Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced today that the 2020-21 athletic year will be modified into four seasons instead of the traditional three to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.
Released on Twitter, IHSA’s revised schedule said not all sports will be in their traditional seasons. Girls volleyball and boys soccer are moved to spring, and a majority of spring sports are moved to next summer.
“Baseball, softball, track and field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, lacrosse, and boys tennis will run in the summer,” said a Chicago Sun Times article.
Alongside seasonal changes, IHSA said that the length of athletic seasons will be shortened. Fall sports will run Aug. 10 to Oct. 17. Winter sports will run Nov. 16 to Feb. 13. Spring sports will run Feb. 15 to May 1. Summer sports will run May 3 to June 26.
Under the current schedule, cross country, tennis and girls swimming and diving will all start on Aug. 10. These sports are traditionally fall sports and did not change under the new plan.
Today, Gov. J.B Pritzker released a set of guidelines for how sports will play. Prtizker’s guidelines organized sports by their amount of “risk” for contracting COVID-19. Risk levels are classified as “lower,” “medium” or “higher.”
Depending on the amount of risk, sports will be grouped by contact “levels” to sanction interaction between players.
If guidelines consider a sport to be low-risk, students will play at contact levels one, two, and three. If the sport is considered medium-risk, they will play at contact levels one and two. If the sport is considered high-risk, they will play at contact level one.
“Level 1: no-contact practices and training only,” Pritzker’s guidelines said. “Level 2: intra-team scrimmages allowed, with parental consent for minors; no competitive play. Level 3: intra-conference or intra-EMS-region1 or intra-league play/meets only; state- or league-championship game/meet allowed for low-risk sports only. Level 4: tournaments, out-of-conference/league play, multi-team meets, out-of-state play allowed; championship games allowed.”
Due to COVID-19, IHSA’s revised athletic schedule can change. Stay updated for additional news regarding Chicago Public Schools athletics.