(WCIA) — The Illinois Elementary School Association canceled fall sports on Friday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IESA board of directors met on Thursday and canceled the regular season and state series for boys and girls golf, boys baseball, girls softball, and boys and girls cross country. The IESA doesn’t plan to re-schedule the activities or conduct them later in the school year.
IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley says, “The decisions made by the IESA Board of Directors were by far the most difficult decisions I have ever witnessed the Board make in my tenure with IESA.”
The IESA is still pending a decision on girls basketball, however. The first day of girls basketball practice is scheduled for August 31, so the board will meet again in late august to make a decision regarding girls basketball.
“Our sincere hope is that there are changes to the limitations placed on schools which will allow the remainder of the activities in the upcoming school year to be held as scheduled,” says Endsley.
The IESA statement also adds, “We work with junior high and middle school students. They are not professional athletes; they are not college athletes; they are not high school athletes. They are not missing out on any scholarship opportunities. These are mainly 12-14 year old students who will have many more opportunities to participate. Activities, despite their importance in the development of students, can never take precedence over the health and safety of those same students.”
The IHSA is expected to make a decision on fall high school sports soon. There is a board meeting scheduled on Wednesday July, 29th.