.grecaptcha-badge { visibility: hidden; }

IHSA Summer Sports Guidelines Released, Future Of Team Sports Uncertain

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Sonthana Thongsithavong, Glenwood High School Tennis Coach

SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois high school sports coach has mixed feelings about the state’s new guidelines on high school athletics.

He said that bodes well for his tennis players, but not so much for other sports.

“What I’m not optimistic about is will they allow certain sports to go on, you know, with certain guidelines?” Thongsithavong asked. “Are they going to allow, you know, golf and tennis to go on and not have football or volleyball?”

He said he’s concerned for what high school sports will eventually look like for fans.

“That’s parents and grandparents and family members, you know,” Thongsithavong said. “Even the student body, going, seeing, supporting their classmates, you know, have school pride, how’s that going to work?”

The Department of Public Health’s new guidelines require teams with ten or more players to be separated into smaller groups. Practice time is limited to three hours per day, and the use of sport-specific equipment, certain indoor facilities, and even water jugs, is prohibited.

Thongsithavong said he supports the guidelines despite the harsh restrictions.

Illinois High School Association Executive Director Craig Anderson said the Association worked on the original guidelines with their Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and sent them to IDPH for approval. In a statement, he commended the work of the organization.

“The IHSA Return to Play Guidelines offer some important first steps in allowing student-athletes to reacclimate both physically and mentally to athletics, but more importantly, they allow each school to assess their own individual situation and determine if and when they want to proceed.”

Thongsithavong said he’s also concerned about how the restrictions will affect the finances of high school athletics.

“A lot of schools use athletics as a fundraiser. That’s money that goes to our program. With concessions, we get a little portion of it, and t-shirt sales. It’s going to be interesting to see how that comes about once they allow competition.”

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Newsroom gets stories from public radio stations from across the state, including WBEZ-Chicago, WCBU-Peoria, WGLT-Normal, WVIK-Rock Island, WIUM-Macomb, WNIJ-DeKalb, WSIU-Carbondale, WUIS-Springfield, and St. Louis Public Radio.

Recent Content

WILL and the Illinois Newsroom are committed to bringing you in-depth, relevant coverage that keeps you informed and engages you with our community and our state. Join with thousands of others to keep this important public media-based resource available to all.