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IHSA Announces Return to Play Decisions Will Rest With Governmental Agencies

By Mark Jurgena

Tuesday afternoon, the IHSA released a statement via their website that in effect punted any further return to play decisions to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Governor’s office.

“There is an unprecedented level of planning for this school year due to COVID-19, and we have come to understand that there needs to be a greater consistency between the guidelines for returning to learn and returning to interscholastic athletics,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson in an online release. “Some of the recommendations by the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and directives from IDPH have come into direct conflict with each other, especially as it relates to the use of masks by student-athletes. As a result, we feel it is important to let IDPH and ISBE provide a consistent direction for our membership moving forward.”

This announcement comes ahead of an eagerly awaited IHSA Board of Directors Meeting on July 22nd.

It also comes one day after the IHSA was named in a lawsuit brought forth by Metro East lawyer Thomas DeVore. 

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the filing of the preliminary injunction is against the IHSA and the Hillsboro School District. It deals with the latest set of regulations laid down last Thursday by the IHSA. DeVore has children who attend school in the district.

The case will appear in Montgomery County court July 23rd.

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