By Neil Doyle
BLOOMINGTON – The Illinois High School Association announced Thursday that it will significantly limit attendance at the remaining games in the boys basketball state tournament to preemptively reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.
The IHSA said it currently plans to limit attendance to 60 fans per school across all remaining basketball games this season.
“This was a difficult decision shaped by thoughtful deliberation set against a truly unprecedented backdrop,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “IHSA Basketball is America’s Original March Madness, and we recognize that this tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the competing teams, communities and fans. Ultimately though, we have to put the health and safety of the students, along with the general public, ahead of the spectacle of the event. This is and remains a fluid situation. It is important that our member schools and fans understand that events outside any of our control could lead to further changes over the coming hours and days.”
The decision comes after consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Peoria City and County Health Department, according to the IHSA.
Games impacted by this change include the Class 1A and 2A Boys Basketball State Finals this weekend in Peoria, as well as the remaining games in Class 3A and 4A at the Sectional, Super-Sectional, and State Final levels.
The IHSA said full refunds will be available for any tickets already purchased for the remaining contests.
Neil Doyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org