MAC ON SPORTS: ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION UPDATES ITS SPRING SPORTS PLAN

J. Thomas McNamara

   There will be spring sports for Illinois High School Association members, if Governor J.B. Pritzker removes the shelter-in-place order April 30 and schools reopen May 1st.
   The Illinois High School Association this afternoon (Wednesday, April 1), released this statement:
   “First and foremost, the IHSA continues to encourage all Illinois residents to heed the recommendations of state officials and medical experts.  These quarantine and social distancing measures have been put in place not only for your own safety, but also for those around you.  By adhering to them, we ensure the shortest path to returning to normalcy, including physical school attendance and participation in high school sports and activities.
   “Even though Illinois schools will remain closed through April 30th following the March 31st announcement by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, we remain optimistic that a May 1 return to school, followed by a to-be-determined acclimatization practice period, can still result in a truncated spring season that culminates with IHSA State Series tournaments and the crowning of state champions in June.
   “In its discussions thus far, the IHSA Board of Directors has been highly supportive of creating an exemption to the IHSA Season Limitation By-law to allow spring sports to play into late June, but competing into or beyond July is not being considered at this time.
 “We are also realistic in recognizing that any further school postponements, or the cessation of physical school attendance for the remainder of the year, will almost certainly result in the cancelation of all remaining IHSA sports and activities this school year,” concluded the statement.
   In other words, if schools reopen May 1st, spring sports will be played with the season-ending tournaments in June as the statement specifically says competing “into or beyond July is not being considered at this time.”
   I will have more on this obviously fluid and developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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