IHSA announces guidelines for first stage of return-to-play plan

Schools are permitted to open for voluntary strength and conditioning sessions on June 6.

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Naperville Central celebrates their 10-4 win over St. Rita in the IHSA 4A state baseball championship at Silver Cross Field.

Naperville Central celebrates their 10-4 win over St. Rita in the IHSA 4A state baseball championship at Silver Cross Field.

Sun-Times file photo

The Illinois High School Association released the guidelines for Stage 1 of its return-to-play plan to athletic directors Friday.

Schools are permitted to open for voluntary strength and conditioning sessions June 6. Sport-specific drills are not permitted, and the sessions are limited to three hours per day. Outdoor workouts are strongly encouraged.

Schools will need approval from their local school district to conduct workouts.

Other guidelines:

• Masks shall be worn when social distancing of 6 feet apart can’t be maintained. Groups of 10 people or fewer must be predetermined, and students can’t switch from group to group.

• There will be no interactions between groups.

• Coaches must maintain a daily record of which students are participating, and athletes will be monitored at the start of practice for temperature and other symptoms of coronavirus.

• Camps, clinics and open gyms are prohibited.

“The IHSA Return to Play Guidelines offer some important first steps in allowing student-athletes to re-acclimate both physically and mentally to athletics, but more importantly, they allow each school to assess their own individual situation and determine if and when they want to proceed,” IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said.

The IHSA canceled all spring high school sports tournaments and suspended summer contact between players and coaches in late April. Coaches and athletes have been waiting for more news since then.

Two weeks ago the National High School Sports Federation released guidelines for restarting sports. The IHSA generally adheres fairly closely to NFHS recommendations, so that document provides a solid look at what the future may hold.

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