IHSA backtracks on guidelines, sets stage for fall without football

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 10:53 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - The IHSA moved into phase four on Monday, opening the door for teams to play one another this summer.

However, Thursday morning the organization reached out to member schools saying changes are being made due to a rise in COVID-19 cases among its teams.

In its revision of its phase four guidelines, the IHSA says there will be no physical contact and masks must be worn at all times indoors.

With only one month before football and other sports are scheduled to begin practices, the fall schedule may be in serious jeopardy.

Since moving into phase five means there must be development of a vaccine or treatment options are readily available, Meridian School District Superintendent PJ Caposey believes there are alternatives.

“If we know that’s not going to happen by fall and the guidelines are no contact, then what we’ve essentially said is that football can’t be played and soccer can’t be played,” said Caposey. “If we know that then I think we have enough time and hopefully we’re agile enough as a state and as districts to say, ‘If we know we can’t do that now, hopefully we can do that in the spring.' We don’t know. But we know there are some sports that we can essentially social distance and still play and compete. So why can’t we move that to the fall and try to make something happen so the athletes aren’t losing their seasons?”

Caposey says as a parent, he feels for the kids, but as an administrator, he believes this is the right thing to do.

“A superintendent friend said this to me today, “When this all started 120 days ago or whatever, the phrase “out of an abundance of caution” was used over and over and over again.” We have abandoned that completely [in society]. When you think back to if it was right to make decisions regarding the health and wellness of our students, staff and communities with an abundance of caution 120 days ago, it’s probably still the right decision to make that call out of an abundance of caution.”

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