Rockford, Illinois News

IHSA announces modified sports calendar; football moved to spring

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced its modified athletic calendar for the 2020-21 academic year Wednesday.

Unlike how the 2019-20 academic year ended with some ports unable to compete, all sports will commence in the upcoming year, just not on the same schedule as they have in the past.

Boys and girls golf, girls tennis, cross country and girls swimming and diving will remain as fall sports. Football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball will be played next spring.

Fall: Aug. 10 – Oct, 24
Winter: Nov. 16 – Feb. 13
Spring: Feb. 15 – May 1
Summer: May 3 – June 26

The plan has been sent to the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) for final approval.

“This plan, like nearly every aspect of our current lives, remains fluid,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Changes may come, and if they do, we will be agile while putting safety and students first. It was important that we provide a framework today for our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and officials to begin preparing for the 2020-21 school year.”

Anderson was expected to release a different plan Wednesday but Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new Illinois Department of Public Health sports guidelines while the IHSA board was still meeting.

Guidelines of the governor’s four-level plan take effect Aug. 15. Under the guidelines, sports are ranked low, medium or high, in terms of proximity and contact between players. The ranking system allows each to play at certain levels according to current public health conditions.

  • Level 1 -Non-contact practices and training only. No games or scrimmages.
  • Level 2 – Intersquad scrimmages only with parental consent. No games.
  • Level 3 – Conference and regional play is allowed. However, playoffs and championship games can be held for low-risk sports only.
  • Level 4 – Return to regular play, including out-of-state games, playoffs, and championships.

As of this report, low-risk sports can be played at levels 1, 2, and 3. Medium-risk sports can be played at levels 1 and 2, and high- risk teams are at level 1.

Sports and risks

Sport/Activity IDPH Risk Traditional Season 2020-21 Season Start Date End Date
Boys/Girls Golf Low Fall Fall August 10 Oct. 24
Girls Tennis Low Fall Fall August 10 Oct. 24
Boys/Girls Cross Country Low Fall Fall August 10 Oct. 24
Girls Swimming & Diving Low Fall Fall August 10 Oct. 24
Boys & Girls Basketball Medium Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Wrestling High Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Boys Swimming & Diving Low Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Cheerleading High Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Dance High Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Boys/Girls Bowling Low Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Girls Gymnastics Low Winter Winter Nov. 16 Feb. 13
Football High Fall Spring Feb. 15 May 1
Boys Soccer Medium Fall Spring Feb. 15 May 1
Girls Volleyball Medium Fall Spring Feb. 15 May 1
Girls Badminton Low Spring Spring Feb. 15 May 1
Boys Gymnastics Medium Spring Spring Feb. 15 May 1
Boys/Girls Water Polo Medium Spring Spring Feb. 15 May 1
Baseball Low Spring Summer May 3 June 26
Softball Low Spring Summer May 3 June 26
Boys/Girls Track & Field Low Spring Summer May 3 June 26
Girls Soccer Medium Spring Summer May 3 June 26
Boys Volleyball Medium Spring Summer May 3 June 26
Boys/Girls Lacrosse High Spring Summer May 3 June 26
Boys Tennis Low Spring Summer May 3 June 26
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