It looks like there will be a postseason for high school fall sports in the state. The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors met virtually for their regularly scheduled board meeting on Monday and approved a plan to conduct modified postseason state series tournaments in boys and girls golf, boys and girls cross country, girls swimming and diving, and girls tennis this fall.
The plan will allow for a single round of regional geographic competition to be conducted the week of October 19-25, with the majority of the events slated to be held on Saturday, October 24.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said “The health and safety of the student-athletes, their coaches, and their school communities has been our priority from the start of the pandemic. Throughout the spring and summer, we looked for ways to reengage student-athletes with their peers and coaches, and our membership has shared countless positive experiences from that initial ‘return to play’ period. We have found similar value in being able to conduct fall sports, and believe the participants deserve a culminating experience if we can offer it safely.”
The IHSA State Series tournaments will meet all Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines as it relates to COVID-19. The IHSA will be finalizing and releasing details for each fall state series tournament in the coming weeks, including dates, schedules, awards, structure, and additional safety precautions.
In conjunction with the modified fall state series, the board also approved a $100 state series entry fee for any school entering a team or individual in any of the fall sports.
“The IHSA office is charged with the responsibility of being a good steward of the association’s finances,” said Anderson. “The past few months have seen a significant reduction in the IHSA’s income, given the cancellation of the IHSA Boys Basketball State Finals and the entire spring season. Financial challenges remain on the horizon in 2020-21 due to the limited number of sports currently classified as ‘low risk’ by the state, making the chances of conducting full state series tournaments unlikely at this time.”
The IHSA By-laws allow the Board of Directors the discretion to implement entry fees into IHSA State Series tournaments. The IHSA last charged tournament entry fees in 2004-05.
The Board will continue to look at the postseason options by sport and season as the school year progresses, so they can accurately gauge the allowable IDPH options and most current COVID-19 data.