Fall Sports Back On The Schedule For IESA

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The IESA Board of Directors once again held a special meeting to discuss the status of fall sports and all IESA activities for the 2020-21 school year. The meeting was convened as a result of the announcement by Governor Pritzker on Wednesday regarding youth sports.

During their meeting on July 23, the IESA Board made the decision to cancel the fall activities of golf, softball, baseball, and cross-country. That decision was based on the information the association had at the time of the meeting. 

The All Sports Guidance document that was recently released from the Governor’s office placed the sports of golf, softball, baseball, and cross-country in the “lower risk” category. Sports in that category can hold practices and interscholastic games. 

As a result of these four sports being recategorized to lower risk and with interscholastic competitions being allowed, the IESA Board for Directors has approved a plan for the return of regular season contests in these activities and a limited state series.

Softball, baseball, and cross-country teams may begin their practices on Aug. 3 and they may conduct their first game or contest on Aug. 15. 

Please note that competitions may not be held before Aug. 15. This means that contests previously scheduled to start before Aug. 15 will need to be cancelled. This start date is mandated by the Governor’s office. 

A regional only level of the state series for softball and baseball will be held the week of Sept. 21 and a sectional only level for cross-country will be held sometime between Oct. 10-17.  A sectional only level for golf will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Additionally, the board approved a plan for modified seasons in all remaining IESA sports and activities. The purpose of the plan is to provide schools, administrators, coaches, parents, and officials with a general framework for their sports and activity programs in the 2020-21 school year. 

It is a very fluid plan and circumstances/guidelines/mandates may change any part of the plan at any time. The plan is available at this link: www.iesa.org/temp/IESAAlternativePlan.pdf.

IESA PLAN FOR 2020-21

• Play shortened regular season schedules throughout the winter and spring.

• Conduct regional tournaments in each sport where the state series is a three tier state series.

• Conduct sectional tournaments in each sport where the state series is a two tier state series

• It is possible that there will be no state finals if guidelines do not allow.

• Schools limited to a maximum of two contests per week and no tournaments/events of more than three teams. Exception: baseball/softball could play 3 games in a given week if one of the events was a DH.

• If an Illinois COVID region or county is placed in Phase 3 or lower of the Governors Restore Illinois Plan, all sports for schools in that region or county will be suspended or cancelled.

• Spectator and group gatherings subject to IDPH guidelines during this time.

• Regular season play should be limited to within conference, other schools in the same general geographical area, (approximately a 30 mile radius), or EMS region only.

• E-learning students would be eligible provided the local district allows their participation.

IESA Dates

Fall Sports

Boys and Girls Golf: Sectional tournament: Sept. 9

Baseball: Practice may begin: Aug. 3; Games may begin: Aug. 15; Regional tournament: Sept. 21- 26; Season ending date: Oct. 9

Softball: Practice may begin: Aug. 3; Games may begin: Aug. 15; Regional tournament: Sept. 21- 26; Season ending date: Oct. 9

Boys and Girls Cross Country: Practice may begin: Aug. 3; Meets may begin: Aug. 15; Sectional meet: Oct. 10-17; Season ending Date: Oct. 17

Winter Sports

Boys Basketball: Practice may begin: Jan. 4; Games may begin: Jan. 16; Regional tournament: Week of Feb. 22

Girls Volleyball: Practice may begin: Jan. 11; Games may begin: Jan. 23; Regional tournament: Week of March 1

Wrestling: Practice may begin: Jan. 11; Matches may begin: Jan. 23; Regional tournament: March 6

Competitive Cheerleading:  This competition remains extremely fluid. Decisions on the conduct of this competition will be announced later including the possibility of a later competition date instead of the scheduled date of Jan. 23, 2021.

Spring Sports

Girls Basketball: Practice may begin: March 8; Games may begin: March 20; Regional tournament: Week of April 26

Boys and Girls Bowling: State Tournament Series tentatively remain as scheduled

Boys and Girls Track and Field: Practice may begin: March 1; Meets may begin: March 15; Sectional meet 1A/2A: May 7-8; State date: May 14-15; Sectional meet 3A/4A: May 14-15; State date: May 21-22

Activities

Speech: Each school conducts its own contest any date from September-May

Chess: In-person state tournament tentatively scheduled for Feb. 26-27, 2021

Scholastic Bowl: State tournament series tentatively remains as scheduled

Music: TBD

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