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IESA Reverses Course; Decides to Play Sports in the Fall

By Mark Jurgena

After witnessing other athletic and activity governing bodies announce modified schedules for the upcoming school year, the IESA Board rescinded their July 23rd decision to not sponsor extracurricular activities for Jr. High and Middle Schools and produced a modified schedule for this year earlier this afternoon.

On Wednesday, the Governor’s office placed the sports of baseball, cross country, golf and softball in the “lower risk” category of athletics. Those sports will begin practice on Monday, August 3rd. They may begin playing games on August 15th.

However, the IHSA will not sponsor a state series for these events. The association indicated that in baseball and softball, regional level postseason events will be held the week of September 21st. Winners will not advance to another round of play.

During their regular season, these teams can play twice a week. They may play three games during a week if one of the days is a doubleheader.

They announced that sectional only competitions will occur in cross country and golf. Golf will occur September 9th, while cross country sectional competition will be during the week of October 10-17.

These two sports are allowed two competitive events per week. There will be no tournaments and no more than three teams at an event.

“It is important to remember that the 2020-21 school year is not going to be the same as previous years,” read a press release by the organization. “We are hopeful that the remainder of the sports and activities will be held. Currently, the majority of those activities have been deemed as medium or high risk. The Board felt that the plan they approved provides direction and a blueprint should we be able to move forward.”

The IESA modified their other seasons with an eye to delaying those higher risk enterprises.

The state listed the following as winter sports: Boys basketball, girls volleyball, wrestling and competitive cheerleading.

They will have similar event restrictions. Their seasons begin in January and end in late February/early March.

Finally, girls basketball, boys & girls bowling along with boys & girls track & field will operate from February thru May.

As far as activities are concerned the scholar bowl state tournament has been scheduled to remain at its current date of May 7, 2021. Speech events as always will be determined by local schools.

The state tournament for chess is listed as having a state meet February 26-27, while competitions in music remain up in the air.

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