High School Sports are Back: Illinois Announces Return


Written by Ryan Bennett, Sports Editor

The past year has been rough on high schoolers. They’ve had to adapt to remote learning, and most students on sports teams have been unable to play. However there has been a recent change in athletics. It has been announced that all high school sports are going to resume in some capacity. While some sports, such as golf and tennis, have been able to take place earlier in the school year, some of the most popular sports, like football and basketball, have been unable to have a season.

There are some notable differences that athletes have to deal with. They will be required to wear masks in order to participate. A few exceptions include water sports and outdoor sports, if social distancing can be applied. It has also been established that students are allowed to play on school and non-school teams at the same time if they weren’t able to compete in their sport during the fall.

Some sports have already gotten underway. Boys and girls basketball, boys swimming and diving, dance, cheerleading, boys and girls bowling, gymnastics, and badminton have all started practicing, and most have also begun competitions as well. Out of all of these, basketball is the only sport that classifies as “high risk,” meaning that schools will need to reach a designated phase for them to begin. These sports will all end on March 13.

Other sports are scheduled to start in the coming weeks. Boys soccer will begin on March 1, followed by football on March 3. The final sport to begin is wrestling, which will start on April 19. Many sports starting in April will also extend into late June, which is later than usual, but that is the least strange of the circumstances affecting everyone’s lives in the past year.

Illinois governor JB Pritzker has been under heavy scrutiny by residents of Illinois for not allowing most sports to take place in the fall and early winter. Neighboring states allowed football to be played in the fall, and many players felt that they were at a disadvantage because they were unable to play and be seen by scouts. Some players even moved to a different state in order to be able to play. It’s clear that the return of high school sports will do a great job of bringing the community together during such a tough time, and will give the students a chance to do what they love after a long wait.


Elwood, Patrick. “Illinois high school winter sports return after long wait.” Chicago’s Very Own WGN 9, 9 Feb. 2021, https://wgntv.com/sports/illinois-high-school-winter-sports-return-after-long-wait/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.

Miller, Corey. “Game on? | Illinois high school sports near return as IHSA releases updated spring schedule.” 5 On Your Side, 27 Jan. 2021, https://www.ksdk.com/article/sports/high-school/illinois-high-school-sports-ihsa-updated-spring-schedule/63-3ab06e1f-29e8-45dc-a884-18fd8549a44e. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.