Prep Sports Will Look Different This Year

By Travis Volz

The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors released a modified schedule for prep sports seasons, but the plan leaves plenty of unanswered questions.

In the broadest sense, the IHSA plan takes a couple of weeks off of each season and adds a fourth season that stretches into late June in order to accommodate all sports.

“This plan, like nearly every aspect of our current lives, remains fluid,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson in a statement. “Changes may come, and if they do, we will be agile while putting safety and students first. It was important that we provide a framework today for our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and officials to begin preparing for the 2020-21 school year.”

Several sports that the Illinois Department of Public Health considers to be higher risk for potentially spreading the virus, including girls volleyball, have been pushed back to start later into the school year.

Sports with a lower risk for virus exposure like cross country and golf will remain in the fall. That means that girls volleyball will be the only fall sport at Okawville that will be affected by the change.

According to the new schedule released last week by the IHSA, the high school volleyball season will run from February 15 through May 1, which the IHSA is calling the spring season for 2020-21.

Consequently, the high school and junior high volleyball seasons will overlap, which would lead to issues with scheduling and finding officials.

The other major change for Okawville sports fans will be in the traditionally spring sports of baseball, softball and track and field. Under the proposed schedule, those seasons would start May 3 and run through June 26.

Sports with seasons that will largely remain the same are golf, cross country, girls and boys basketball, and cheerleading. The lengths of each season will be shortened, and postseason action in each sport is still being decided.

At Okawville, both golf and cross country are scheduled to start August 10 and run through August 17. Basketball and cheerleading will run from November 16 through February 13.

Full story available in this week’s issue. 

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