COVID-19 Update on High School Sports

With all that’s happened over the last few months from COVID-19, the landscape of high school sports in Illinois is sure to look very different this year. With concerns growing about how athletes and their families will be protected from the pandemic, the IHSA is looking at how testing can be improved and that precautionary measures are taken.

“This is just a time in which we need to be patient and flexible,” Belleville West Athletic Director Lee Meyer said, in an interview with Dean Criddle of Belleville News. “We want to do whatever it takes to get our athletes back practicing and be able to compete [for] this fall in every sport.”

Unfortunately higher risk sports like football and soccer will have to hold contactless practices this Fall while they wait for their seasons to pick up in the spring. 

With this news the IHSA is also urging athletes to do as much as they can to social distance, refrain from hanging out with kids in large gatherings and to stay home if they’re feeling any kind of symptoms. This is the only way, along with the hope of a vaccine soon, that we can get back to playing some of these fall sports in the spring. 

Currently, sports that had their fall seasons canceled are being allowed to hold limited practices a few times a week, with sports like cross country and tennis being allowed to continue on with their seasons and competitions. 

“For us, it hasn’t been too much different as far as what we can do, but the meets will look a bit different this year as everyone will be required to have masks on during competitions,” Rolling Meadows girls cross country coach Steven Henry said.” 

Regardless of what sports end up actually playing their seasons this year, the same can be said about them all, that it will certainly be a very different and unique experience from any past season in the history of Illinois high school sports.