Pritzker: HS basketball is now considered “high risk”, only non-contact practice, training allowed for now | Local sports


CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker and the IDPH have announced updated guidelines for recreational sports for youth and adults, including, but not limited to, school sports, travel clubs, leagues and private clubs, leagues and recreation centers and district sports programs. Collegiate sports and professional leagues are not affected by these restrictions.

The updated guidelines were developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in collaboration with state and nationwide public health experts and reflect the high levels of risk associated with contact sports. inside. The guidelines also take into account new research related to COVID-19 and sports, sports-related outbreaks in other states and the fact that the second wave of the pandemic is now well advanced in all parts of Illinois.

“We can’t ignore what’s going on around us – because without action it could look worse than anything we’ve seen in the spring,” Pritzker said. “With that in mind, today my administration is releasing our updated guidelines for recreational sports for youth and adults in Illinois ahead of the winter season. As with sports in the fall, nothing is “canceled”, just put on hold until we are at the heart of this pandemic. We adapt as we learn. This has been our mantra throughout this pandemic, and as with all other facets of life, we know this virus is of greatest concern when people are indoors with high contact, especially in vigorous situations that cause heavy breathing – such as in wrestling, hockey and basketball. Life in a pandemic is difficult for everyone, and it is difficult for all of our children, whether or not they exercise. It doesn’t make it easy, but we are really all in the same boat.

Youth sports councils classify sports into three levels of risk, lower, medium or higher, depending on the amount of contact between athletes and their proximity during play. The guidelines define four levels of play allowed based on current public health conditions. At all levels, certain forms of play are permitted, ranging from practice and training at level 1 to tournaments and conferences at level 4.

At Level 1, which includes basketball, wrestling, and hockey, only practice and non-contact practice is allowed.

At level 2, intra-team scrums are authorized with parental authorization for minors but there can be no competition.

In intra-conference level 3, intra-region EMS or intra-league play is allowed and there may be state championship or league matches allowed only for low risk sports.

At level 4, tournaments, non-conference / league and out-of-state matches are allowed. Championship matches would also be allowed at level 4.

Based on current conditions, low risk sports can be played at levels 1, 2 and 3. Medium risk sports can be played at levels 1 and 2, and higher risk sports can be played at level 1 .

The updated guidelines move basketball from medium risk to high risk due to close player contact and indoor play. Wrestling and hockey also continue to be classified as high risk.

Cheering and dancing will be classified as low risk, only if masking and distance are applied. Low risk sports such as bowling, gymnastics, swimming and diving will be permitted in winter.

“Science, as we know it today, applies to all situations,” said IDPH director Dr Ngozi Ezike. “The more people you are in contact with, the longer you are together and the closer you are, the more likely you are to contract COVID-19. Being face to face with another person for a basketball or football game puts players at a higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Right now, cases in Illinois and the country are on the rise. “

Like other guidelines, sports organizations should make temperature checks available and participants and coaches should watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and should not participate if they are sick. If multiple people show symptoms or test positive, coaches or organizations should alert their local health department. Sports organizers or coaches should also keep attendance records of participants for contact tracing purposes. Masks must be worn by all present. Spectator limits should follow the attenuating occupancy limits in each region. For Level 1 attenuation which limits spectators to 25 people or less. For level two attenuations, no spectators should be allowed.

Sports equipment such as sticks and hockey sticks should be cleaned between each use. Other equipment, including personal equipment such as hockey, football, lacrosse or other sports using helmets, protection or gloves should only be used by one person and should not be shared. Coaches should limit access to the changing rooms as much as possible.

Illinois first released guidelines for youth and recreational sports in late May, when every region of the state moved to Phase 3 of the Illinois Restoration Plan, marked by a return to work, the reopening of the retail trade as well as the return of specific recreational activities. The latest guidelines make adjustments to temporarily stop competitive play for most high to medium risk sports pending further health advancements, as well as to provide additional clarity on capacity limits and high school sports.

A full list of winter safety guidelines is available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) website at

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