Any hope for a high school football season kicks off this fall. Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday issued a set of restrictions on high school, youth and adult recreational sports.
Pritzker’s surprise announcement stole thunder from the Illinois High School Association’s Board of Directors, which is expected to reveal the full plan for this year’s high school sports program at 2pm on Wednesday.
“These are incredibly important moments in our children’s lives,” Pritzker said. “When multi-million-dollar athletes in multi-million-dollar sports leagues are struggling to protect their players, obviously there will not be enough protection for children on our school playgrounds.
“The NBA has resorted to keeping its players in the bubble to press on with their season. MLB is facing a major outbreak. This virus is unreliable and is so easy that no amount of restrictions seems to keep it away from the playing field. “
Pritzker released a set of guidelines for youth and high school sports on the state’s coronavirus website.
Sports played in Illinois include football, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls golf, boys soccer, girls swimming, girls tennis, girls volleyball. The exercises were scheduled to begin on 10 August.
“It’s very painful, frankly, to make all of us realize that,” Pritzker said. “With rising rates of prevalence and positivity rates across Illinois and the United States, this is a situation where the most difficult option is also the safest option.”
Pritzker’s guidelines divide the game into three risk levels: low, medium, and high. Each risk level game is allowed to play in different amounts depending on current public health conditions.
Low-risk sports (tennis, baseball, golf) will be allowed local sports according to the state’s current conditions. Moderate level sports (basketball) can be practiced without contact.
Pritzker’s full set of guidelines is here.
IHSA is expected to announce a full calendar layout for the sports season around 2pm today.
The IHSA closed the boys state basketball tournament on March 12, a day before the Class 1A and 2A semifinals. The Spring Sports tournament was canceled on April 21.
Decisions on the fall game will be announced tomorrow from the IHSA board. They can postpone the game for a few weeks. They can make changes to the entire sports calendar, which will halt the fall and be trimmed over three seasons and begin in December.
– Michael O. Bryan (@michaelsobrien) 28 July 2020
Summer workouts and practices have been allowed under various shifting guidelines for the past few months.
Look back for more information about this developing story.