The Illinois Elementary School Association, the governing body for Elementary and Middle School athletes, announced on Friday morning that they will be canceling the regular season in the sports of boys and girls golf, boys baseball, girls softball, and boys and girls cross-country for the 2020-21 school year. The IESA also stated that there are no plans to try and re-schedule the activities or conduct them later in the school.
At the forefront of the Board’s decision was the fact activities must be conducted within the current limitations that have been placed on the schools by the IDPH. In particular, the mandate that there can be no physical contact between athletes and that students must be socially distanced (6 ft. of separation) makes the administration and conduct of games and contests very difficult and in some cases impossible to adhere to the mandates. The board also said “While there are plenty of youth league baseball and softball teams playing games and tournaments this summer, many are not adhering to the same stringent guidelines. Because summer leagues and travel ball are taking place, this may make the decision of the IESA Board of Directors seem odd. The difference is that schools will be held to the IDPH mandates and the youth summer contests are not. It would make little sense for IESA to move forward with these activities that would require schools to be in direct conflict with mandates by state agencies that have regulatory control over the schools.”