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The Illinois High School Association announced plans for winter and spring student-athletes to return to formal competition Wednesday, two days after the majority of school districts in the Metro East reached a COVID-19 level deemed safe enough by state officials to return to practice.

The state association will not set mandates as far as how many games can be played in sports like basketball, asking local officials to be “reasonable” with their schedule. The body’s executive board did decide that winter sports, plus soccer and football would would not have state championship playoffs.

Courtesy: IHSA

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, student-athletes who compete on basketball teams outside their school’s teams will have a week after beginning play to stop playing for the outside teams.

“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,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a news release.