MAC ON SPORTS: IHSA TO ALLOW CONTACT DAYS WHEN IDPH APPROVES

J. Thomas McNamara

    Contact days will be restricted to six hours per student-athlete per sport each week, and can include practices, drills, and intra-squad scrimmages allowable under IDPH guidance.  Competition against any other high school, conducted in-state or out-of-state, is prohibited.
“The Board felt that it was important for the physical and mental health of our student-athletes to resume contacts days for all out-of-season sports as soon IDPH deems it safe,” said Anderson.
    However, there is huge caveat in the board’s action and that Anderson explains.
    “Winter sports are not included, as we anticipate all low-risk winter sports will be able to begin their seasons at the same time.  Basketball remains the outlier in the equation.  We hope to be able to conduct basketball during the winter season, but if we cannot, basketball will be provided the same contact day opportunity as we determine where the basketball seasons fits best in the remainder of the school year.”
    No one knows at this time if there will be prep boys and girls basketball seasons because of where the Governor’s and Illinois Department of Public Health rules stand.
    The Board plans to meet with representatives from IDPH and the Governor’s office prior to January to develop a timeline for the resumption of winter sports. Following that meeting, the Board will call a special meeting to finalize scheduling for the winter, spring, and summer sport seasons.
Attempts to meet with those officials have not come to fruition for any number of unexplained reasons.
“The Board reiterated on Monday that they plan to do everything in their power to provide a season for every IHSA sport in 2020-21,” said Anderson.  “There have been no cancellations of any sports, or discussions about cancelling any sports, thus far.  The Board appreciates the patience and flexibility of the IHSA membership and remain optimistic, especially as vaccines begin to be administered, that we will return to conducting IHSA sports early in 2021.”
    I will have more on this obviously developing and somewhat uncertain story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune which has been reporting on this matter ever since it began last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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