The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has announced a modified post-season for fall athletics. The IHSA board voted to conclude the fall season with regional meets, eschewing the typical sectional and state rounds of post-season participation.
Post-season Starts and Ends with Regionals
The changes voted in place have the six fall sports (boys and girls golf, boys and girls cross country, girls swimming and diving, and girls tennis) all competing in regionally-based competitions during the week of October 19-25, with most events taking place on Saturday, October 24.
“The health and safety of the student-athletes, their coaches, and their school communities has been our priority from the start of the pandemic,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Throughout the spring and summer, we looked for ways to reengage student-athletes with their peers and coaches, and our membership has shared countless positive experiences from that initial ‘return to play’ period. We have found similar value in being able to conduct fall sports, and believe the participants deserve a culminating experience if we can offer it safely.”
Additional details will be released in the coming weeks on the specifics for each individual sports’ post-season.
Fees for Schools
The IHSA also voted to require schools to pay a $100 fee for entry into the post-season, the first such fee enforced since the 2004-2005 academic school year.
“The IHSA office is charged with the responsibility of being a good steward of the Association’s finances,” said Anderson. “The past few months have seen a significant reduction in the IHSA’s income, given the cancellation of the IHSA Boys Basketball State Finals and the entire spring season. Financial challenges remain on the horizon in 2020-21 due to the limited number of sports currently classified as ‘low risk’ by the state, making the chances of conducting full state series tournaments unlikely at this time.”
Competitions returned this week, opening with boys and girls golf. Naperville Sports Weekly will be airing its premier episode on September 6, including highlights from the first two weeks of the fall season.
Kevin Jackman reports for Naperville News 17