WCIA — Stage 2 of the IHSA Return to Play Guidelines have been approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The new protocols come with a new name, as it will now be referred to as Phase 4 Return to Play Guidelines, to match the wording used by Gov. Pritzker in the state’s Restore Illinois plan. The IHSA Stage 1 Return To Play Guidelines, which were implemented on June 5, will now be referred to as the Phase 3 Return To Play Guidelines, as a result.
“Safety remains at the forefront of everything that the IHSA is doing as we move into Phase 4 and beyond,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a statement. “We appreciate the collaborative efforts of the SMAC and IDPH in recognizing the physical, mental, and emotional benefits for our student-athletes and coaches as they progress into training in a more traditional practice setting. Our focus now shifts to continuing to work with state leadership to determine how to provide the safest environment possible for fall sports.”
Groups of 50 are now allowed, that’s up from 10 in the first stage. Other significant changes include the addition of competitions and sport specific equipment. That means balls are now allowed, meaning teams can throw a football or play volleyball. Games can take place inside or outside but certain restrictions remain for both. If a contest is outside, multiple groups of 50 are permissible but only if they’re spaced at least 30 feet apart. Indoors, the group limit for everyone (minus fans) remains at 50. Spectators are allowed but a 20 percent capacity limit for the venue must be enforced.