Sports

High school sports: IHSA reacts to governor's stay-at-home extension, maintains hope

IHSA executive director Craig Anderson released a statement Wednesday regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and the extension of the stay-at-home order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Anderson expressed hope that the IHSA still may put together a shortened season and a postseason for its spring sports after the order is finished. Pritzker extended the order from April 7 to April 30.

However, Anderson also said that any further extensions of the stay-at-home order likely would wipe out the spring seasons.

“First and foremost, the IHSA continues to encourage all Illinois residents to heed the recommendations of state officials and medical experts,” Anderson said. “These quarantine and social distancing measures have been put in place not only for your own safety, but also for those around you. By adhering to them, we ensure the shortest path to returning to normalcy, including physical school attendance and participation in high school sports and activities.”

The IHSA previously said it would consider extending the postseason tournaments past their scheduled dates so teams could have some type of spring season. The IHSA had to cancel its boys basketball state tournaments because of the spread of the coronavirus. The rest of the winter sports state finals were completed.

“Even though Illinois schools will remain closed through April 30, we remain optimistic that a May 1 return to school, followed by a to-be-determined acclimation period, can still result in a truncated spring season that culminates with IHSA state series tournaments and the crowning of state champions in June,” Anderson said in Wednesday’s statement. “In its discussions thus far, the IHSA Board of Directors has been highly supportive of creating an exemption to the IHSA season limitation by-law to allow spring sports to play into late June, but competing into or beyond July is not being considered at this time.

“We are also realistic in recognizing any further school postponements, or the cessation of physical school attendance for the remainder of the year, will almost certainly result in the cancellation of all remaining IHSA sports and activities this school year.”

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