BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Illinois High School Association will allow high school athletes to play for their school and club teams simultaneously in the spring and summer of 2021.
The IHSA board voted to allow the simultaneous participation during its October meeting on Monday. It’s a one-time exemption to a by-law that prohibits student-athletes from playing the same sport on school and club teams at the same time during the school year.
The decision only effects athletes that competing in the IHSA’s 2021 spring season (football, boys soccer, girls volleyball) and summer season (baseball, softball, track and field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, lacrosse, boys tennis).
Athletes competing in the spring will be allowed to play for their club teams throughout the duration of their high school schools (Feb. 15-May 1).
Athletes competing during the 2021 IHSA summer season are granted permission to play for their non-school team starting June 4. The summer season is scheduled to run April 19-June 26.
“Given the unique challenges of this school year, it remains important for our Board to be flexible and creative in seeking participation opportunities for students,” said IHSA Board Vice-President Robert Nolting in a statement Monday. “From my perspective, I am less worried about teams competing for conference or postseason titles this year. The goal is to get kids back being active to benefit their mental and physical well-being. These (independent team) by-laws aim to preserve competitive equity, but for this school year, we feel the right decision is to provide an accommodation that maximizes participation.”
The IHSA board announced it is expected to issue guidelines on its winter sports on Oct. 28.