Illinois high school sports fans received some good news last Friday.

It was announced by Illinois Governor that all high school sports, including those considered high risk for the transmission of COVID-19, will be allowed to take place over the spring and summer seasons. Illinois High School Association Executive Director Craig Anderson released a statement on Friday following Pritzker’s announcement regarding the state’s high school sports.

“The most significant update today involves high-risk sports in Regions that have improved from Tier 1 to Phase 4,” said Anderson. “Schools within a Phase 4 Region can now conduct intra-conference and intra-region contests in high-risk sports. 

“Moderate-risk sports competing outdoors in Phase 4 also received expanded scheduling opportunities, including tournaments and out-of-state contests.”

Attendance to high school sporting events will come with some restrictions. For EMS regions in Phase 4, such as Region 5, which encompasses most of southeastern Illinois, a cap of 50 spectators has been set. This number does not include players, coaches, officials or other necessary game personnel, according to the IHSA.

Host schools do maintain the right to be more restrictive in their spectator policies, however.

Details on when each sport can officially begin playing will be released by the IHSA after their board of directors host a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 27, the date of publication for this paper. 

“As of right now, all sports, regardless of low-high risk have been approved for play during Phase 4,” said Kris Duncan, Athletic Director for Edwards County High School. “The IHSA is putting together when the seasons will start by Wednesday of this week.”

Carmi-White County High School Athletic Director Kurt Simon noted that there has been one winter sport he’s yet to hear any guidance or discussion on thus far.

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Navigator.