IHSA follows Pritzker’s guidance, masks required for indoor sports

Lutheran defeated Oregon in straight sets to advance to the BNC tournament championship.
Lutheran defeated Oregon in straight sets to advance to the BNC tournament championship.(WIFR)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 12:30 PM CDT
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(WIFR) - Less than a week before the fall high school sports season is set to begin, Governor JB Pritzker announced on Wednesday that masks must be worn for all indoor extracurricular activities and sports. However, masks will not be required for outdoor sports.

This comes as COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in Illinois. People under 29 accounted for 12% of COVID-related hospitalizations in June, according to Pritzker’s office. Children 12 and under are still not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

As for the IHSA, those indoor sports this fall include girls volleyball and girls swimming and diving. Swimmers and divers will not have to wear a mask while competing, but must adhere at all other times. The governing body of high school sports released a state hours after Pritzker’s proclomation.

“Today’s announcement will not deter us from our mission of safely offering high school student-athletes in Illinois the opportunity to participate in sports and activities,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Illinois high school student-athletes and coaches have been resilient in dealing with myriad mitigations and unexpected changes over the past year. We hope all Illinoisans do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 so we can quickly move beyond this and remove masks from indoor athletic events.”

The mask mandate also applies to any winter or spring sports that may be conducting open gyms or weightlifting indoors. As of now, there are no restrictions to scheduling or spectator limitations.

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