After suspending interscholastic athletics for two months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Illinois High School Association released its return-to-play guidelines on June 5.

The IHSA announced that Illinois high school athletes can return to practice as of June 6, but also outlined the regulations, drafted by the IHSA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, under which players and coaches will be able to hold practices this summer. .

"It's bittersweet news," said Les Gil, athletic director at Kenwood Academy. "(Although it's not official yet) the kids are ready to return."

“I commend the IHSA SMAC for crafting a plan that fits within the framework provided by state leadership, and refuses to compromise safety,” said Craig Anderson, Executive Director of the IHSA. “The IHSA Return to Play Guidelines offer some important first steps in allowing student-athletes to reacclimate both physically and mentally to athletics, but more importantly, they allow each school to assess their own individual situation and determine if and when they want to proceed."

According to Anderson via IHSA press release, Stage 1 of return to play, the IHSA says social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained and masks will be worn when that is not possible.

Anderson also mentioned that practice sessions, according to the IHSA, can include only weightlifting, running and exercises designed to promote physical fitness.

A complete list of the guidelines can be found on the IHSA website, www.ihsa.org/documents/board/2019-20/Stage%201%20RTP.pdf.

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