Winter sports practices remain uncertain


Kathy Luan

Sophomore Maya Atassi dribbles the ball at a practice in Sunny Gym last season Feb. 19. With the status of winter sports in doubt, the gym may remain empty for a while longer.

Ryan Clark, Assistant Editor

Although the U-High athletics department proposed winter sports practice begin Nov. 16 as permitted by the Illinois High School Association, University of Chicago administrators rejected that proposal due to the increase of coronavirus cases. The IHSA is expected to again adjust plans for the winter basketball season and is now considering a spring season, according to Athletics Director David Ribbens.

Dance, swimming and fencing could start as soon as Nov. 30 depending on the approval of the university and the state of the coronavirus pandemic.

The IHSA will meet with the governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health Nov. 19 to decide whether to schedule the basketball season Feb. 15 to May 1 or April 19 to June 26. The IHSA planned to begin the basketball season Nov. 16 against the recommendations of the governor, but it is now making new plans as Illinois schools overwhelmingly chose to follow state guidelines and postpone the season.

   An April 19 to June 26 season could create scheduling conflicts for players, as there would be overlap between the basketball season and the track and soccer seasons for both boys and girls, Mr. Ribbens said.

“I think the fluidity of it, the changes, is one of the lessons I’ve learned as the director of athletics,” he said. “Just four weeks ago the positivity rate was manageable. Now it seems like it’s becoming unmanageable.”