IHSA opens door for winter basketball season despite Pritzker’s skepticism


Elliott Taylor

Sophomore Ben King uses a screen to drive into open space towards the paint in a game against Lakeview High School Jan. 13.

Ryan Clark, Reporter

           Although the Illinois High School Association decided to recommend resuming contact sports, U-High sports will still be practiced with social distancing as recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health, meaning some practices could begin this month, but games would not take place until February.

         Oct. 27, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that basketball would be designated a high-risk rather than medium-risk sport, entailing that it would have to be conducted with six feet of distance between players at all times. However, in an Oct. 28 meeting, the IHSA decided to follow the recommendation of its Sport Medicine Advisory Committee and begin the typical basketball season Nov. 16 rather than the later Feb. 15 spring season Gov. Pritzker announced Oct. 29.

         U-High will follow the governor’s recommendation and not begin interscholastic games or contact practice per the decision of University of Chicago administrators, according to Athletics Director David Ribbens. The soonest the basketball teams could compete against other schools would be in the spring season.

         U-High is pending approval from the university to begin sports practice Nov. 16, Mr. Ribbens said, which would include basketball, dance, fencing and boys swimming.

         Basketball practice will consist of skills, drills and conditioning but no scrimmages. Practice will be conducted wearing masks and with six feet between participants.

         Mr. Ribbens said he expects the university to decide on sports practice sometime this week.

         If practice moves forward, teams will be distributed among the different gyms as much as possible to reduce the spatial density of players.