The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met virtually for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, where the board approved several updates to the IHSA Return To Activities guidelines, while also providing guidance on the IHSA’s independent team participation rule for the 2020-21 school year.
The Board updated its Return To Activities guidelines by waiving the 2020-21 season limitations for winter, spring, and summer sports that would have restricted those sports to no more than two contests per week. The winter, spring, and summer seasons will now revert to their normal season game limitations as dictated by IHSA by-laws.
“We have preached that this school year will be fluid, and the changes made by the Board today are a good example of that,” said IHSA executive director Craig Anderson. “When the IHSA’s initial Return to Activities guidelines were established, the limitation of two contests per week felt like a constraint that would help limit exposure. However, given how well our state is handling the pandemic, and the lack of setbacks in the fall sports we have conducted so far, there was a consensus that we could move forward with allowing schools to schedule winter, spring, and summer sports without further restrictions.”
Additionally, the IHSA’s summer season will begin two weeks earlier than initially announced. With Monday’s modification, summer sports (baseball, softball, track and field, girls soccer, lacrosse, boys tennis) can now begin practices on April 19 and games on May 3.
“We understood that when the modified schedule for 2020-21 was released that the summer sport season coaches would take some umbrage with it,” said Anderson. “However, we also knew that summer was the season that we had the most time and flexibility to work with, so we preached patience. We are glad to be able to provide some relief by creating the option to start two weeks earlier.”