On Monday the IHSA released a statement that brought joy to many of the member schools, and in particular, the football community when it was announced that Chicago-based Wilson would again be the official ball of the IHSA starting for the 2014-2015 season. The proposal — which was passed by the IHSA board will run through the 2023-2024 season — says Wilson balls will be used exclusively in IHSA State Series contests in the following sports: Girls Badminton, Baseball, Boys & Girls Basketball, Football, Boys & Girls Golf, Boys & Girls Soccer, Softball, Boys & Girls Tennis and Boys & Girls Volleyball.
Baden Sports, located in Washington, was granted the IHSA contract which began starting for the 2009-2010 school year. Wilson had previously been the official ball of the IHSA up until the 2009-2010 season.
So what has been the general consensus from the football coaches regarding the change in football's back to Wilson?
"It (Baden) was a terrible football ball," one coach who wished to not be named said. "It's always is hard to adjust and break in new balls but these football just didn't have the same quality as the Wilson balls."
"I didn't have any issue with it (Baden). It's always an adjustment and we will need to adjust to the Wilson ball again. I just think having the ball come from an Illinois based company makes more sense in this day and age. We will just roll with the Wilson ball."