Coaches well aware of IHSA’s travel basketball participation rule

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When Corey Knigge was coaching club basketball, he said he would have loved to have had multiple Mundelein players on his team.

However, one of the few rules the IHSA has with regards to club basketball is that no more than two players from the same high school can play together on a non-school basketball team when the club team is coached by a coach from their school.

“We had both Robert Knar and Sean O’Brien already playing one summer, and we had to send off another guy to another team,” said Knigge, who coached Rising Stars club teams while he was a Mundelein boys basketball assistant coach. “I understand why they instituted that rule.”

Knigge is entering his second season as Mundelein’s head boys basketball coach.

The idea behind the rule is to prevent high schools from circumventing the 25 practice days they are given each offseason, according to Kurt Gibson, an IHSA associate executive director in charge of boys basketball. Gibson said he can’t remember the last time a high school was penalized for violating the rule.

“I know we’ve looked into it, but it doesn’t seem to happen very often,” Gibson said. “Most coaches are familiar with the rule, and what they are allowed to do.”

Maine South girls basketball coach Mark Smith said he knows of several people who coach both high school and club teams, but it’s not something Smith plans to do.

“It’s a gray line that I don’t ever want to get that close to,” he said.

This story has been changed to reflect the following correction:

The IHSA rule about how many high school teammates can play together on a club team was misstated. The number of high school teammates on the same travel team is capped at two only if the club team is coached by one of their high school coaches. The limit does not apply to all non-school basketball teams.

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