IHSA Exec. Director: “We now have to consider modified season lengths” as board meeting approaches

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. (Photo courtesy: IHSA)

By Blake Haas

BLOOMINGTON – Illinois High School Association Executive Director Craig Anderson said a timetable for the return of high school sports is still up in the air as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put a stronghold on athletics.

With an IHSA board meeting set for next Wednesday, Anderson said the meeting could determine spring athletic seasons’ future.

“As we don’t get new information about timelines of when we can begin winter, spring, or summer, pick your sport, when any of them can begin; it now begins a different conversation in regards of what does the future of our seasons looks like. The days go by, the weeks go by, and we’re not engaged in competition. The things we scheduled we want to be, you know, kids to have opportunities, so there need to be weeks available to a season.”

However, with time running thin, Anderson told WJBC’s Marc Strauss that everything is on the table, including modified seasons and even some sports cancelations.

“Depending upon when we can start, I think we now have to consider modified season lengths different than what we may be what we presented way back in July. Specifically, starting in mid-February for football, volleyball, and boys’ soccer, and if that’s even possible if it’s nudged against a late start well, we know it’s going to be late potentially to our winter seasons. All that still remains (and) will have to be under consideration depending upon what we find out when we’re able to have a conversation with IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health).

“The timelines are moving in; as a result, yea, seasons are going to have to be adjusted, their length or seasons are going to have to be eliminated, which you know again, in as early as mid-December we didn’t anticipate doing. As the timeline goes forward, that creates obvious challenges.”

Anderson said the board would also consider dates at which sports need to get started, and if those dates do not start them, cancelation of seasons is on the table.

Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.

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