On Friday, the Illinois High School Association announced that its Stage 2 of the Return to Play Guidelines have been approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health and can be implemented across the state starting Sunday, July 5.
The IHSA says that students can have up to five hours of participation in summer contact days. In addition, gatherings of up to 50 individuals, indoors or outdoors, will allowed. Thirty feet of space must be maintained between gatherings of 50.
“Safety remains at the forefront of everything that the IHSA is doing as we move into Phase 4 and beyond,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We appreciate the collaborative efforts of the SMAC and IDPH in recognizing the physical, mental, and emotional benefits for our student-athletes and coaches as they progress into training in a more traditional practice setting. Our focus now shifts to continuing to work with state leadership to determine how to provide the safest environment possible for fall sports.”
When students are not actively participating in a drill, practice, or contest, care should be taken to maintain social distance between individuals.
Stage 2 will allow the use of sport-specific athletic equipment. Equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear should be cleaned between each use.
Football helmets, pads, gloves and eye wear should be worn by one individual and not shared.
In Stage 2, spotters will be allowed. However, they encourage that maximum lifts should be done only with power cages when it comes to squats and bench pressing.
If schools are to allow spectators, they are only permitted to fill the stands to 50 percent capacity.
Should the conditions warrant, these requirements will be adjusted. Any further official updates will be posted on IHSA.org and the IHSA social media platforms.