IHSA: Football set to return to High Schools in Illinois March 19

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BOURBONNAIS – The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) is moving forward with Spring Football and is set to begin the season with the first game scheduled for March 19th.

The season is set to conclude on April 24th with no state series scheduled, overlapping with basketball, which is set to begin immediately.

“We understood the high level of anticipation surrounding today’s announcement, along with the scrutiny that will accompany it,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Ultimately, the Board adhered to its stated goals throughout the pandemic: providing an opportunity for every IHSA student-athlete to compete safely this year and maximizing opportunities for traditional IHSA spring sports after they lost their entire season a year ago. I recognize that many schools and coaches could likely offer a tweak here or there that would have, in their opinion, made it ‘better’ for their school or sport.”  

Illinois is one of only six states to have a spring high school football season, joining California, Washington, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada and the District of Columbia. Last fall,  38 states played football, including all five boarding Illinois.

“The Board wants to do everything in their power to prevent spring sports from going two consecutive years with no postseason IHSA play,” said Anderson. “There are obviously no guarantees, as risk levels by sport and local region mitigation statuses will factor significantly.”

IHSA Board approved the following schedule for the remainder of the school year:

SportIDPH RiskPractices StartPractice Dates
Before Games
State SeriesEnd Date
Boys/Girls BasketballHigherASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
Boys Swimming & DivingLowerASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
DanceLowerASAP7 datesVirtual (2/27 & 3/6)March 13
CheerleadingLowerASAP7 datesVirtual (3/6 & 3/12)March 13
Boys/Girls BowlingLowerASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
Girls GymnasticsLowerASAP7 datesNo State SeriesMarch 13
BadmintonLowerASAP7 datesTBDApril 3
Boys SoccerModerateMarch 17 datesNo State SeriesApril 17
FootballHigherMarch 31st Game March 19No State SeriesApril 24
Girls VolleyballModerateMarch 87 datesNo State SeriesApril 24
Boys GymnasticsLowerMarch 157 datesTBDMay 22
Boys/Girls Water PoloModerateMarch 157 datesTBDMay 29
BaseballLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys/Girls LacrosseHigherApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Girls SoccerModerateApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
SoftballLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys TennisLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys/Girls Track & FieldLowerApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
Boys VolleyballModerateApril 57 datesTBDJune 19
WrestlingHigherApril 197 datesNo State SeriesJune 12

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