IHSA plans to play basketball, goes against the state’s guidelines

Central Catholic basketball
The IHSA said it will be up to local school districts to decide if they want to participate. (Photo by Larry Duling/WJBC)

 

By Neil Doyle

BLOOMINGTON – The Illinois High School Association has decided to go ahead with the upcoming basketball season, going against the wishes of the governor and state public health officials.

The IHSA Board of Directors met Wednesday and decided to follow the guidance of the IHSA Sport Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and will allow boys and girls basketball to begin practices Nov. 16, according to a news release.

On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health released its updated safety guidelines which moved basketball from a medium risk to high risk activity.

“The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors made the decision today to continue with the IHSA basketball season as scheduled in 2020-21. In August, the Board slated basketball to take place from November to February based on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) assigning a medium risk level to the sport. The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) offered additional mitigations, such as masks during play and social distancing on benches, that the SMAC believed would allow basketball to be played safely,” according to part of the statement.

As part of the plan, masks will be worn by all players, coaches, and officials during play.

The IHSA said it will be up to local school districts to decide if they want to participate.

Neil Doyle can be reached at neil.doyle@cumulus.com

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