BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — It’s back to masks, at least for some high school athletes.
Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced an update to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) All-Sports Policy that will require masks to be worn for all indoor IHSA athletic events regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. The state is requiring students from pre-school through high school to wear masks indoors this school year.
That mandate carries over to athletics, specifically volleyball players and swimmers in the fall. This mask directive for indoor athletic events applies to student-athletes, coaches, officials, game personnel, and fans, the Illinois High School Association announced late Wednesday.
This masking mandate applies to all IHSA fall sport practices and contests that are conducted indoors. Swimmers and divers do not have to wear masks while competing, but must adhere at all other times.
Athletes in outdoor IHSA sports (football, golf, cross country, boys soccer and girls tennis) will not be required to wear masks. The masking directive also applies to any winter or spring IHSA sports that may be conducting open gyms, general conditioning, or weightlifting indoors, the IHSA announced.
There are no restrictions to scheduling or spectator limitations as a result of today’s announcement, nor are there any changes to the IHSA calendar for any sports.
“Today’s announcement will not deter us from our mission of safely offering high school student-athletes in Illinois the opportunity to participate in sports and activities,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Illinois high school student-athletes and coaches have been resilient in dealing with myriad mitigations and unexpected changes over the past year. We hope all Illinoisans do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 so we can quickly move beyond this and remove masks from indoor athletic events.”