IHSA holds meeting with IDPH; sports still paused indefinitely

High School Sports

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Things continue to move at a snail’s pace with regard to the return of high school sports in Illinois.

The IHSA announced Thursday evening that several of it’s staff members including Executive Director Craig Anderson, met with members of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Wednesday night.

The IHSA used the meeting to “reintroduce recommended mitigations” from the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. The IHSA also asked the IDPH to review the risk levels of all remaining sports, hoping that some sports would see their risk levels lowered.

“We believe that there is both data and science that validates the idea that we can safely conduct sports,” said Anderson in a news release. “We have seen it work in other states and believe it can in Illinois if we utilize the mitigations provided by the IDPH and the IHSA SMAC. Students are already leaving or participating out-of-state on weekends. We believe that competing for their high school remains the safest venue for participation.”

All IHSA sports are still paused indefinitely until the rate of COVID-19 declines. So while nothing has changed on that front, the IHSA views the meeting with the IDPH as progress.

“We appreciate the dialogue with state leadership and believe it is crucial that it continue moving forward,” said Anderson.

“Our Board of Directors is going to have difficult decisions to make regarding the seasons for medium and high-risk sports very soon. With no specific IDPH timeline or statistical benchmarks established for the return of sports and the calendar shrinking, putting together a puzzle that allows for all sports to be played becomes increasingly improbable. We continue to urge all residents of our state to be diligent in their efforts to adhere to safety guidelines, as a lower positivity rate remains the key to athletics returning.”

NOTE: For more on what options the IHSA might be faced with down the road click on the following link.

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