IHSA Leaves Return-to-Play Guidelines Up to Other State Agencies
The decision came a day after a St. Louis-area attorney, Thomas DeVore, filed a preliminary injunction against the IHSA and the Hillsboro School District, according to an article from the Chicago Sun-Times.DeVore claims that IHSA’s return-to-play plan, which involves masks and social distancing, will cause “immediate and irreparable harm” to the rights of student-athletes. DeVore’s injunction alleges the rules are “the illegal product of collusion between state agencies, [IHSA executive director Craig] Anderson and the IHSA,” according to the Sun-Times.
While the decision from the IHSA will remove the likelihood of future legal action over the reopening of high school athletics, will it expedite the process?
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Until the organization’s decision, the IHSA’s return-to-play guidelines had to be approved by the IDPH, according to the Sun-Times. Currently, teams in Illinois are able to conduct limited workouts in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening guidelines.
‘‘There is an unprecedented level of planning for this school year due to COVID-19, and we have come to understand that there needs to be a greater consistency between the guidelines for returning to learn and returning to interscholastic athletics,’’ Anderson said in the statement. ‘‘Some of the recommendations by [the IHSA] and directives from IDPH have come into direct conflict with each other, especially as it relates to the use of masks by student-athletes. As a result, we feel it is important to let IDPH and ISBE provide a consistent direction for our membership moving forward. We will wait on direction from these organizations for further guidance on Return to Play plans for the 2020-21 school year.’’
To read the full story from the Chicago Sun-Times on the IHSA handing over its decision-making on reopening athletics to other state agencies, click here.