Plan for resuming high school sports reportedly submitted by IHSA
The Illinois High School Association has submitted a plan to state health officials about the next steps toward resuming high school sports, Craig Anderson, the association's executive director, said Wednesday.
Anderson said in an interview with WBBM radio the IHSA hopes to know in a couple of days if athletes will be able to soon start training sessions with their coaches, albeit on a very limited basis.
"It's extremely challenging, because there's no road map for anything like this," said Anderson.
High school sports have been shut down since Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered schools closed March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anderson said the IHSA will move forward in a "relatively slow pace" with guidance from Pritzker's office and the department of public health.
Anderson told the Daily Herald he remains optimistic sports could return in August.
"If we can stay on a schedule that gets us into Phase 3 in June and Phase 4 sometime later into summer, it makes me feel better about getting sports started in early August," Anderson said May 7.
Illinois is scheduled to enter Phase 3 of Pritzker's reopening plan Friday.
Anderson told WBBM the football season is still up in the air. The first day of practice statewide is Aug. 10 and the first games Aug. 28. He said it may be the season starts late and might have limited or no fans allowed depending where the state is in its pandemic recovery.
The IHSA is also concerned some parents and students will opt to stay out of certain sports, because of the pandemic, according to WBBM. There's been a trend in recent years for fewer students to participate in football, for instance, because of the potential for head injuries.
Anderson said the pandemic "could cause some parents or students themselves to decide, no, I'm not ready to get back going with football or any sport. The difficulty is the unknowns about possible spikes and intermittent shutdowns that our schools could go through if the numbers spike with the virus."