After its latest board meeting, the IHSA has updated the 2020-2021 return to play guidelines that were originally announced back in late July. The changes will effect the winter, spring and summer sports season.
No More Contest Limit
The IHSA waived the two contest per week limit planned for winter, spring and summer sports. All sports in these seasons will now be able to follow their normal competition schedule without restrictions on how many games can be played per week.
“We have preached that this school year will be fluid, and the changes made by the Board today are a good example of that,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “When the IHSA’s initial Return To Activities guidelines were established, the limitation of two contests per week felt like a constraint that would help limit exposure. However, 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.”
Summer Sports Season Extended
The IHSA also extended the summer sports season by two weeks, which includes the following sports: boys tennis, lacrosse, boys volleyball, girls soccer, baseball, softball, and track & field. The summer season was initially scheduled to begin on May 17th. Games can now begin as early as May 3rd with practices starting on April 19th.
“We understood that when the modified schedule for 2020-21 was released that the summer sport season coaches would take some umbrage with it,” said Anderson. “However, we also knew that summer was the season that we had the most time and flexibility to work with, so we preached patience. We are glad to be able to provide some relief by creating the option to start two weeks earlier.”
The IHSA decided that they will not allow an exception for this year allowing high school athletes to compete on high school teams and club teams at the same time, despite the unique circumstances.
The IHSA also announced that they will discuss the possibility of moving the 2020-21 wrestling season from winter to spring at their October board meeting.