IHSA's 'Return to Play' guidelines also effect summer basketball

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 7:17 PM CDT
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The ihsa and illinois department of public health released phase one of its return to play guidelines friday afternoon. Now local school districts and county health departments are putting together their plans to get the kids in the weight rooms. But while the focus is on fall sports... Basketball has also been effected by the pandemic.

"They're ready, and as a coach, that makes you excited."

East boys basketball head coach Roy Sackmaster understands the importance of having a summer season.

"Last season, we had lost so much from the year before, the summer was just absolutely crucial for us to kind of get a feel for what we were heading into the season with. You learn your strengths and weaknesses as a team."

The East Summer Basketball League was supposed to start on Monday. But the coronavirus pandemic has put a hold on those plans.

"A lot of these teams, we're getting 30-40 games in the summer, that's a lot of experience," explained Sackmaster. "That's a lot of experience for them to get and that learning curve helps when you're able to do that in the summer months as opposed to when the season starts."

Sackmaster still hopes that East can host its annual summer league.

"The contact days go typically until July 31st, but are they going to extend them this year? Then, can we use that time frame to help us get it in? Even if we do the league for a few weeks, I would think that at least some of the teams would be interested in doing something like that."

But the 'Return to Play' guidelines have coaches asking more questions than answers provided, as athletes cannot do sport-specific workouts Including shooting a basketball.

"Is it going to be that for two or three weeks? Is it for one week? Is it into July?" wonders Sackmaster. "Are we going to look at Phase 4 here in Illinois and open it up to where we can have a more traditional practice type setting and then get into the weight room right after that."

Sackmaster believes RPS205 is still about a week away from hosting workouts, but hopes to know more in the next couple days.

"It's good to take a cautious approach. It's only summer, only summer ball. You appreciate the fact that you got our guys want to get in there, our coaches want to get in there. If it takes a few more weeks, it takes a few more weeks to make it worth it."