Swimming has been officially recognized as a sanctioned sport by the Idaho High School Activities Association leaving only the states of South Dakota and Tennessee still operating swimming as a club sport. This fall marks the first official high school swimming season in Idaho, something earned by a 8-6 vote in December 2016 after nearly 30 years of effort in getting the sport recognized.
For Bishop Kelly High School athlete Thomas Roark, bound for LSU next year, the senior is relishing representing his school. “I’ve always considered myself an athlete. I do this year-round. This is my life,” he said. “This is what’s going to put me through college.
“When it comes to high school swimming, I love my year-round team,” Roark continued. “But I love being a part of BK and what that stands for and what that means — spirit, mind, body — and representing my high school and going out there and racing for them.” (Idaho Statesman)
Having swimming as an IHSAA-sanctioned sport means swimmers can now be included in pep rallies, meets can be promoted on school announcements and the sport is now eligible for district and individual school funding.
Schools and the IHSAA will utilize the upcoming season to gather information on available pools, determine which schools should compete in which classifications, and the number of swimmers needed to make for a competitive state meet. As such, the 2018-19 season will see its first official IHSAA state championship meet.
You can read the official IHSAA by-laws including swimming as a sanctioned sport for the 2017-18 season here.