The Illinois High School Association has kicked the can down the road again.
The organization’s board didn’t take any meaningful action at its meeting on Thursday. Instead they confirmed the news released earlier this week that winter sports are on hold and said they would meet again on Dec. 2 to discuss where things stand.
In the meantime, all conditioning and open gyms are on pause and only outdoor workouts in groups of 10 or fewer are allowed.
“Taking into account the current state mitigations, the board believes that early to mid-December will be the most reasonable target to review the status of winter IHSA sports and activities,” IHSA Executive director Craig Anderson said. “The board is sensitive to the scheduling difficulties these delays create for athletic directors and coaches. However, our experiences this summer and fall lead us to believe that setting arbitrary start dates hinders the process even more. We realize it may seem redundant, but we have to preach patience as we await more data and direction from the state. Despite the obstacles this unprecedented school year has presented, the board’s vision to provide participation opportunities in all IHSA sports has not wavered.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health put basketball and other high and medium risk winter sports on hold in late October and said they wouldn’t be played until spring.
“We aren’t saying these sports won’t be played,” Pritzker said in October. “We are delaying the play of these sports. We are saying do training, do conditioning. Even the high-risk sports there are things they can do. It’s not like we are shutting the sports down. But these are all being moved into the spring with the hope that we will be seeing vaccines and treatments that will be effective.”
The IHSA attempted to plow forward and play basketball as scheduled but insurance companies wouldn’t insure the schools, forcing superintendents and school boards to opt out of the IHSA’s season.