The History of the IAAM

The History of the IAAM

The Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM) is an organization consisting of 31 private and parochial schools in and around the Baltimore Metro area, including five counties and Baltimore City, which participate in girls’ interscholastic sports. The IAAM oversees over 400 varsity and junior varsity teams in 14 sports, with over 8,000 young women having the opportunity to participate in sanctioned athletic programs.

The IAAM was formed in 1999. At that time, there were two girls’ athletic leagues in the Maryland private school sector. After the MIAA was formed on the boys’ side in 1994, a number of Heads of School saw the IAAM, on the girls’ side, as a natural extension five years later, combining the A.I.S. and the Catholic League into one new league.

Initial meetings were held in the spring of 1999, with the inaugural Board of Governors meeting on April 16. In attendance at that session were: Jean Waller Brune (RPCS), Rebecca Fox (BMS), Sister Janet Thiel (Catholic), Chairperson Mickey Deegan (McDonogh) and Vice Chair Mary Ella Marion (Mercy). Ms. Elizabeth Ahearn was hired as the first Executive Director and assumed her duties June 1, 1999. Ms Ahern served for four years, followed by Ms. Maureen Sanborn for one year and Ms. Susan Thompson was hired in 2005 and has served as Executive Director since then.

The IAAM began play with an official schedule in the Fall of 1999. The league had a total of 30 schools, listed below, under its umbrella:

Archbishop Spalding Inst. Of Notre Dame Park School
Arlington Baptist John Carroll Roland Park Country School
Baltimore Lutheran Key School Seton Keough
Beth Tfiloh Maryvale Prep Severn
Bryn Mawr McDonogh St. Frances Academy
Catholic High Mercy St. John's-Prospect Hall
Chapelgate Christian Mount Carmel St. Mary's
Friends School Mount de Sales St. Paul's School For Girls
Garrison Forest Notre Dame Prep St. Timothy's
Glenelg Country Oldfields Towson Catholic


St. Vincent Pallotti joined the league soon thereafter as a full member in 2002. Arlington Baptist dropped out of the league in 2005 after winning back to back C Conference basketball titles. Annapolis Area Christian joined the IAAM a year later in 2006, and the league roster remained at 31 until Towson Catholic was forced to exit after the school’s sudden closing in the summer of 2009, bringing the Association back to its original number of 30 schools.  In November 2010, Indian Creek School was accepted as a Provisional Member and beginning in 2012-13 will be the 33rd member in the 12-year history of the league. In October 2016, the announcement was made that Seton Keough High School would be closing at the end of the academic year. With confirmation of their closing, after securing numerous championships and putting forth so many excellent teams, SKHS closed their doors June 2016.  The IAAM Heads of School, in May 2017, unanimously voted Gerstell Academy in as the next Provisional Member through the 2017-18 Academic Year. The Full Membership vote for Gerstell Academy took place in May 2018 for league competition in the Fall 2018.  

The IAAM initially offered nine sports: field hockey, soccer, volleyball and tennis in the Fall; basketball, swimming and indoor track in the Winter; lacrosse and softball in the Spring. The league added cross country and track-and-field in 2001, along with badminton and golf in the spring of 2005. Indoor track was added to the Winter season in 2005-06, bringing the league to its current slate of 14 varsity teams. In addition to these 14 sports, some IAAM schools also offer competitive cheer, crew, ice hockey and squash as Club Sports.