BLOOMINGTON — For the moment, there is still hope for the IHSA to play a state series in spring sports.
Executive Director Craig Anderson provided a statement on Wednesday afternoon with an update on spring sports while the world takes precautions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker extended the stay-at-home order in the state through April 30, which ensures that schools will remain closed through that date.
"Even though Illinois schools will remain closed through April 30 following the March 31 announcement by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, we remain optimistic that a May 1 return to school, followed by a to-be-determined acclimatization practice 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 a 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 that 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."
The news comes one day after the IHSA postponed voting on the site of the boys state basketball tournament in favor of in-person discussions. Champaign and Peoria are the two destinations for the basketball tournament, which will play all four classes in the same weekend beginning next season.
“Because of the time, effort and resources that each community and venue has invested into their respective hosting bids, I believe it is vital that the IHSA board be able to meet in person to vote on the state basketball bids,” Anderson said. “I want them to be unencumbered in their discussion, as well as to get clarity on any questions they may have on the bids. As convenient as online meeting resources are, I do sometimes have concerns that they stifle conversation, especially with a group as large as ours.
“As a result, there will be no vote on the state basketball hosting bids as the April board meeting. Like so many of the scheduling impasses we find ourselves at, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact time when the announcement may come. The next scheduled board meeting is on June 15, but that does not necessarily mean that is the earliest a decision could come. The board meeting could be altered or a special meeting could be called. Please know that we want to make the decision as soon as possible and we will get you that information as soon as it is available. At that time, we will also lay out a plan on media availability surrounding the announcement.”
PHOTOS: Boys Class 1A and Class 2A state track finals
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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25
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