ISBE “does not have oversight” over high school sports, schools proposing their own plans to resume


(WCIA) — The chances of high school sports resuming in the fall is looking slim, with the IHSA unable to reach a decision yet. The Board of Directors is scheduled to meet with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Friday, after they deferred their decision-making to them, the Governor’s office, and the State Board of Education (ISBE).

Athletic directors are becoming frustrated, however, that these governing bodies unable to reach a decision. On Thursday afternoon, the ISBE sent an email athletic directors saying:

“We understand the difficulties that the Illinois Elementary School Association and Illinois High School Association programs are facing due to COVID-19, and that many families have questions connected to youth sports. ISBE does not have oversight over these organizations or organized sports activities outside of physical education. We do not have authority over the guidance directing the activities of these organizations, and cannot respond on their behalf. Individuals with concerns about youth sports and other extracurricular activities will need to contact the IESA or the IHSA directly.”

With no direction on how to move forward with high school sports, school officials at Maroa-Forsyth high school have put together a proposal that would allow all teams to compete this season. Head football coach Josh Jostes has played a big role in putting together ideas, but is hoping the IHSA can make a decision soon.

“We’re currently sponsors of a couple different plans and ideas, and hopefully we get the ball rolling, I feel like that could have been done by other people rather than us.” says Jostes. “I’m not sure what we’re gaining by waiting and delaying meetings. I do feel like the IHSA has been very clear that they understand canceling an entire season–like the fall season–is the last possible option.”

Here are some of the details outlined in their proposal, which would allow all teams to compete:

  • No fall sports will be played in 2020, instead all competition will start in 2021
  • Winter sports (basketball, wrestling, etc.) will start competition in January
  • Fall sports (football, volleyball, etc.) will start competition in March
  • Spring sports (baseball, softball, track & field) will start competition in April/May and play through the summer

Other suggestions include limiting the amount of regular season games. For example, they suggest football teams play seven games as opposed to nine. The plan also includes an IHSA “dead period” from November 21, 2020-December 20, 2020. That would allow high schools to adequately make preparations for the seasons.

Below are the full details Maroa-Forsyth proposes:

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