IHSA announces restrictions for Phase 4 Return to Play

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Contact and competitions called off after a spike in positive COVID-19 tests

WCIA — Just six days after the IHSA announced guidelines allowing contact and competition for summer workouts and practices, new protocols released Thursday are now prohibiting those same measures.

In an email sent to high school athletic directors across the state, IHSA executive director Craig Anderson outlined three main differences in the Phase 4 Return to Play guidelines.

Those changes include:

  • There cannot be any contact drills/physical contact among athletes.
  • All persons must wear a mask. However, they do not need to be worn for outside workouts, as long as athletes are social distancing.
  • There must be a strict 50-person-limit to all indoor activities, and that would include any spectators (People in those groups should also practice social distancing.)

A second email was sent later Thursday afternoon adding more context to the regulations with approval from the Illinois State Board of Education and Governor’s office. Athletes outside and practicing social distancing do NOT need to wear a mask. The follow up correspondence also clarified that all competitions are put on hold for now. That means no 7-on-7 for football, or summer scrimmages in basketball and volleyball.

The new regulations are in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases, according to a release from the IHSA. It’s also in an effort to more align with the Illinois State Board of Education guidelines for students returning to school.

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