During its regularly-scheduled meeting Monday, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) waived in-season limits on games for winter, spring and summer sports, while also moving up the start of the summer sports season by two weeks.
According to an IHSA press release, the limit on games per week, instituted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, was lifted, meaning that schools will be able to schedule more than two games per week during upcoming sports seasons.
“We have preached that this school year will be fluid, and the changes made by the board today are a good example of that,” Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a statement. “Given how well our state is handling the pandemic, and the lack of setbacks in the fall sports we have conducted so far, there was a consensus that we could move forward with allowing schools to schedule winter, spring and summer sports without further restrictions.”
The summer season, which will include baseball, softball, track and field, girls’ soccer, lacrosse and boys’ tennis, will commence with practices on April 19 and games on May 3 under the new guidance.
The board also decided not to grant exemptions for athletes looking to participate in both scholastic and independent activities in the same sport at the same time, meaning that athletes playing sports like baseball and softball will not be allowed to play for their schools while also playing for traveling teams in the summer months.
“Concerns over safety and equity left them uncomfortable with providing an exemption to this rule,” Anderson said. “The board agreed that if a student-athlete chooses to leave their school team for a non-school team, it simply creates another opportunity for another student to step in and fill that role.”