The Illinois High School Association’s winter sports season will be “temporarily paused” as a result of new mitigation rules put in place by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday, the organization says.
According to a statement from Executive Director Craig Anderson, the organization hopes that the new mitigations will “aid in creating participation opportunities” for athletes next year.
“IHSA schools have been exemplary in adhering to state regulations throughout this pandemic and we hope that non-school programs will hold themselves to the same standard as we all put the long-term health and safety of our fellow citizens ahead of short-term athletic competition,” Anderson said.
Under the Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations that were announced Tuesday, all indoor sporting activities are ordered to be paused amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Outdoor sports can continue with limited participation allowed, but the decision will impact several IHSA activities.
Boys’ swimming and diving, cheerleading, dance, boys and girls’ bowling and girls’ gymnastics, which all began practices this week, will be impacted by the decision.
It is unclear when the new mitigations could be lifted, but Pritzker’s administration has indicated that there will need to be significant reductions in current coronavirus trends for that to take place.
The IHSA has already been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, as boys’ football was delayed to the early spring and baseball and softball, among other sports, were pushed back to later in the spring.