IHSA defers Return to Play decisions to IDPH, ISBE, and Governor’s Office

Sports

WCIA — The future of high school sports is now in the hands of the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Governor’s Office. The IHSA announced on Tuesday they are deferring all of its Return To Play Guidelines to those organizations moving forward.

In a statement released by the IHSA, executive director Craig Anderson says, “We still believe there is a path to conducting high school athletics in the fall, like the majority of states surrounding Illinois plan to do. To make that happen, it’s important that we allow IDPH, ISBE and the Governor’s Office to take the lead on ensuring the safest and most consistent protocols.”

IHSA teams can currently participate in limited summer workouts within the Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines. Per the IDPH’s request, the IHSA revised their Phase 4 guidelines on Thursday July 9th, to include the following changes:

  • 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.)

Final approval on the revised Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines from IDPH is still pending.

“There is an unprecedented level of planning for this school year due to COVID-19, and we have come to understand that there needs to be a greater consistency between the guidelines for returning to learn and returning to interscholastic athletics,” says Anderson. “As a result, we feel it is important to let IDPH and ISBE provide a consistent direction for our membership moving forward.  We will wait on direction from these organizations for further guidance on Return to Play plans for the 2020-21 school year.”

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