ROCKFORD (WREX) — With the Rockford area moving to Tier 2 mitigation strategies for COVID-19, more opportunities open up for high school sports. Low-risk sports are allowed to start practicing immediately, and the IHSA will determine when they can start holding competitions in the region. Low-risk sports on the IHSA's winter sports calendar include boys and girls bowling, boys swimming and diving, competitive cheerleading and competitive dance.
High-risk sports like basketball are only allowed to hold non-contact practices and training sessions. Time is ticking away when it comes possibly having a basketball season this winter.
"One of the questions we have as ADs is, are they going to extend the winter season or is it going to end as planned in February," Auburn Athletic Director Brad Pemberton said. "That doesn't give a lot of time for even the sports that can come back, the swimming and the bowling. They haven't been practicing for over a month. We'll start back up next week. Do they have two weeks for games or do they have more?"
The IHSA still has questions like those to answer as we're into mid-January. The IHSA will likely announce when competitions for low-risk winter sports can begin sometime before their next scheduled board meeting Jan. 27. Until then, athletes will practice and hope to get some semblance of a season in the coming months.
For all of the Illinois Department of Public Health's sport safety guidance, click here.