Gov. J.B. Pritzker implements restrictions on recreational sports

By Keaton Yates, Staff Reporter

As of July 29, Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a notice that fall sports in schools, excluding those at the professional and collegiate levels, will have restrictions and be regulated due to COVID-19.

Pritzker said nationally over half of states have districts that have shut down training due to COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“With rising rates of spread of the virus, with rising positivity rates throughout Illinois and the entire United States, this is a situation where the toughest choice is also the safest choice,” Pritzker said.

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Sport leagues that are governed by the Illinois High School Association, Illinois Elementary School Association, travel clubs, park district sports, sport centers, private and recreational league sports will be under new social distancing guidelines.

“I want to be clear that the restrictions issued today do not include professional sports leagues or collegiate level sports,” Pritzker said.

All restrictions will be effective on August 15, 2020.

The sports guidance is broken down by risk levels. Level one includes no contact training and practice only, level two is non-competitive intra-team scrimmages allowed with parents’ consent, level three includes intra-conference, EMS region and league meets only for low risk sports and level four is tournaments, championship games, multiteam meets allowed. 

Low risk sports can play at levels one, two and three, medium risk sports can play at levels one and two, and high risk sports can play at level one. No sports can be played at level four at this time.

High risk sports include sports such as football, cheerleading, dance and martial arts among others. Medium risk sports include basketball, soccer and volleyball. Low risk sports include baseball, cross country, softball,  track and field. More sports can be seen on the Illinois COVID-19 website

Golf and tennis have existing guidelines on the DCEO website. 

“This virus is unrelenting, and it spreads so easily that no amount of restriction seems to keep it off the playing field or out of the locker room,” Pritzker said.

Staff reporter Keaton Yates can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @keatsians.

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