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IHSA Update (1-19-21)

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BLOOMINGTON (WSIL) -- The IHSA has updated their website with new information regarding COVID-19 protocols based on updates provided by the IDPH over the last four-to-five days. IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson sent out the following updates to IHSA schools on Tuesday:

The IHSA has added a new section at the top of their COVID-19 page (https://www.ihsa.org/Resources/COVID-19), which will continue to populate with the most up-to-date information possible.

Winter Sport Acclimatization: The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee helped us determine the appropriate amount of acclimatization time for the return of winter sports. Our Board approved a plan today for winter sports via an email vote. Below are the number of practice days each sport will need to complete prior to playing their first contest:
                Badminton: 7 practice days after first practice
                Bowling:  7 practice days after practice
                Competitive Cheer:  7 practice days after first practice
                Competitive Dance:  7 practice days after first practice
                Girls Gymnastics:  7 practice days after first practice
                Boys Swimming and Diving:  7 practice days after first practice

Phase 4: Some Regions have moved from Tier 1 to Phase 4. At this time, we are considering them one in the same. IDPH currently has no Phase 4 guidance posted and we believe that previous Phase 4 guidance we have from IDPH has likely expired. We will follow-up as soon as we know more.

Fall, Spring & Summer Sports: Please keep in mind that fall, spring, and summer sports can begin IHSA contact days beginning on January 25. Their allowable actions are also addressed in the chart on the aforementioned IHSA COVID-19 page.

Season Start Date (for determining end of non-school team participation): In normal circumstances, a student-athlete would need to terminate contact with a non-school/travel team within seven days of their first high school practice. Given that the entire state is not yet afforded the same opportunities, any low- or medium-risk winter sports that are starting practice will not yet count toward the time when they must cease participation with non-schools teams. We will announce a universal start that will align with the seven-day window for travel sports following the next Board meeting.

Weight Room: Schools in Phase 4, Tier 1, and Tier 2 can conduct weight training with masks and social distancing. Schools in Tier 3 would remain limited to one-on-one training with a coach and student-athlete.

Gathering limitations
: They are some contradicting numbers from IDPH about gathering limitations for sports and weight-training ranging from 10 to 25 to 50 people. We’ve been told IDPH will up-to-date information for us tomorrow on this subject that we will pass along then.

What’s Next: The IHSA Board will meet again on January 27. It is my expectation that there we will come out of that meeting with a more formalized schedule for the remainder of the year.

Jason Hurst

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