With the start date of winter athletics just around the corner, all eyes were on the IHSA Basketball Decision this past week. That’s the subject of this NSW Feature Story, presented by Edward-Elmhurst Health.
After Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on Tuesday that the Illinois Department of Public Health elevated basketball to a high risk sport, the IHSA held a previously schedule special Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday. In a shocking turn of events, the IHSA announced they will permit school districts to conduct basketball as previously scheduled, defying the governor’s guidance from the day before.
IHSA Basketball Decision
Under IHSA rules, in conjunction with the IHSA Sport Medicine Advisory Committee, teams will be allowed to start tryouts and practicing on November 16th with games slated to begin November 30th. All coaches, players, and officials will be required to wear a mask at all times.
Districts Now Decide
Now the spotlight moves to individuals districts. Superintendents and Athletic Directors are left having to make the decision for their owns school’s regarding participation in basketball. Chicago Public Schools released a statement saying that their schools will not move forward with allowing basketball to begin on November 16th. They are following the Governor’s assessment. But other districts have not made a determination either way. Both District 203 and 204 are in the process of evaluating the IHSA’s and Governor Pritzker’s decisions. With the beginning of the season a little over two weeks away, coaches, athletic directors and superintendents are feeling the weight of this decision.
Hockey and wrestling are also deemed high-risk indoor activities. While wrestling has been moved to the summer season, which begins in April, no announcement has been made on hockey – which is not under the jurisdiction of the IHSA.. Boys and girls bowling, competitive cheerleading and dance, boys swimming, and gymnastics are all moving forward with low-risk assessments and are slated to begin on November 16.
Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Kevin Jackman.