IHSA has reached their ruling on fall sports, stating they will only be allowing golf, tennis, cross country, and swimming. Ahead of their announcement, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker held a press conference to announce new restrictions to youth sports, both school sanctioned and recreational.
Pritzker cited major outbreaks occurring across MLB teams shortly after the return of the sport to fanless stadiums, and the NBA restrictions “keeping players in a bubble” as well as rising counts across the state as inspiration for creating the guidance.
“This virus is unrelenting, and it spreads so easily that no amount of restriction seems to keep it off the playing field or out of the locker room. That’s why my administration is releasing new guidance restricting youth and adult recreational sports in Illinois,” Pritzker said.
He continued “I know our hearts break when we hear the word ‘restrictions,’ especially when it comes to our children’s love for their sports. Whether this year is their first time on the court or it’s their senior season – this isn’t the news anyone wants to hear. But this virus remains dangerous and deadly to kids and parents and grandparents, and this is the best thing we can do for the health and safety of families under the current circumstances.”
There are four tiers of sports and different risk levels. There are also mitigation procedures to verify the health of players and coaches, along with capacity regulations, and all of this is dependent upon the phase that any given region is in. St. Clair County is in Region 4 and Phase 4, which Pritzker has threatened to roll back due to increased community spread and rising positivity rates.
Current Conditions Allow for the Following Types of Play per Sport Risk Level:
■ Low-risk sports can currently play at Levels 1, 2, and 3
■ Medium-risk sports can currently play at Level 1 and 2
■ High-risk sports can currently play at Level 1
IHSA announced their decision via social media, but their website remains down. They stated the following on their social media after increased traffic crashed their website: “We apologize for the delay and the website crashing. We appreciate your support of IHSA sports and activities. We will be alerting member school admins of Board action from today shortly, and then sending to social media & media, along with posting on web once it is live.”
The abbreviated sports schedule applies to all four seasons, and there will be restrictions and guidance issued on higher risk sports before the start of the season. Noticeably absent from the fall sports schedule is football, which has been deemed a higher risk sport.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson did not that the ruling was fluid, and that regulations could change.
SIJHSAA is holding their ruling until August 3, and will take into account Gov. Pritzker’s new restrictions and IHSA’s ruling.