coronavirus illinois

IHSA Announces Start Dates for High School Sports, Including Basketball and Football

NBC 5 News

The Illinois High School Sports Association has laid out its schedule and procedures for the remainder of the school year, with seven sports now allowed to begin practicing and potentially holding competitions by the beginning of February.

According to the detailed plan, released by the IHSA Wednesday, those seven sports include dance, cheerleading, bowling, girls’ gymnastics, badminton and boys’ swimming and diving.

Those six sports will be allowed to begin practices immediately, with games taking place so long as the health care regions involved are at Tier 2 or lower mitigation levels.

Boys’ and girls’ basketball, which are considered “higher-risk” activities, can also begin practicing immediately, but competition can only begin in those regions that are in Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules. There will be no statewide-postseason competitions this season, according to the IHSA.

Announcements were also made for several early-spring sports, including football, which will allow practices to get underway on March 3. According to the IHSA, games can begin on March 19 in regions that are in Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules, and the season will conclude on April 24. There will not be a postseason tournament for football this spring, the association announced.

Girls’ volleyball will allow practices beginning March 8, while baseball and softball will be permitted to start practicing on April 5. All sports will be allowed to resume competition seven days after the start of practices, under the IHSA guidelines.

Girls’ soccer, boys and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ tennis, boys and girls’ track and field, and boys’ volleyball will also start practices on April 5.

Finally, wrestling will allow practices to begin on April 19, with meets allowed to proceed seven days later, provided that the schools’ health care regions are in Phase 4 mitigation rules.

All athletes in indoor sports, with the exception of gymnastics and swimming, will be required to wear masks during competition. All officials in all sports, including outdoor sports, will also be required to wear masks.

Here is the full schedule for sports:

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