As areas of Illinois continue to ease restrictions, the state has released new guidelines for youth and recreational sports.
With the entire state now out of Level 3 mitigation measures on Friday, the state’s health department issued guidelines for various sports, including those in schools, travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, leagues and recreation centers, and park district sports programs.
âOver the past seven months I have received countless e-mails, letters, phone calls from students, parents of coaches, many more about youth sport at events organized around this topic. hear and see, and I feel the passion around youth sport. I take very seriously the value that recreation centers offer to the physical and mental health of our children, “the director of the public health department said on Friday. from Illinois, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, at a press conference. “I also take very seriously the need to protect them, their parents, their coaches and the community at large, and we’ll talk about that now. . The updated athletic guidelines we are releasing today describe the level of play allowed as dictated by the current public health conditions we find ourselves in. We have to think about the amount of virus circulating in the communities. We need to keep thinking about the positivity of the test, people in intensive care with COVID and other measures. “
The guidelines extend the permitted level of play for all sports in the regions under the Phase 4 guidelines, including play for the intra-conference, regional or league levels.
Several areas of the state are already under Phase 4 restrictions, but much of the Chicago area remains in Levels 1 and 2.
Under the guidelines, sports are assigned a risk category and level based on the level or phase their region is in.
|SPORTS RISK||Phase 4||LEVEL 1||LEVEL 2||LEVEL 3|
|Low risk||Level 4||Level 4||Level 3||Pause all indoor sport activities, including recreational sports for young people and adults.
Outdoor sports activities can continue at level 1.
|Medium risk||Level 4 for sports practiced outdoors
Level 3 for indoor sports
|Level 3||Level 2|
|Higher risk||Level 3||Level 2||Level 1|
Here are the state’s latest rankings for high-risk and low-risk sports:
- The Crosse
- Martial Arts
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Flag Football or Football 7v7
- Water polo
- Wheelchair basketball
- Bass fishing
- Competition cheer
- Competitive dance
- Cross country
- Ride a horse
- Ice skating
- String lessons
- Sailing, Canoeing, Kayaking
- School golf
- Secondary spirit
- soft ball
- Swimming / Diving
And here is what is allowed in each level:
|Level 1||Contactless practices and training only|
|Level 2||Intra-team screenings authorized, with parental authorization for minors; no competitive play|
|Level 3||Intra-conference or intra-region EMS or intra-league only; state or league championship match / reunion allowed only for low risk sports|
|Level 4||Tournaments, non-conference / league play, out-of-state play allowed; league matches allowed|
The new rules exclude recreational golf and bowling, which fall under a different set of guidelines.
âAs has been the case throughout the pandemic, we cannot change the fact that there are different sports and they present different levels of risk. Sports like basketball or football or wrestling present a higher risk than those, like track and field or baseball or gymnastics, âEzike said.â So we need to make adjustments to best balance the ability to play and the need to stay safe, in depending on the conditions of the community. And so that’s where everyone comes in, to continue, as the governor implored, to continue with the masking and the safe choices that will allow those numbers to continue in the right downward direction. “
In addition to wearing masks throughout the game, the state has also issued the following restrictions for certain sports:
|Baseball||Maintain at least 6 feet of each other in canoe areas or if players are seated in bleachers behind the canoe|
|Bass fishing||Limit the number of people on the boat to allow for social distancing|
|Bowling||Clean and disinfect equipment, including bowling balls, before and after each game; do not share equipment between players; limit bowlers per lane to maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet throughout the game|
|Competition cheer||Minimize contact between participants by maintaining at least 6 feet of ground clearance during routines, including when changing formations, and by prohibiting lifts, stunts, pyramids and throws as well as shared equipment (e.g. example, signs, flags, pom poms)|
|Competitive dance||Minimize contact between dancers by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance (i.e. spacing) on ââthe floor during routines, including when changing formations, and by prohibiting lifts and stunts and shared equipment (eg pom poms); Avoid shouting, singing and chanting|
|County of Croix||Limit the number of teams and follow the guidelines of the physical workspace|
|Cycling||Play individually or just use all the other tracks on the velodrome|
|Gymnastic||Clean equipment between participants and limit sharing of equipment or personal materials (eg chalk); all non-participating personnel (eg observers) must wear masks at all times.|
|Ice skating||Play individually or have an exclusive skating partner|
|String lessons||Maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing and clean equipment between each individual|
|Sail||Limit the number on the boat to social distance|
|Touch spirit||Maintain at least 6 feet of social distance on the floor during routines, including when changing formations, and prohibiting elevators, stunts, pyramids and throws as well as shared equipment (e.g., signs, flags , pompoms); avoid shouting, singing and chanting|
|soft ball||Maintain at least 6 feet of each other in canoe areas or when players are seated in bleachers behind the canoe|
|Swimming / Diving||Restrict the game to one lane; no synchronized swimming|
|Tennis||Minimize the touch of shared objects|
|Athletics||Apply delayed starts, use every other runway, and clean equipment between uses; modify relays and team races to minimize contact between players, including not sharing equipment (e.g. batons)|
|Volleyball||Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between players on either side of the net and on the bench|
|Bodybuilding||Clean between each individual|
For restrictions and additional tips, click here.
Last week, the Illinois High School Association said its board of directors was working to determine a day when low-risk sports could begin competing in their geographic areas. The IHSA added that spring and summer sports for schools as part of the Level 2 mitigation measures could start holding “contact days” on January 25.
âThe most significant update today is for high-risk sports in areas that have moved from Level 1 to Phase 4,â IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a statement. âSchools in a phase 4 region can now host intra-conference and intra-regional competitions in at-risk sports. Moderate-risk sports competing outdoors in phase 4 have also been given programming opportunities. expanded, including tournaments and out-of-state contests. “
The IHSA board is set to meet again on January 27, where it will likely pick a date when low-risk sports can start competing.