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Basketball is back: IHSA sets schedule for remainder of 2020-2021 season

(WEEK) -- The Illinois High School Association released its schedule for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season.

Girls and boys basketball, as seen in the schedule below, can start play after seven days of practice.

According to IHSA and Illinois Department of Public Health Guidelines, regions in the Restore Illinois plan who have reached Phase 4, will be able to compete at the conference level for basketball.

A full readout of those guidelines can be found here.

The IHSA said in its announcement the board of directors is considering state series competition for traditional IHSA spring sports only.

With the exception of football, which requires individuals to participate in practice on 12 different days, all sports will be required to hold practice on seven different days prior to holding a contest. Holding multiple practices on a date does not impact that timeline. If student-athletes transition from basketball or boys swimming & diving into football, they will need to participate in practice on 10 different days prior to their first contest. Winter sport contests could begin as early as today, dependent on when a school’s Region reached the appropriate mitigation status and when they began practices.

IHSA guidelines require all student-athletes to participate in masks (with the exception of swimming & diving, gymnasts on an apparatus and outdoor events where social distancing can occur) and for all game personnel not participating in the contest to also wear masks and adhere to social distancing.

“We understood the high level of anticipation surrounding today’s announcement, along with the scrutiny that will accompany it,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Ultimately, the Board adhered to its stated goals throughout the pandemic: providing an opportunity for every IHSA student-athlete to compete safely this year and maximizing opportunities for traditional IHSA spring sports after they lost their entire season a year ago. I recognize that many schools and coaches could likely offer a tweak here or there that would have, in their opinion, made it ‘better’ for their school or sport. Our Board faced an impossible task with a litany of factors. They were conscientious in considering every possibility and I believe their decisions today are a positive step for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our students. We are excited to channel our energy into creating as many positive experiences for Illinois high school students as we can between now and the end of this extraordinary school year.”

Drew Veskauf

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