J. Thomas McNamara
Gov. Pritzker announced that regions 1, 2, 5 are being rolled back from Tier 3 mitigations to Tier 2 mitigations
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in the release, “We all need to continue to take the mitigations seriously. Wear a mask. Socially distance. We need to get these other regions to Tier 2 and cannot risk having others backslide.”
“This is certainly positive news for three regions of the state, but we still have a long way to go until we get all of our student-athletes back to being active,” said Anderson. “High school student-athletes are hurting from a mental, physical, and emotional standpoint, so we hope this is the first step toward getting that back to some normalcy.”
The announcement allows further participation opportunities for IHSA schools located in the regions that are under Tier 2 mitigations.
Below are the allowances in winter sports for IHSA schools located in Regions under Tier 2 mitigations:
WINTER SPORTS FOR SCHOOLS IN TIER 2 REGIONS
Low-Risk Sports: Can begin practice immediately and will begin competition within their geographic region on a future date to be determined by the IHSA Board.
Medium-Risk Sports: There are currently no winter sports categorized as medium-risk.
High-Risk Sports: Team training with no physical contact may begin immediately.
Spring and Summer sports for schools located in regions under Tier 2 mitigations may begin to conduct contact days on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. All contact days must be conducted under the rules of the IDPH All Sports Policy based on their risk level.
Weight training may be conducted in regions under Tier 2 mitigations as along as social distancing and masks are utilized.
All IHSA athletic activities remain on pause for schools that are located in Regions that remain under Tier 3 or Tier 4 mitigations.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released an updated version of the All Sports Policy.
The IHSA’s low-risk winter sports include Badminton, Boys Swimming & Diving, Cheerleading, Dance, Boys & Girls Bowling, and Girls Gymnastics.
There are no medium-risk IHSA sports in the winter, while boys & girls basketball are the lone high-risk winter sports.
The IHSA Board of Directors met on Wednesday (January 13) and are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 27. Anderson said that he anticipates the Board will set competition start dates for low-risk winter sports prior to the Jan. 27 meeting.
Hopefully, our region 6 will soon fall into Tier 2. Since our Decatur and Springfield regions have not been move it appears prep boys and boys basketball won’t be played this year and that football is hanging on by a thread and lot has to happen for it to be played starting with games in March because practices were scheduled to start in February and here we are on Saturday, Jan. 16.
I’ll have more on this developing and somewhat confusing situation in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.