ALTON, Ill. – Schools within the Illinois High School Athletic Association (IHSA) received guidelines from the Phase 4 Return to Play Plan last week that will allow them to resume playing contact sports in the fall.
Student-athletes will have to go through a screening, get their temperatures taken, and get checked for COVID-19 symptoms at the start of every practice or game. They’ll be required to wear a mask when walking from facility to facility and inside of weight rooms. Coaches have to wear a mask at all times, and there can be no more than 50 individuals gathered together inside or outside.
Phase 3 of the Return to Play Plan required all athletes who were not actively participating in a practice or game to be wearing some sort of face covering. Phase 4 gives outdoor sports a little more leniency. Those athletes will not be required to wear a mask but will be required to maintain social distancing.
The IHSA released on July 9 that athletes who are actively or not actively participating in an indoor sport will be required to wear a mask at all times. Yes, that means they will be wearing masks during games and practices, sweat and all.
One might ask, how is the IHSA really going to know if these schools are abiding by these new regulations? Well, they won’t necessarily, but high school athletic directors are hoping all schools will comply with the honor system to help keep student-athletes, staff, and the community safe so that sports can get back to normal at some point.
To put the cherry on top of the cake, no fans or spectators are allowed at any game or event whatsoever. Illinois high schools say they will be looking at options to stream their games online for fans to watch at home.
For more information on the IHSA contact sport guidelines, go here.