The Illinois High School Association decided on Tuesday evening to pause winter sports. The decision came shortly after Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that the state would be moving to Tier 3 mitigations on Tuesday afternoon due to the exponential rising COVID-19 cases.
In a written statement on Tuesday, IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said he remains optimistic with the emergence of a vaccine and adherence to the new guidelines that the winter sports season will occur in the new year. Anderson also praised member schools for their successful efforts in mitigation of the spread of the virus in schools, saying they have set a good example for non-school sport programs to follow.
In another written statement today after the IHSA’s regularly scheduled board meeting, Anderson said that all sports are going to cease for the time being: “All IHSA sports and activities will cease by November 20 for what we hope is a short-term pause.” Anderson says the IHSA is in support of the current Tier 3 mitigations, asking the public do their part so that winter sports can happen as soon as possible. The IHSA Board is expected to revisit the state’s COVID-19 situation at their regular scheduled board meeting on December 14th.
On Wednesday, the IESA said they have suspended all contact days for winter sports to also follow with the heightened mitigations. In a written statement by IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley, says that to adhere to the guidelines all contact days were to cease by today across the state. Under the All Sports Policy, the IESA had been allowed to have contact days since November 2nd. Endsley says individual training sessions with individual students can occur as along as social distancing and face coverings are worn at all times. The training sessions are also limited to 15 minutes.