Student athletes and parents who sued the Illinois High School Association for the return of Fall Sports lost in DuPage County court today. Wheaton resident Dave Ruggles was the lead plantiff in the case that claimed the guidelines issued by the IHSA moving Fall sports like football to the spring violated the IHSA’s own bylaws, and had “caused mental health issues and financial hardships” for athletes and their families. Specifically, the suit alleged that the decision to postpone Fall sports would have negative financial impacts on both students and parents, as they will fall behind in their ability to compete for athletic scholarships to make college more affordable.
Ruggles and a coalition of 20 student-athletes and their parents asked the court to declare the Return to Play and Contact Day guidelines invalid and void because they changed the by-laws without the IHSA’s legislative process, and to issue a temporary restraining order to allow the sports to be played.
The judge in the case ruled today that Illinois’ Fall sports will still be played in the Spring, as they were previously rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sports affected by the lawsuit include football, soccer and volleyball. Other states around Illinois have begun playing football, leaving the state as the only one in the Midwest not currently allowing high school Fall sports to take place.