IHSA announces new mask enforcement policy for schools

Local Sports

WCIA — The IHSA Board of Directors voted Monday to adopt a new mask enforcement policy, in an effort to make sure member schools adhere to the state’s current Executive Order 85 mandating masks.

IHSA schools will not be allowed to participate in the state series for a sport if they remain on Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) probation for non-compliance with the state mask mandate on the date of seeding (or the list of participant entry deadline) in that sport. Additionally, the IHSA staff has been directed to set appropriate timelines based on the schedule for each fall sport to begin relieving schools of their State Series hosting responsibilities if they are currently on ISBE probation due to non-compliance with the state mask mandate.

SportState Series Seeding/Entry Date
Boys & Girls GolfSeptember 22      
1A Boys SoccerSeptember 23
2A/3A Boys SoccerSeptember 30
Girls VolleyballOctober 7
Girls TennisOctober 13
Boys & Girls Cross CountryOctober 18
Football                             October 23
Girls Swimming & DivingNovember 1

“The IHSA Board of Directors did not look at this situation as being a pro-mask or anti-mask issue, nor did they view their ruling as any type of political stance,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a statement. “Setting aside their own personal opinions, they were unanimous in the belief that the IHSA is a rule-driven organization that should continue to align with ISBE rules for the good of its membership. The Board felt that not following the mandate was akin to a team picking and choosing what rules they were going to follow in a football game or volleyball match. Anecdotally, they shared a growing frustration among schools on how the scheduling process has been impacted by schools not following the mandate, which ultimately led them to set forth measures that they believe will help prevent some of those same issues from occurring during the postseason.”

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