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June 13, 2024

IHSA To Defer To IDPH, ISBE & Governor’s Office On All Return To Play Guidelines Moving Forward

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 14, 2020

Illinois (ECWd) –

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on July 14, 2020 that it will defer to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Governor’s Office on all of its Return To Play Guidelines moving forward.

“There is an unprecedented level of planning for this school year due to COVID-19, and we have come to understand that there needs to be a greater consistency between the guidelines for returning to learn and returning to interscholastic athletics,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Some of the recommendations by the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and directives from IDPH have come into direct conflict with each other, especially as it relates to the use of masks by student-athletes. As a result, we feel it is important to let IDPH and ISBE provide a consistent direction for our membership moving forward.  We will wait on direction from these organizations for further guidance on Return to Play plans for the 2020-21 school year.”

The IHSA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee had previously developed its own Return To Play Guidelines, which were then collaboratively amended, and then approved, by IDPH. The Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines were then amended at IDPH’s request to include a greater emphasis on masks, and also eliminated scrimmages in sports that require physical contact. IHSA teams can currently conduct limited summer contact workouts within the Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines as directed by IDPH and ISBE. Final approval on the revised Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines from IDPH are forthcoming.

“We still believe there is a path to conducting high school athletics in the fall, like the majority of states surrounding Illinois plan to do,” said Anderson. “To make that happen, it’s important that we allow IDPH, ISBE and the Governor’s Office to take the lead on ensuring the safest and most consistent protocols.”


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  • Mags
    Posted at 22:31h, 14 July Reply

    Why does this not surprise me? All part of the CLUB

  • PK
    Posted at 01:32h, 17 July Reply

    “…like the majority of states surrounding Illinois plan to do,”

    Once again, there were no states surrounding Illinois that responded by closing ALL state parks for any and ALL activity. Only the knee-jerky gumption of the Illinois Administration allowed.

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