COVID-19 Announcement Regarding Athletics

July 30, 2020    Bronco Athletic Department News

We have been awaiting guidance from the IHSA office in terms of our Return to Play protocols and have received at least some starting information this week which I would like to share with each of you. The IHSA has been waiting for a number of weeks now to get guidance from the governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health so that they can put together information for all of the schools in Illinois. This came public this week Wednesday. Here are some of the basics as they pertain to us at Walther: Different sports have been categorized by relative risk level (low, medium, high). Levels of play have also been created (4 levels) with level 1 being “no play” and level 4 being “full play”. The only fall sports that currently are able to play at level 3 are golf and cross country (because they are categorized as low and medium risk sports). Higher risk sports (football, soccer, volleyball) are currently only allowed at level 2, which is only practice and not contests. Using that information, the IHSA Board of Directors decided that the best course of action at this time is to move those fall high risk sports to later in the school year with the hopes that we will be at a level 3 position for high risk sports then.

As it currently stands, this is how the sport seasons will break out for us here at Walther: Fall Sports (mid August - Oct): boys/girls golf, boys/girls cross country Winter Sports (Nov - mid Feb): boys/girls basketball, boys/girls wrestling, cheer Spring Sports: (Mar - Apr): Football, boys soccer, girls volleyball Summer Sports: (May - June): baseball, softball, boys/girls track, boys tennis, boys volleyball

Again, as it currently stands, competitions will only be held between conference schools or schools within the same COVID state region (we are in Cook Cty). Contests will be limited to 2 contests per week. Spectators are allowed for the fall season at this point (max of 50, etc), but we are not sure if spectators will be allowed starting with the winter seasons. We will just need to wait on that aspect.

If you wish to see the full press release from the IHSA, please use this link: IHSA Modified Sports Schedule for 2020-2021

If you wish to see the press release from the governor’s office, use this link: Illinois Youth Sports Restrictions

Sports that are not allowed to compete this fall, have been given an additional 20 “contact days” which can be used for practice, drill work, scrimmages, etc. How this will work at Walther this fall will still need to be determined after our local administration has a chance to go over all this information. Sports that have been doing summer work may continue what they have been doing for the time being. I would like our Walther student-athletes to look at the positives. As of now, NO sport season has been out-right canceled (some have been moved to some different dates). This does give our athletes an opportunity this fall to maybe try a sport that they have never done before (golf or cross country) and help out two of our sports that typically struggle to have enough athletes to play. I encourage our athletes to strongly consider that as golf and cross country are two of the lower risk sports available and are great activities to get involved with. You can sign up for either of those sports on our Walther 8to18 Athletic Website (this website - use the Registration tab at the top)

If parents or students have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email (I am not always at school daily for phone calls). If you would rather talk, send me an email and we can set up a time to talk over the phone about any concerns or questions you may have. This continues to be a very trying time for all of us, but we put our trust in God and pray for strength and guidance.

In Jesus’ name, David Grim - Athletic Director

8/14/2020 7:25 PM

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