The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) provided another of updates to its All-Sports Policy during the week of February 1-5, 2021, that include sports-specific changes and broader scheduling options for some sports and regions, as well as updates on the 30-foot rule and spectator limitations. All of this information may not yet be updated online in the IDPH All-Sports Policy, but will be soon. To view the IDPH All-Sports Policy, click here.
IDPH’s Play Level 3 within the All-Sports Policy was updated to reflect expanded scheduling opportunities, including the ability to schedule opponents outside of a region within 30 miles.
This 30-mile out-of-region scheduling allowance impacts the following:
-Low-risk sports in Regions under Tier 2 mitigations
-Medium-risk sports in Regions under Tier 1 mitigations.
-High-risk sports in Regions under Phase 4 mitigations.
Previously, low-risk sports under Tier 2 mitigations, medium-risk sports under Tier 1 mitigations, and high-risk sports in Phase 4 mitigations were limited to contests against opponents from their conference or opponents from their region.
The scheduling table on the IHSA’s COVID-19 Resource Page has been updated to reflect these changes and can be viewed by clicking here.
The sport-specific changes announced were for the sports of cheerleading, dance, swimming & diving, and track & field:
-Swimming & diving may resume relay events.
-Track and field may resume use of shared equipment (e.g., batons) within teams.
IDPH also announced that restricted skills for cheerleading and dance teams that include pyramids/tosses/partner stunts/lifts, etc. are no longer prohibited. However, the IHSA has ruled that due to the inequity of all IHSA schools not being able to perform these skills due to varied mitigations by region, these skills will remain restricted during IHSA competition this year.
IDPH also noted that sideline spirit teams and media members will not count against spectator limitations, although they remain a lower priority and their admission will be determined on a school-by-school basis.
Regarding the 30-foot rule, IDPH issued the following clarification: “Sports organizers or venues should configure space to ensure there is at least 30 feet social distance between spectators and participants or, in the case 30 feet is not practicable for the venue, spectators are seated on the opposite side of the playing space (e.g., field, court) from participants not actively engaged in play and at a distance of least 12 feet from the playing space. If participants are also in the spectator area (e.g., bleachers), spectators should be at least 12 feet from those participants.”