by-laws that allows the organization to issue emergency rules on the eligibility of a member school or athlete. In fact, the document reveals the opposite that first requires a finding of ineligibility by the executive director and, if disputed, an appeal and hearing before the Board of Directors.
  • For the reasons stated herein, we reverse the trial court’s denial of the TRO, grant the TRO until 10:30 a.m. on October 22, 2021, and remand the case to adjudicate the merits of this case at that time.
Hutsonville Cusd No.1 v. Illinois High School Association, 2021 IL App (5th) 210308-U


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  • Pete Johlie
    Posted at 20:31h, 19 October Reply

    Good for the kids!

  • PK
    Posted at 23:30h, 19 October Reply

    IHSA failing to adhere to its constitution and by-laws as found by an appellate court is similar to ISBE being found acting unadhered to administrative law by a state court. Such basic failures appalls the classroom and gymnasium.

    Bump, set, spike. Let’s get these school bully organizations back in line for good.

  • Illinois High School Sports Central
    Posted at 00:47h, 20 October Reply

    Is just for Hutsonville?

  • Sandra Etherton
    Posted at 10:45h, 20 October Reply

    Good. This whole time is getting out of hand. Time for common people to stand up for their 1st amendment right.

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