Sports Restrictions

New Illinois Sports Restrictions Begin August 15th

Today Governor J.B. Pritzker announced new restrictions for youth and adult sports across the state of Illinois beginning August 15th.

According to the illinois.gov website, the guidance pertains to all youth and adult recreational sports, including, but not limited to, school-based sports (IHSA & IESA), travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs.

Guideline Levels

The newly released guidance categorizes sports into three risk levels, lower, medium, or higher, based on the amount of contact between athletes and their proximity during play. The guidance sets four levels of play allowed based on current public health conditions.

Based on current conditions, lower risk sports can be played at levels 1, 2, and 3. Medium risk sports can be played at levels 1 and 2, and higher risk sports can be played at level 1.

  • In level 1, only no-contact practices and training are allowed.
  • In level 2, intra-team scrimmages are allowed with parental consent for minors but there can be no competitive play.
  • In level 3 intra-conference, intra-EMS-region or intra-league play is allowed and there may be state- or league-championship games allowed for low-risk sports only.
  • In level 4, tournaments, out-of-conference/league play, and out-of-state play are allowed. Championship games would also be allowed in level 4 with these restrictions.

Sports have been categorized as follows:

High Risk Sports

Boxing, Competitive Cheer, Competitive Dance, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Martial Arts, Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, Wrestling

Medium Risk Sports

Basketball, Fencing, Flag and 7 on 7 Football, Racquetball, Paintball, Soccer, Volleyball, Water Polo, Wheelchair Basketball

Low Risk Sports

Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Bass Fishing, Bowling, Climbing, Crew, Cross Country, Cycling, Disc Golf, Golf, Gymnastics, Horseback Riding, Ice Skating, Ropes Courses, Sailing, Sideline Cheering, Skateboarding, Softball, Swimming/Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Weightlifting.

Guidance Start Date

This guidance takes effect Saturday, August 15th.

“I know our hearts break when we hear the word ‘restrictions,’ especially when it comes to our children’s love for their sports. Whether this year is their first time on the court or it’s their senior season – this isn’t the news anyone wants to hear,” said Governor Pritzker. “But with rising rates of spread of the virus, with rising positivity rates throughout Illinois and the United States, this is a situation where the toughest choice is also the safest one. We have worked in consultation with the governing bodies of many of these organized sports programs, and collectively we hope that, when metrics and risks improve measurably, we will be able to restart these sports.”

The IHSA will announce its plan for Fall Athletics later today.

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