IHSA Makes Adjustments to Phase 4 Guidelines

IHSA adjustments
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After approving guidelines for Phase 4 of summer athletic competition last week, the IHSA released several adjustments to those guidelines in emails to Athletic Departments across the state today.

The changes were made ‘‘due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 among high school teams around the state,’’ according to the IHSA, and are being revised after discussions with the Illinois Department of Public Health and hearing concerns from many school administrators.

Phase 4 Adjustments

  • There can not be any contact drills or physical contact between athletes.
  • All athletes, coaches and spectators must wear masks at all times.
  • There is a strict 50 person limit for indoor activities, including spectators.
  • Teams will not be allowed to compete against other schools in most sports, including 7-on-7 football.
  • More changes to Phase 4 may be announced in the coming weeks.

Fall Sports Season in Doubt?

While nothing has been officially canceled or postponed at this point, there has been discussion over the past few months about moving higher contact fall sports like football and boys soccer back into the spring of 2021.

Phase 4 Safety

In addition to the newly adjusted guidelines, other safety measures currently in place for practices include:

  • Schools must maintain a daily record of what athletes are participating, when, symptoms they may present.
  • Athletes should be screened at the start of practice for temperature above 100.4 or symptoms of COVID-19 (fevers, chills, cough, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell).
  • Thirty feet of space must be maintained between gatherings of 50 when outdoors. Indoors limits of 50 individuals is the maximum no matter the spacing.
  • Any person with symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test, should not participate in practice, competition, or conditioning and should be referred to a physician for evaluation and only return after clearance to do so from a physician.
  • Athletic equipment such as bats and batting helmets should be cleaned between each use. Other equipment, such as catchers gear, hockey helmets/pads, wrestling ear guards, football helmets/other pads, lacrosse helmets/pads/gloves/eyewear should be worn by only one individual and not shared.
  • Shared equipment such as athletic balls, thud pads, sleds should be cleaned frequently during practice and competitions.


After initially being permitted to meet only for conditioning and outdoor workouts, teams were able to return to wider practices starting July 5th.

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