Clubs versus sports

The lines between club and sport fade as the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) accepts more activities as sports. As more clubs turn into sports, hiccups arise in the process, and many choose to remain clubs.

Lacrosse currently strives to become a sport. “The IHSA needs 65 boys teams to sign up and 40 girls teams to sign up for it to be an official state sport where they have a sport tournament. They have 74 teams that say they have lacrosse for the boys and 51 that say they have lacrosse for the girls,” said Athletic Director Mr. Dan Jones.

Following these principles, lacrosse should have already reached sport-status. However, only 50 boys teams and 34 girls teams officially signed up last year. “So, there are schools that have it but do not want to join the IHSA for many different reasons,” Jones said. One of the biggest reasons is that they don’t have the funding.

“So what the IHSA is thinking of doing, because there’s still a lot of interest, is they’re thinking maybe down the road in 2015 we are going to have a boys and girls state tournament,” Jones said. As for now, Central’s lacrosse has already signed up to be an official state sport. “We’ve just got to wait and see if the numbers go up then,” Jones said.

As lacrosse continues to reach for sport status, poms has already achieved it. Poms keeps active in the Central community regardless of its team status. This is poms’ first year as an IHSA sport, but the team functions the same as before.

“Even before this year we’ve always been treated the same as any other varsity sport in terms of academics and code of conduct. Our coach constantly tells us that we are a varsity sport and we are expected to act as such,” said senior Christine Hawn, co-captain of the varsity poms team.

However, while many teams become official, many clubs still remain without the sport status. A few among these include the sailing club, extreme sports club, and the equestrian club. Sophomore Kaitlyn Kapp created the equestrian club last year as a place for horse riders from different barns to meet up at school. This year, she plans to really kick off the club.

For now, Kapp keeps this differentiation between actual horse-back riding and the equestrian club for school. “I think horse-back riding is a sport, but there’s a liability thing. Since it’s such a dangerous thing, it’s hard to get it published as an official sport through the school,” Kapp said. Funding also prevents the club from becoming a team. “Most of our club is a parent-sponsored thing, so we can do it outside of school and do show-riding,” said Kapp.

As the equestrian club remains a club, others continue trying to become sports. With poms as an example, club athletes can see the possibilities for future sports.