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What does IESA decision mean for IHSA fall sports?
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What does IESA decision mean for IHSA fall sports?

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Does the Illinois Elementary School Association's Friday decision to cancel most of its fall sports schedule because of COVID-19 mean the Illinois High School Association is heading down the same path?

Not necessarily, said IHSA executive director Craig Anderson.

Anderson, who expects his organization to reach a verdict during its Board of Directors meeting Wednesday, replied, "I don't think so," when asked that question.

"While (IESA executive director) Steve Endsley and I have been monitoring our progress together, I do think his situation is different. I respect and understand the decision Steve, his staff and board had to make.

"When our board convenes Wednesday, I think they will be looking at this strictly through a high school lens and reach a conclusion that is best for our member high schools.

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"I do believe we will have some outcomes this Wednesday. It's time to provide some direction to our schools, and that's our intention for having this meeting."

Anderson said Friday's videoconference meeting conducted by the IHSA with officials from the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) and the Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) was productive.

"Conversations are continuing, as we collectively consider the risks by sport and what timelines make sense for this fall as schools try to get underway," he said. "The IDPH and IHSA continue to be concerned by the spikes (in positive cases). It's what makes all of this challenging and kind of a moving target. If the spikes continue, then we move closer to more schools going strictly to virtual learning, which makes sports less likely."

Other area high school athletic directors contacted were supportive of the IHSA's efforts.

"Everything they've done has been consistent with trying to keep the kids safe," said Manual AD Tim Kenny. "We're in a global pandemic. The kids' immune systems are strong, but they're going home to their parents and whoever else might live in the house with them. We're talking life and death here. No one wants to lose a loved one."

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