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IHSA cancels winter tournaments due to COVID-19 concerns

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on Thursday, March 12, that it has canceled its remaining winter State Series postseason tournaments, which include boys basketball, scholastic bowl, drama and group interpretation, music, debate and journalism, over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding that we have received from everyone involved in this process over the past 72 hours,” said Craig Anderson, IHSA executive director. “We have stressed the fluidity of this situation and have been transparent about the possibility that a suspension or cancellation could occur. 

“Multiple schools who are participating or hosting these sports and activities have been forced to withdraw from those roles, clarifying the need for the IHSA to take definitive action. The Board considered suspending the events, but after deliberate discussion, did not believe that was a realistic option within the timeline. We feel for everyone who has been impacted, but must put the health and safety of all involved ahead of these events.”

The IHSA has not made any decisions related to spring sport tournaments at this time.

“It is too early to make any decisions regarding IHSA spring state final tournaments,” Anderson said. “We respect the NCAA’s decision to cancel its spring championships, but also recognize that the exposure and travel by our high school teams is not as expansive as collegiate teams. At this juncture, we recommend that all IHSA spring sport teams consult their local health departments, and follow their recommendations on if and how to proceed with practices and regular-season contests.”
 

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