All spring state tournaments have been cancelled, the Illinois High School Asssociation announced at noon Tuesday, April 21.
IHSA’s board of directors met with a video conference call.
The decision follows the announcement on Friday, April 17, that Illinois high schools would remain closed and students would complete the academic year with e-learning sessions.
“We support the decision by Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education, and given the logistics, we simply felt we could not conduct state tournaments that meet the expectations of our member schools this spring, “ said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson.
“As disappointing as it may be for students, it is the right decision for their health and safety, as well as for the health and safety of the general public, as we cope with this unprecedented pandemic,” Anderson said.
Depending on what they hear from state government and medical leaders in the coming days, IHSA officials will consider if some spring athletic events might occur.
The IHSA board also decided to suspend summer contact days for this year, unless the association learns contact days can be conducted safely, a press release said.
“Once it is determined safe to return, we will provide a detailed outline to our schools on the plan for summer contact days and possibly some kind of spring athletic events,” said Anderson.
“Our thoughts right now are with all the impacted students, coaches and communities, especially the seniors,” said Anderson. “It will be difficult for them to find a silver lining in all of this, but we stress that even if they don’t get the chance to compete again at the high school level, they are better for having been a part of their respective high school teams.
“By participating in high school sports and activities, they were exposed to life lessons in teamwork, leadership, and overcoming adversity that are difficult to replicate elsewhere,” he said.
“The latter is applicable now more than ever,” Anderson said. “We hope that we can band together and refocus all our efforts on supporting the doctors, nurses, first responders, and all the other essential personnel who are putting their health and safety on the line each day to keep us safe.
“The possibility of playing a spring sport game this summer is about closure,” said Anderson. “If we are able to offer this opportunity, no student-athlete would be restricted by having already practiced or competed with a non-school team.”