IHSA Releases Return to Play Guidelines

IHSA adjustments
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The IHSA (Illinois High School Association) has announced phase one of its return to play guidelines.

In a statement released on its website, the IHSA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has formed guidelines, in conjunction with the Illinois Department for Public Health, for student-athletes and teams to begin workouts and conditioning on June 6.

IHSA Guidelines

From the IHSA:

An IHSA member high school may not conduct workouts under the Return to Play Guidelines unless they have local school district approval, and are located in a Health Region that is currently in Phase 3 (or better) under the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan. Any school within a Phase 3 Region of the state could begin to implement the Return to Play Guidelines on June 6.

In accordance with the rule, schools are allowed to start voluntary conditioning sessions on June 6. Those sessions will be limited to three hours per day in groups of 10 or less. When social distancing is not allowable, masks must be worn. Outdoor activity is recommended, though indoor activities are allowed.

Why Allow Athletes to Workout

More from the IHSA:

“Our kids have been without sports and school for over two months, which has taken a toll on their physical and emotional health,” said IHSA SMAC member Dr. Cynthia R. LaBella, Medical Director at Institute for Sports Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “We purposely designed this first phase to focus solely on strength and conditioning so that kids can gradually rebuild their fitness levels in small peer groups with coach guidance. This will get kids moving again with their peers in the safest way possible, which will have a huge positive impact on their physical and emotional well-being.”

The guidelines of phase one will remain until the IHSA releases details of phase two, with no timetable announced at this time.

Since canceling the remainder of the 2020 winter sports season and the entirety of the 2020 spring season, the IHSA has remained mostly silent about its plan for returning to athletics in the fall.

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