IHSA says low-risk winter sports won’t start until January at the earliest

The Illinois High School Association’s board of directors met on Wednesday for an update session.

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Evanston’s Sam Rhodes works on her stroke during practice on August 19, 2020.

Evanston’s Sam Rhodes works on her stroke during practice on August 19, 2020.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

The Illinois High School Association’s board of directors met on Wednesday for an update session. These days, any time the IHSA board gets together there is a state full of athletes, coaches and fans waiting to hear what transpired.

There weren’t any major developments, but the board said it has no expectation of starting low-risk winter sports before January, which was mostly guaranteed based on the Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have in place.

The IHSA said it is prepared to restart the low-risk winter sports (boys and girls bowling, boys swimming and girls gymnastics, competitive cheerleading and dance) quickly whenever it becomes possible.

There were two other developments. The IHSA is hoping to “reestablish contact days in January for any winter sports that cannot begin, as well as spring and summer sports.”

That will all depend on the IDPH and Pritzker lifting the Tier 3 mitigations as well. Right now, no indoor sports are allowed. The next level of mitigations only allows limited interactions for medium and higher-risk sports. So it’s likely the contact days would only consist of noncontact practices.

The IHSA board also discussed the possibility of moving girls badminton, a low risk sport, from the spring to the winter season. The move would help free up gym space for the medium and higher-risk sports that will definitely have to wait to play until spring.

The IHSA board will meet again on Dec. 14.

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