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When will high school sports begin? IHSA Board approves new schedule for remainder of 2020-21

IHSA WGEM

(WSIL) -- The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has revamped the high school sports schedule for the remainder of the year.

The IHSA Board of Directors met for a special board meeting on January 27, 2021, where the Board provided an updated sports schedule and other guidance for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

“We understood the high level of anticipation surrounding today’s announcement, along with the scrutiny that will accompany it,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Ultimately, the Board adhered to its stated goals throughout the pandemic: providing an opportunity for every IHSA student-athlete to compete safely this year and maximizing opportunities for traditional IHSA spring sports after they lost their entire season a year ago. I recognize that many schools and coaches could likely offer a tweak here or there that would have, in their opinion, made it ‘better’ for their school or sport. Our Board faced an impossible task with a litany of factors. They were conscientious in considering every possibility and I believe their decisions today are a positive step for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our students. We are excited to channel our energy into creating as many positive experiences for Illinois high school students as we can between now and the end of this extraordinary school year.”

The Board approved the following schedule for the remainder of the school year:

SportIDPH RiskPractices StartPractice Dates
Before Games
State SeriesEnd Date
Boys/Girls BasketballHigherASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
Boys Swimming & DivingLowerASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
DanceLowerASAP7 datesVirtual (2/27 & 3/6)March 13
CheerleadingLowerASAP7 datesVirtual (3/6 & 3/12)March 13
Boys/Girls BowlingLowerASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
Girls GymnasticsLowerASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
BadmintonLowerASAP7 datesTBDApril 3
Boys SoccerModerateMarch 17 datesNo State SeriesApril 17
FootballHigherMarch 31st Game March 19No State SeriesApril 24
Girls VolleyballModerateMarch 87 datesNo State SeriesApril 24
Boys GymnasticsLowerMarch 157 datesTBDMay 22
Boys/Girls Water PoloModerateMarch 157 datesTBDMay 29
BaseballLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys/Girls LacrosseHigherApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Girls SoccerModerateApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
SoftballLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys TennisLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys/Girls Track & FieldLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys VolleyballModerateApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
WrestlingHigherApril 197 datesNo State SeriesJune 12

The Board is considering State Series competition for traditional IHSA spring sports only. Dance and cheerleading will be allowed to conduct virtual Sectional and State Final meets, as they will record their performances and submit them to be judged.

With the exception of football, which requires individuals to participate in practice on 12 different days, all sports will be required to hold practice on seven different days prior to holding a contest. Holding multiple practices on a date does not impact that timeline.

If student-athletes transition from basketball or boys swimming & diving into football, they will need to participate in practice on 10 different days prior to their first contest.

Winter sport contests could begin as early as Wednesday, dependent on when a school’s Region reached the appropriate mitigation status and when they began practices.

IHSA guidelines require all student-athletes to participate in masks (with the exception of swimming & diving, gymnasts on an apparatus and outdoor events where social distancing can occur) and for all game personnel not participating in the contest to also wear masks and adhere to social distancing.

All sports that are out-of-season can conduct contact days through June 4. Contact days are limited to three days per week per sport with a maximum of six hours of contact per week with no interscholastic competition.

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