IHSA Shifts Sports to Accommodate 2020-2021 Season

BLOOMINGTON – The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors met on Wednesday and revealed their plan to allow high school athletics to compete for the 2020-2021 season.

The traditional three sports seasons are being broken down into four new shortened seasons (fall, winter, spring, summer). Fall sports like football, girls volleyball and boys soccer will move to a spring season.

(photo credit Rommel Bon/RBon Images)

“The Board believes this plan offers the most realistic chance for student-athletes to participate in interscholastic sports while balancing the challenges of a new academic setting and IDPH Guidelines,” said IHSA Board President Tim McConnell. “We are an education-based athletic association, and school has to come first. By delaying the majority of the team sports in the fall, it will allow our schools and students the chance to acclimate to what will be, for many, a totally new educational experience. We will do our best to try to give every student-athlete the opportunity for a season this school year.”

The fall season would run from August 10, 2020, to October 24, 2020, and would include boys and girls golf, girls tennis, boys and girls cross country and girls swimming and diving .

The winter season would run from November 16, 2020 to February 13, 2021, and would include boys and girls basketball, wrestling, boys swimming and diving, competitive cheer and dance, girls bowling and girls gymnastics.

The spring season would run from February, 13, 2021 to May 1, 2021, and would include football, boys soccer, girls volleyball, girls badminton, and boys and girls water polo.

The summer season would run from May 3, 2021 to June 26, 2021, and would include baseball, softball, boys and girls track and field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, boys and girls lacrosse and boys tennis.

“I understand that today’s announcement will be met with mixed emotions,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Our staff and Board have heard from thousands of people over the past few weeks with ideas, opinions, and proposals on how we should proceed. We respect and understand their passion, because we share in it. It is a great reminder that if we want high school sports to return to normal, we all need to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Earlier in the day, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker released restrictive guidelines for all athletics, categorizing sports based on levels of inherent risk. Read these guidelines here.

For more information, visit ihsa.org.