(WCIA) — High school sports are right around the corner. Fall, Spring, and Summer sports can start contact days as early as January 25th, while winter sports have already been approved to start practicing.
High risk sports will need at least 12 days of practice before thy can compete, low risk sports only need seven. Games are expected to take place within a few weeks, pending a schedule from the IHSA. Athletic directors have been working diligently to prepare for the quick start.
“As soon as we get more information then we can start putting together new schedules, and try to make this process go as quickly as possible and be ready to go as soon as we can play,” says Paxton-Buckley Loda Athletic director Brock Niebuhr.
AD’s are also working on several logistical tasks including finding officials for the games, and figuring out their facility set-up to allow for social distancing.
“It’s going to be crazy, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on this whole year and then all of a sudden in 24 hours it’s 100%,” said Nick Lindsey, athletic director at Arcola. “Now we’re rolling, so it is going to be a challenge, but I’ll gladly put in that time.”
Coaches are also working to make sure their teams are ready. The modified schedule put out by the IHSA in July had winter sports starting in November, with games running through 15th. Spring sports, which now include volleyball and football are set to start on February 15th. That date is likely to change, but Shelbyville football coach Bill Duckett is ready whenever that might be.
“We’ll get ready, I don’t know if we’ll feel ready,” said Duckett. “Over the summer you’re mentally preparing and the kids know what to expect, and even as a coach you know how to prepare, and you’re ready for that start date, and all of a sudden it gets thrown on you, and in three weeks your playing and in two weeks you have a game. It will be very different in that aspect, but just excited to have that opportunity.”
The IHSA board of directors are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, January 27th with more important information coming for high school sports.