MAC ON SPORTS: IHSA HITS THE RESET BUTTON ON PHASE 4 RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES

 

J. Thomas McNamara

 

They say timing is everything which it is in the newspaper business and that certainly is true this week with what happened today (Thursday).
     A day after my Irish Stew appeared touting the good news that prep football contact work was beginning, along came this afternoon’s (Thursday, July 9th) announcement from the Illinois High School Association that follows.
     “Due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 among high school teams around the state, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are jointly collaborating to modify the IHSA’s Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines.
     “The modifications place greater restrictions on coaches and student-athletes in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Important changes include limiting physical contact and an increased usage of masks. The former restricts schools from conducting contests against other schools in most sports, including 7-on-7 in football.
     “The IHSA is working with IDPH to update the guidelines, and will send to its membership, the media, and post on the web as soon as they are approved,” concluded the IHSA statement.
With what the Big Ten also announced about the cancellation of all its non-conference games for 2020, I fear the prep football season may not come off as expected. Obviously, I’ll have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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