Craig Anderson, Illinois High School Association executive director, issued this statement after the board adopted its policy.
“The IHSA Board of Directors did not look at this situation as being a pro-mask or anti-mask issue, nor did they view their ruling as any type of political stance.
“Setting aside their own personal opinions, they were unanimous in the belief that the IHSA is a rule-driven organization that should continue to align with ISBE rules for the good of its membership.
“The Board felt that not following the mandate was akin to a team picking and choosing what rules they were going to follow in a football game or volleyball match.
“Anecdotally, they shared a growing frustration among schools on how the scheduling process has been impacted by schools not following the mandate, which ultimately led them to set forth measures that they believe will help prevent some of those same issues from occurring during the postseason,” concluded his statement.
The Board approved a recommendation to institute two measures related to member school adherence to the state’s current Executive Order 85 mandating masks.
IHSA schools will not be allowed to participate in the State Series for a sport if they remain on Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) probation for non-compliance with the state mask mandate on the date of seeding (or the list of participant entry deadline) in that sport.
Additionally, the IHSA staff has been directed to set appropriate timelines based on the schedule for each fall sport to begin relieving schools of their State Series hosting responsibilities if they are currently on ISBE probation due to non-compliance with the state mask mandate.
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.