The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) announced on Friday morning that they are planning on going into the 2020 fall sports season as scheduled, with more guidance coming.
That includes cross country, football and Class 4A golf beginning practices as of Aug. 10.
“The health and safety of student-atheltes and their communities has been our priority as we work to provide opportunities during this pandemic, and will remain so as we move forward to the 2020-2021 school year,” the IHSAA said in a statement released on Friday. “We will continue to work with our partners at NFHS, IATS, and with the Iowa state government to develop protocols and sport-specific guidance, and will adjust as necessary.”
School are still allowed which sports and activities they will sponsor each school year.
The organization stated that it hopes to have guidance for fall sports ready and released to schools by July 27.
Across the river, the Illinois High School Athletic Association (IHSA) released their own statement earlier this week, stating that they will be referring to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Governor’s Office for the Return to Play Guidelines from here on out.
“There is an unprecedented level of planning for this school year due to COVID-19,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said. “and we have come to understand that there needs to be a greater consistency between the guidelines for returning to learn and returning to interscholastic activities.”
The IHSA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee had formed the original Return to Play guidelines, but Anderson states that some of those came in direct conflict of the IDPH guidlines. Currently, member schools can have limited practices in Phase 4 of those guidelines, but they are also under current review for ammendment by the IDPH.
“We still believe there is a path to conducting high school athletics in the fall, like the majority of the state surrounding Illinois plan to do,” Anderson said. “To make that happen, it’s important that we allow IDPH, ISBE, and the Governor’s Office to take the lead on ensuring the safest and most consistent protocols.”