IHSA, MSHSAA monitor coronavirus

Posted: Mar. 26, 2020 12:01 am

Both the Illinois High School Association and the Missouri State High School Activities Associations provided updates this week on where they stand on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The IHSA assured administrators and coaches that it is monitoring updates from government officials and local health departments as it makes decisions moving forward.

"We continue to support the possibility of our member schools completing both regular and postseason spring sports seasons," the IHSA release from Executive Director Craig Anderson stated. "The date schools are allowed to return to session will determine the length of the spring sports season and the potential of an IHSA state series."

Illinois schools cannot resume until April 7 at the earliest, per Gov. J.B. Prtitzker's stay-at-home executive order.

Missouri's state government has yet to issue a stay-at-home order or cancel schools, but every area school district has made the decision to close its doors until at least March 30. The MSHSAA stated in its release that it supports schools who choose to close their doors, but during that time teams are not allowed to gather of practices or workouts.

"In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding public gatherings, schools are reminded that it is not necessary or prudent for any number of students to gather for workouts, regardless of how those students gather or whether any MSHSAA rules are broken by said gathering," the MSHSAA release stated.

Neither organization had information on a possible return date for sports, but both are committed to continuing the spring season in some fashion.

"We are considering an extension of the spring sports season limitation to provide more participation opportunities for students," the IHSA release stated. "This may include movement of the postseason timelines and state series."

"In all likelihood, any championships that do happen will have a very different look and feel than those in the past," the MSHSAA release stated. "The staff continues to find possible venues and back up venues, as well as continue to develop multiple variations of what a postseason may look like."