Gov. Pritzker will allow low-risk high school sports in Tier 2 regions

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that COVID-19 regions that have rolled back to Tier 2 will be allowed to have low-risk high school sports.

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gives an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois during a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Springfield, Ill

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gives an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois during a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Springfield, Ill

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday that the Illinois Covid-19 regions that have rolled back to Tier 2 will be allowed to have low-risk high school sports.

“There are regions that are moving into lower tiers of mitigations,” Pritzker said. “In those tiers there are [sports]t that are opening up. That’s a good beginning.”

The three regions moving to Tier 2 are Rockford, Peoria and Southern Illinois.

Low-risk sports will be allowed to play conference and intra-region games. Low risk sports include boys and girls bowling, cheerleading, dance, girls gymnastics and boys swimming and diving and badminton.

According to updated guidance on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s site, medium-risk sports in Tier 2 will be allowed to conduct full practices and high-risk sports (basketball and wrestling) will be allowed to hold no-contact practices. There are no IHSA winter sports categorized as medium-risk.

More of the state’s regions, including some in the Chicago area, are expected to enter Tier 2 next week.

“This is certainly positive news for three regions of the state, but we still have a long way to go until we get all of our student-athletes back to being active,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “High school student-athletes are hurting from a mental, physical, and emotional standpoint, so we hope this is the first step toward getting that back to some normalcy.”

The IHSA successfully conducted seasons in golf, girls tennis, cross country, and girls swimming & diving through Sectional competition this fall, but all IHSA sports have been paused since November 20.

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