BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The waiting continues.
The Illinois High School Association postponed a statewide conference call with athletic directors for the fifth straight day as it waits for the state to approve its plan to bring coaches and athletes back to schools for summer workouts.
The IHSA submitted the proposal last month but has yet to receive approval to resume prep sports in Illinois.
In a statement, IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said, “I recognize that IHSA schools, students, and coaches are anxious for the IHSA Return To Play Guidelines to be released. In many ways, they represent the first step in a return to normalcy as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The entire high school spring sports season was canceled amidst the coronavirus outbreak. There have been no high school sports in the state since mid-March.
“The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee was diligent in their development of these guidelines, and we have worked in good faith with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to make sure our plan optimizes safety for high school students in Illinois,” Anderson said. “IDPH approval is vital in this process, and we understand and respect that they have pressing statewide issues to resolve that take precedence over high school sports.”
The IHSA had hoped to enact the plan for limited summer workouts on high school campuses on June 1.
“Quarantine has been a test of patience, and now we ask our IHSA community for just a bit more of it as we collaborate with IDPH to finalize these Return To Play Guidelines. We understand that the return of athletics is important to our high school students from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective, but we also recognize that we must be in full accord with IDPH to maximize safety and help avoid any setbacks in reuniting our students with their coaches,” Anderson said.