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IHSA Pauses Winter activities amid state regulations

Written by on November 19, 2020

Photo courtesy IHSA Facebook.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors provided an update on winter sports during their virtual board meeting Thursday afternoon.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced new safety measures will be put in place as the state heads into Phase 3, effective Friday at midnight. Because of this, the IHSA Board decided to pause all winter sports and activities.

“All IHSA sports and activities will cease by November 20 for what we hope is a short-term pause,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Given the rising COVID-19 cases in our state and region, we support the Governor’s mitigations and believe it is imperative for everyone in the state to do their part in following them so that we can return to high school sports participation as soon as possible.”

As a result, the board will not recognize Nov. 16 as the start date of the winter season. A new start date will be established for each sport once winter sports can be conducted again.

In terms of conducting team workouts, conditioning and weight training before and after school are paused. It will be up to the schools to decide if they should continue or not. Open Gyms are also paused. The board also clarified the following:

  1. Outdoor workouts may be conducted in any sport in groups of 10 or less with masks and social distancing, coaches included. Use of sport-specific equipment is allowable with proper sanitizing practices.
  2. One-on-one skill work between a coach and student-athlete is permitted for winter sports only but is limited to one coach and one student-athlete per facility.
  3. Practices and competitions may only be conducted virtually.
  4. All sports organizations in the state, school or non-school, have been directed to follow the Governor’s safety measures. IHSA coaches cannot organize non-school participation in any fashion.

The Board will revisit the status of winter sports at their update discussion on December 2, and again at their regularly scheduled meeting on December 14 if necessary.