IHSA defies Gov. Pritzker on Basketball Season


Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP

Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a press conference on coronavirus in September.

Wilson Irvin, Sports Editor

On Tuesday October 27th, it was reported by Michael O’Brien of the Chicago Sun-Times that the IHSA board announced that the basketball season can start on schedule, defying the guidance given from Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Health.

However, the following Thursday, O’Brian then reported that Gov. Pitzker said that basketball would be moved to the spring, after saying that basketball was “on hold.” 

Nearing the end of the summer, the IHSA released the schedule for high school sports throughout the school year.

Major sports like football, soccer, field hockey, baseball and others were moved to the spring season and even the summer. 

Sports that were non-contact such as, golf, tennis, cross country, and swim remained in the fall.

When the news came out Tuesday, the varsity basketball team was ecstatic to hear the news.

“I am extremely happy with the IHSA’s decision,” said senior Will Thomas. “Everyone on the team wants to play, and from what I’ve heard, other players from other schools want to play as well.”

Thomas is one of six returning seniors, and is very optimistic about the season. 

However, with the decision made on Thursday, the outcome is undecided. Certain districts could eventually play through the winter, but it would come at their own expense. They would have to set up their own testing and try to keep COVID-19 out of their program.

Those issues will certainly be on the minds of school boards and superintendents as they decide whether to follow Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health’s guidelines and not play basketball until spring or go with the IHSA and play as planned in the winter.

If the season does not get moved to the spring, it will cause major conflict.

As mentioned earlier, with football, volleyball, baseball, soccer, field hockey and basketball it may force students to choose between sports. 

Club sports would also play a huge role as in the past, one could not play club sports while playing for their high school.

“I just want the seniors to be able to play their final season,” said junior Cade Nowik. “Although nothing is set yet, this news is huge and I was very happy to hear that there’s a chance I start soon.”