News and Announcements

IHSA Press Release - January 13, 2021 - Athletics Remain on Pause; Board will meet again January 27 to Review Sports Schedule Framework

IHSA News & Announcements Archive

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IHSA Athletics Remain On Pause, Contact Days Can Begin Pending IDPH Approval; Board Will Meet Again January 27 To Review Sports Schedule Framework

 
 
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, where the Board announced that all IHSA sports not operating under an official IHSA season calendar may begin to conduct contact days as soon as they are allowable per Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) mitigations and local school guidance. Contact days normally exist within the IHSA as informal voluntary offseason workouts.

"The IHSA acknowledges the immense mental, emotional, and physical strain that a lack of contact with school programs is causing Illinois high school student-athletes,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “It is our intention that these contact days provide sport-specific training under the leadership of high school coaches. This is an effort to provide a viable sports option to high school athletes given the growing number of student-athletes opting for higher risk opportunities within the state and across state lines." 

Additionally, the Board reviewed several options outlining a sports schedule framework for the remainder of the school year. The Board directed the IHSA staff to take feedback from today’s meeting, as well as any insight gained in the coming weeks, and bring forward viable scheduling options for a special Board meeting on January 27, 2021. The Board will provide an update following that meeting.

Once state leadership allows for low-risk winter sports (Boys & Girls Bowling, Cheerleading, Dance, Girls Gymnastics, Boys Swimming & Diving) to begin participation, those teams will be allowed to begin practice immediately and then continue their season through the season calendar established by the Board later this month. 

The IHSA Board of Directors released a joint statement following today’s meeting:

“We realize there is a desire for finality on a sports schedule for 2020-21, however, we did not believe it would be prudent to lock ourselves into a schedule at a time when IHSA schools are unable to conduct any sports. Per Governor Pritzker, we have hope that low-risk sports may be permitted in certain regions of the state as early as this Friday (January 15). With that in mind, February seems like a realistic timeline to have sports resume statewide. We expect that the events of the next two weeks will go a long way toward informing our opinion on which scheduling option we decide to proceed with. We recognize that if no sports have resumed by February, season lengths could be impacted in certain sports, and that we may need to take a longer look at the likelihood of true seasons being conducted in high-risk sports this year. Our overall goal remains unchanged, as we hope to conduct all IHSA sports during the remainder of the school year calendar. Please know that we see and read many of the comments and messages from student-athletes, coaches, and parents, and that we are doing everything we can to try and bring IHSA sports back within the current parameters we are working in.”

The IHSA successfully conducted seasons in golf, girls tennis, cross country, and girls swimming & diving through Sectional competition this fall, but all IHSA sports have been paused since November 20.

“We remain collaborative in our efforts with IDPH and the Governor’s office,” said Anderson. “We are trying to do our part to fight the pandemic, while simultaneously seeking safe participation opportunities for our student-athletes. We understand the real mental toll this pause in athletics is having on Illinois high school student-athletes. We believe that school-based athletic participation is better regulated, making it the safest participation option for our students, and more data continues to emerge supporting that stance. We will continue to share that information with state leadership in hopes that we can work together to provide participation opportunities for young people in our state.”


ACTION
1. The Board approved a recommendation to approve a Return Play Procedure Policy that provides guidance to schools on a progressive action plan for student-athletes returning to athletic participation following a COVID-19 infection. The Policy was crafted by the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC). To see the Policy, click here.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has shown great leadership throughout the pandemic in developing plans and procedures to help protect our student-athletes. This latest Return To Play Policy creates an acclimatization plan for student-athletes returning from positive infections, providing much-needed guidance to our schools.”


DISCUSSION ITEMS
At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the January 13, 2021, agenda:

1. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director Beth Sauser members on the recent NFHS Winter Meeting and Lets Connect Meeting that were conducted virtually in early January.

2. The Board discussed a letter from the East Suburban Catholic Conference regarding eligibility exemptions for student-athletes who transfer out-of-state and then return to their school.


 

 
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01/13/2021

Photo Gallery

  • Marist football players signed letters of intent on National Signing Day 2020. Pat Coogan commits to University of Notre Dame and Jovan Marsh commits to University of Wyoming
  • Marist football players signed letters of intent on National Signing Day 2020. Pat Coogan commits to University of Notre Dame and Jovan Marsh commits to University of Wyoming
  • Camryn Hannah led Marist to three straight Class 4A State Appearances, wining titles in 2017 and 2018 and adding 3rd Place in 2019
  • Marist wrestling alumni proudly display IHSA State trophies during Marist Mega Duals on December 15, 2018
  • Varsity baseball wins IHSA Class 4A Sectional Championship defeating Providence Catholic 9-5  on June 1, 2019
  • Baseball Teammates join NLI signees November 13, 2019. Brett Freiberg (Rock Valley Junior College), Dane Thomas (Wright State University) and Will O'Boyle (North central College)
  • Baseball Teammates join NLI signees November 13, 2019. Brett Freiberg (Rock Valley Junior College), Dane Thomas (Wright State University) and Will O'Boyle (North central College)
  • Marist student-athletes signed Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers in college. Pictured from left to right: Mairead Boyle, Volleyball, Western Michigan; Mia Crotty, Softball, Wisconsin Oshkosh; Brianna Brown, Softball, University of Pennsylvania; Maddie Arundel, Volleyball, Ferris State; Camryn Hannah, Volleyball, Clemson; Dane Thomas, Baseball, Wright State; Brett Freiberg, Rock Valley Junior College, Will O'Boyle, Baseball, North Central College.November 13, 2019
  • Girls Freshman Basketball Team 2018-2019
  • Varsity Wrestling Team 2018-2019
  • Girls varsity Basketball Team 2018-2019
  • Girls Varsity Basketball Team 2018-2019
  • Seated from left: Lexi Voss (softball, University of Michigan), Michael Leveille (wrestling, Purdue University), Justin Janas (baseball, University of Illinois at Urbana), Katie Mather (volleyball, Loyola University Chicago) Standing from left: Molly Sullivan (swimming, St. Ambrose), Cassie Lindmark (softball, University of Kentucky), Maria Castaldo (soccer, University of Tennessee-Martin), Angela Zedak (softball, Northwestern University), Jessica Balich (softball, Iowa State University), Madison Garofalo (softball, University of Wisconsin—Platteville), Kelly Walinski (softball, Northern Illinois University), Mattie McCabe (volleyball, Grand Valley State University), Max Malley (baseball, University of Evansville), Jack Brannigan (baseball, University of Notre Dame), Wendell Smith (baseball, Morehouse College), Jason Hodges (baseball, University of Arkansas), and Kendall Ewell (baseball, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Softball heading to East Peoria for State Championship
  • NSD 2017 Elijah Hynes family and Coach Sefcik signing with Concordia baseball.
  • NSD 2017 David Tischina with family USF Coach Joe Curry and Coach Dunne signing with St. Francis football.
  • NSD 2017 David Regan with family and Coach Maxwell signing with UW Platteville soccer
  • NSD 2017 Tommy O'Mara with family and Coach Dunne signing with Western Michigan football.
  • NSD 2017 Rob Topps III with family and Coach Dunne signing with Kansas University football.
  • NSD 2017 Billy Kuduk and Coach Dunne signing with Kansas State football
  • Micah Awodiran with family and Coach Dunne signing with Yale football
  • Marist seniors signed LOI February 1 to continue their student athletic and academic careers. (Seated l to r) David Tischina - University of St, Francis football, Micah Awodiran - Yale University football, David Regan - UW Platteville Soccer, Elijah Hynes - Concordia baseball, Robert Topps III - Kansas football, Billy Kuduk -Kansas State football and Tommy O'Mara -Western Michigan football. Congratulations to all!
  • Girls Varsity Bowling Team 2016-2017
  • Boys Varsity Bowling Team 2016-2017
  • Boys Varsity Basketball Team 2016-2017
  • Girls Varsity Basketball Team2016-2017
  • Hannah Tapling signs letter of Intent with Texas A & M University to continue her academic and Equestrian career in college on November 9, 2016
  • Marist Seniors sign LOI to continue their academic and athletic careers in college. Seated l to r ; Caily Landers, Julia Ruzevich, Claire Austin, Kate Ruzevich. Standing l to r Matt Donahue, Hannah Tapling, Maddie Dunterman, Alexis Rogers and Colin Pfotenhauer
  • Marist athletes sign LOI on National Signing Day November 9, 2016
  • Maryclare Leonard competes at IHSA Sectional en route to 2016State Finals
  • PHOTO: Marist seniors signed to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level at a ceremony April 13. They are (seated from left) Maggie Murphy, Alexis Jones, Madeline McHugh, Emily Reilly, Paige Egan (second row) Kyle O’Farrell, Haley Belcik, Amanda McIlhany, Gabby Moran, Ben Chaffee, Aaron Kummer, (third row) Zach Sefcik, Jack Snyder, Patrick Bradford, Michael Burcl, and John Carmody.