Is it totally illogical? Then we love it.

I spent the better part of last week spazzing out at the IHSA (Illinois High School Association), and have come to the conclusion that they have NO IDEA how to throw a good party.

My little brother made the state cut in swimming in 2 events; 1 individual and 1 relay. Our entire family was incredibly excited because he is the first to do that in swimming (and we are all swimmers). My mom warned my sister and I that prelims were on a Friday, and we would need to pay for our own tickets. We both cleared our schedules, and eagerly waited. So you can imagine my surprise when she called me Wednesday morning to let me know we couldn’t go – each swimmer is only allowed 2 tickets to the event.

Big deal, right? I’ll just buy tickets at the door. I looked around online trying to figure out where I could get tickets, and could find no info. I called the main IHSA office down in central Illinois and, after getting the transfer runaround, was finally told to call Evanston High School (where the event was being hosted. I did (after finding the number myself, because IHSA gave me a fax number – natch), and they let me know that no tickets are available to the general public. “I’m sorry?” “No tickets. Only the 2 tickets per swimmer”.

Ridiculous! After stressing for 2 days, we were able to link up the Liss super network and snag 2 spare tickets from various parents at various schools. Then the seating fiasco began. Didn’t you know that access to the IHSA State Swim Meet was as coveted as a goddamn N’Sync concert? My mom arrived at the pool and received a ticket for her seating group. She was then forced to wait in an auditorium for a couple hours until they began seating. She talked to a gentleman while she was there, and they started complaining about how ass-backwards the whole situation was. She told him that Evanston and New Trier are the only high schools big enough to host this event, and he dropped the bomb on her. Apparently, Naperville needs to build another high school (a 5th one!), and they would like to build a huge natatorium just for events like this. They pretty much have district approval, but it is being blocked by – guess who – New Trier and Evanston. You figure a meet being sold at capacity, with tickets at $20 a pop, is a pretty nice revenue stream.

Even worse, when my mom was finally seated (and they were great seats – thanks, Mom!) she was reprimanded on no less than 3 occasions for holding seats.

On a side note, when I asked where the rest of the boys team was (only 6 of them were at the meet), she let me know that my brother’s teammates could’t attend to cheer him on BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T GET TICKETS.


So, horray for civic greediness and a complete lack of human empathy. IHSA and Evanston, you take the cake.

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