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IHSA modifies Return to Play: State releases new guidelines due to COVID increase

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BLOOMINGTON–The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has released amendments to phase 4 of the Return to Play guidelines. According to the IHSA, masks won’t be required if athletes are outdoors and able to practice social distancing.

Other rules will be in place as the IHSA has received confirmation from the Illinois State Board of Education that the governor has approved students participating outdoors without wearing a mask if they can practice social distancing.

New modifications are being worked out between IHSA and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) due to the increase in positive cases among high school teams across the state.

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The modifications will place greater restrictions on coaches and athletes in order to help prevent the spread of COVID. Other changes include limiting physical contact and increased use of masks. Schools will not be able to conduct contests against other schools including 7-on-7 football.

As of the new update to phase 4, there cannot be any contact drills or physical contact among athletes and a 50-person limit is to be strictly followed for indoor activities. The IHSA also said there cannot be scrimmages in sports that require physical contact: basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.

The IHSA is still working with IDPH to finalize the new plan.

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