IHSA will defy Gov. Pritzker and let local schools play basketball

High School Sports

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois High School Association plans to allow schools to play basketball, even after the state health department elevated the sport from “medium to high risk” Tuesday.

“High risk” means teams can’t play games or have contact practices, but after a board meeting Wednesday, the IHSA is giving local school districts the power to make decisions to play. Players, coaches, and officials must wear masks during play.

After diligent discussion, the Board has made the decision today to follow the recommendation of the IHSA SMAC as it relates to basketball. The Board remains considerate of rising COVID-19 cases in Illinois and understand the importance of adhering to safety guidelines for the good of all citizens. However, the Board has not been presented any causal evidence that rising COVID-19 cases make basketball more dangerous to play by the IDPH or any other health organization nationally or internationally. On the contrary, the IHSA has been looking to bordering states who have sponsored both medium risk and high-risk sports in the fall that have noted a low incident rate of COVID-19 spread.

Illinois High School Association

Wrestling will move to a summer schedule starting in April, while boys swimming & diving, cheerleading, dance, boys & girls bowling, and girls gymnastics will stay in the winter season.

Pritzker reacted to the IHSA announcement saying school districts “would probably be taking on legal liability if they went ahead and moved beyond what the state has set as the mitigation standard.”

The season will start on time on Nov. 16. Games will start on Nov. 30.

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