Indian Prairie School District 204 and Naperville Community School District 203 have officially announced they will not compete in prep basketball as scheduled this winter by the Illinois High School Association.
Conflicting Views on Prep Basketball
With the Governor’s office at odds with the IHSA, individual school districts have been left to decide for themselves whether to conduct a basketball season.
After discussing the matter with the district’s attorney and insurance company, as well as the district superintendents who participate in our athletic conference Indian Prairie School District Superintendent Adrian B. Talley released a statement saying, in part:
“All are in agreement that due to liability concerns, we will postpone basketball at this time. We hope to be able to start our basketball season later this school year when it is safe to do so. As allowed, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student athletes to progress and sharpen their skills. Our high schools will be sharing additional details with our student athletes in the days ahead.”
District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges released a near identical statement as part of a larger letter to the community.
All winter sports are scheduled to begin November 16, with competitions set to start on November 30. Categorized as a high risk sports, basketball was deemed unsafe to play at this time by Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The IDPH recommends a spring schedule for the basketball season. The IHSA announced the following day it would break with state officials and conduct the basketball season as scheduled.
If basketball were to be played in the spring, it will force some athletes to choose between basketball and other sports they may normally participate in such as football, boys soccer or girls volleyball.
Wrestling, another high-risk indoor sport, has since been rescheduled to the temporary summer season of competition.
Meeting of the Minds
The Illinois High School Association has invited representatives from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health to attend the IHSA’s next board meeting on Nov. 19. Invitations have also been extended to the Illinois State Board of Education and a group of nearly 200 school superintendents.
Kevin Jackman reports for Naperville News 17