BLOOMINGTON – The Illinois Elementary School Association Board of Directors met on Nov. 9 to address the winter and spring sports schedules after the announcement two weeks ago by the Governor's Office that basketball had been moved to the higher risk category of the Illinois All Sports Policy and the subsequent announcement by the IHSA that they are planning to move forward with their basketball season as scheduled in November.
“We all are trying to make decisions without knowing what the future holds,” said Steve Endsley, IESA Executive Director. “Truly, all we can do is attempt to give direction to our membership based on what we know today and somehow still plan for the future of the Association. Not an easy task.”
With that in mind, the Board made some significant decisions on activity seasons. Here is the information concerning winter and spring sports:
CONTACT DAYS: IESA member schools are to follow the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the updated All Sports Policy. In that policy, basketball has been designated as high risk and volleyball is medium risk. Schools should follow the All Sports Policy when conducting contact days for those activities.
BOYS’ BASKETBALL AND GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL: It is still uncertain as of Nov. 9 whether schools will be able to participate in boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball contests in January. If competition is not approved by IDPH by the time these activities are scheduled to begin, then the IESA Board will meet to discuss the possibility of moving the seasons.
GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: Currently scheduled to start March 8. If conditions require the boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball season to be moved into the spring, scheduling becomes difficult. To have girls’ and boys’ basketball, girls’ volleyball, and track and field all in the spring is an almost impossible situation for schools and student-athletes. We want students to have an opportunity to play all the activities, but it will be difficult to accomplish this without causing students and schools to choose between activities.
WRESTLING: Has been moved to the spring. Practice may now start on April 5. Matches can begin on April 12 and run through May 28. If a regional tournament can be held, it will be held on May 29. If wrestling remains in the high risk or medium risk category on April 5, then the IESA wrestling season will be cancelled and not rescheduled.
TRACK AND FIELD: The IESA track and field season remains as originally scheduled. Our hope is that we can have a traditional track and field season.
CHESS: The chess activity for the 2020-21 school year has been cancelled. With upwards of 600 chess players in attendance at our tournament, it becomes impossible to conduct the event within the gathering guidelines established by IDPH.
While no final decisions have been made regarding scholastic bowl, bowling, and competitive cheerleading, the IESA staff is trying to determine if those activities can be held within the guidelines that have been established. Information will be distributed as decisions are made.
Please log on to this link for the updated IESA Plan for 2020-21: https://www.iesa.org/documents/health/IESA-AltNovPlan.pdf