IHSA reconfirms no high school sports until 2021

Illinois High School Association Executive Director Craig Anderson reiterated in a statement yesterday that the Board of Directors for the organization has no expectation to begin any winter sports seasons until 2021.

Meanwhile, despite the state under the Governor J.B. Pritzker's Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation restrictions, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 9,757 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 238 additional deaths yesterday. The statewide December 2 statistics marks the highest number of single-day fatalities from the disease in Illinois since May.

The statement comes as no real surprise as a large number of communities and counties around the state continue to resist adopting and following state health department's mandates and governor's guidance during a time when normal seasonal airborne viral infections flourish.

"To reiterate, the Board has no expectation to begin any winter sports seasons until 2021, but will remain agile in their preparation and willingness to adapt should a window present itself sooner," Anderson said.

He explained that the Board remains committed to creating as much opportunity as possible for all sports that remain to be played this school year and they ask that schools be adaptable in the coming New Year as more information and guidance becomes available from the IDPH and the governor. The start and ending dates are fluid depending on when the winter season can official resume.

"Given Governor Pritzker’s current mitigations, the Board has no expectation of starting low risk winter sports prior to January. The Board and IHSA staff will continue to monitor the Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation in effect currently. When there is a timeline for the state to emerge from these restrictions, the Board is prepared to restart lower risk winter sports quickly," Anderson said. "In addition, the Board hopes to reestablish contact days in January for any winter sports that cannot begin, as well as spring and summer sports. The introduction of the contact days will be based on mitigations from the Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health at that time. Further guidance on contact days limits will be established at a future Board meeting."