May the best team win

It takes a lot of hope to keep playing a game that you never win. It takes a lot of faith to believe you can win when the rules change.

Private high school sports teams tend to be targets of the Illinois High School Association because they tend to establish dynasties. The conventional wisdom is that because they don’t have boundaries like public schools, they can draw from a larger area and hand-pick athletes to keep those dynasties going.

Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese and its winning girls volleyball team recently found itself subject to the IHSA’s new “success factor” rules. The school of 427 students was bumped up a class to Class 4A, where much of its competition will draw teams from student bodies in excess of 2,000.

Is it fair? To some, yes. To some, no. It depends on which side of the net you find yourself.

What offends a sense of fairness is the IHSA changing the rules. Althoff Catholic High School’s football success 25 years ago led to a change that pitted them against bigger schools. Now Mater Dei is subject to a different rule that was just passed last year, but one that exempts the largest private schools.

Seems like you should establish the rules of the game and let the best team win.