IHSA delays winter sports until possibly January 2021

Placing winter sports on hold creates more uncertainty around other high school sports in 2021.

Grayslake+north+stadium+remains+empty+waiting+for+the+day+when+sports+can+return+to+its+field

Dane Massey

Grayslake north stadium remains empty waiting for the day when sports can return to its field

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) laid down a decision of what to do with winter sports because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state. With cases in Illinois staggering up to the worst point since the pandemic first began, the IHSA decided to put winter sports on hold until possibly January 2021, with questions remaining about exactly when winter sports seasons will begin this year.

Delaying the start of basketball season has been one of the biggest and most controversial moves this year. Governor Pritzker was strongly against keeping basketball season on track with its typical November start. 

 “Honestly, though, I don’t have a great deal to say because we are still taking everything day to day,” said head basketball coach Todd Grunloh. “There isn’t a ton of information that has been given by the IHSA, other than that we are currently on a pause and they will continue to monitor the situation. There are a lot of obstacles still to overcome, obviously, and a lot of different scenarios on how and when the season can be played.”

Other sports, like bowling, cheer, and dance, were also postponed, marking the end of 2020 with no high school sports going on whatsoever. This leaves a question: What do athletes do now?

“Keep working on ourselves,” said sophomore varsity basketball player Dominic Jankowski. “We have to stay in shape and ready for the season. We can’t focus on if there is going to be a season or not. We just have to move forward and keep getting better individually and as a team.”

 For many, staying in shape is the best way to go about things. With the IHSA scheduled to have another meeting in January to possibly decide on a date to resume winter sports, and with COVID-19 cases in Illinois becoming more and more of a problem, there is no telling what will happen. Certainly, 2020 has been a strange year for sports.

“I think the later we go and the later we continue to push everything, the harder it gets for all the sports,” said athletic director Tina Woolard. “I think it is going to be even more challenging if basketball and dance and bowling get shoved into a four week season. Is it really adequate enough to even make a season? I think it is worth it for every kid, but for four weeks? Is that going to happen or is that going to push football and those other sports? It just is a downward spiral.”