(10-27-20) Governor JB Pritzker announced today at a press conference that high school basketball in Illinois is now on hold due to the pandemic.
“We know that this virus is of most concern when people are indoors with high contact, especially in vigorous situations that bring about heavy breathing like in wrestling, hockey and basketball. Sports played at a distance like tennis can be played and sports that can be modified to have virtual elements, like dance for example, offer more leeway in this moment and the IDPH guidance reflects that.”
Basketball practices were scheduled to start on Nov. 16 and games on Nov. 30. When they will start or if they will start are in question.
“This isn’t the news anyone wants to hear,. And it is not news that I want to deliver but this virus remains dangerous and deadly to kids and parents and especially grandparents and this is the best thing we can do for the health and safety of families under the current circumstances. Life in a pandemic is hard for everyone.”
The IDPH has raised basketball from a medium risk sport to a higher risk sport.
Who is the most surprised at the announcement? Yep, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which is scheduled to have a special board meeting o tomorrow. The meeting is scheduled to make an announcement on winter sports. Which now looks to be in jeopardy.
IHSA Statement (10-27-20)
Craig Anderson, IHSA Executive Director:
“About 15 minutes prior to Governor Pritzker’s press conference today, we were alerted that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has elevated the sport of basketball from a medium risk level to a high risk level. We remain considerate of the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our state. However, in our meeting with IDPH on Friday (October 23), we felt that we presented multiple options that would allow for basketball to be conducted safely by IHSA schools this winter, many of which are being utilized in neighboring states who plan to play high school basketball. Despite that setback, there is some positive news, as IDPH accepted the IHSA’s mitigations related to other sports, including cheerleading and dance, allowing them to move from a medium risk level to a low risk level. We will hold our special Board of Directors meeting on October 28 as scheduled, where our Board will provide direction on the other winter sports, as well as discuss the IHSA sports schedule for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.”
Pritzker shut down several fall sports this year already, including football. The Governor continues to cut at the heart of high school sports in the state.