IHSA prepares sports for their return


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The PHS varsity poms team take a picture after finishing their day at summer camp.

Monika Jurevicius, Sports Editor

As schools start to release their plans for the 2020-2021 school year, IHSA has started to inform athletes and coaches about sports. Certain guidelines are set in place, but even bigger changes have drastically changed a team’s schedule.

“The Board believes this plan offers the most realistic chance for student-athletes to participate in interscholastic sports while balancing the challenges of a new academic setting and IDPH Guidelines,” Tim McConnell, Erie High School principal and IHSA Board president, said.

On July 29, 2020, IHSA announced on their website the plan they have set for this school year. Before being official, it has been sent to the Illinois Department of Health for final approval. IDPH helps IHSA confirm that schools in certain regions that are safe enough to train will be able to play sports with other teams. They are using a high, medium, and low scale (provided on the IHSA COVID-19 update page) to show what risk sports are at and their schedules. Schools will be provided more details in the coming week about the scheduling limits through IHSA. 

“The IHSA had a number of options to consider, including but not limited to: canceling the fall season all together, postponing it to winter or spring (condensing the seasons together), or allowing non-contact fall sports,” NBC 5 Chicago news reports on their website.

The guidelines for sports remain the same as they were for sports camps; students and coaches will have to wear protective gear from the spread of the virus, try to social distance when possible, and students have to bring their own equipment and water bottles. However, the largest change has been that football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball have all been moved from the fall to the spring. Boys and girls golf, tennis, cross country, and girls swim and dive will remain in the fall and will regularly compete. Games will be played by schools in the same area as set by Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker.

“I understand that today’s announcement will be met with mixed emotions,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said. “It is a great reminder that if we want high school sports to return to normal, we all need to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”