With the pandemic, most fall sport teams have been happy to just get on the field.

And now for golf and cross-country teams, they will now get an extra week.

The IHSA Board of Directors decided on Wednesday to expand the IHSA State Series with sectional rounds for boys and girls golf and boys and girls cross country.

The vote took place in a special meeting on Wednesday after seeing how safely cross country and golf meets had been going.

In golf, the top two teams and top four individuals in each regional will advance to sectional play, while cross country will advance five teams from each regional to sections with no changes in the individual qualifier field.

“Given the timing, our greatest challenge will be finding hosts, especially in cross country,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We have been granted exemptions to compete outside the COVID Regions in instances, for example, where assigning schools on or near a region border creates better balance in the number of participants at a site. Based on the feedback we have received, we expect some schools will choose not to participate beyond Regionals. We respect those decisions, but still want to provide as many opportunities as possible.”

The Board also created an exemption to the season limitation rule to allow for participation in the Cross Country Sectionals, while temporarily modifying Terms & Conditions for both sports to allow greater flexibility in scheduling the respective meets. Golf Sectionals are slated for the week of Oct. 12-17, while Cross Country Sectionals are expected to unfold Oct. 29-31. Host sites and meet dates will be announced on IHSA.org soon.

There were no changes to the postseason structure for girls tennis and girls swimming, which begin postseason in the sectional level.

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