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Move to Tier 1 opens up more sports opportunities

High school basketball teams can hold practices, but can't play games under Tier 1 mitigations.

ROCKFORD (WREX) — With the Rockford region moving into Tier 1 of COVID-19 mitigation strategies, more chances to play high school sports come with it.

While high-risk sports like basketball still cannot play games, teams can hold full practices and intra-squad scrimmages with parental consent. That will help give athletes an outlet and a chance to compete, even if it's with their teammates.

There are no medium-risk winter sports at the high school level in our area, but it means good news for sports like volleyball and boys soccer, which were pushed back to the springtime. Those sports deemed medium-risk will be allowed to play games under Tier 1 mitigations, but they'll have to be played against other teams within the region.

Low-risk sports are allowed to have full competition, including out-of-town tournaments against teams outside the region. Low-risk winter sports for area high schools include boys and girls bowling, boys swimming and diving, competitive cheer and competitive dance.

For a breakdown of what's allowed under each tier, head to the Illinois Department of Public Health's Sports Safety Guidance page.

Derek Bayne

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email

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