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Illinois High School Basketball on hold; sport moved to high-risk category

Youth and adult recreational basketball will not be allowed to have competitive play in new sports guidelines from the state of Illinois. Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced basketball has been moved from medium to high risk due to the close contact of athletes and the fact the sport is played indoors. Hockey and wrestling are considered high risk.

New state guidance created four levels of play allowed depending on the COVID-19 risk associated with a sport. High risk sports are only allowed level 1 competition, while medium-risk sports can compete in levels 1-2 and low-risk can compete in 1-3.

State officials said the guidance impacts, but is not limited to, school-based sports, travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs. Collegiate and professional leagues are not impacted.

Leaders said IDPH developed the guidance while working with public health experts from around Illinois and the nation. They said it reflects "high levels of risk" associated with indoor competition and accounts for new research on COVID-19 and sports, the outbreaks related to sports in other states, and "the fact that the second wave of the pandemic is now well underway in all regions of Illinois."

“We can’t ignore what is happening around us – because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring.” said Pritzker. “It’s with that in mind that today, my administration is releasing our updated guidance for youth and adult recreational sports in Illinois ahead of the winter season.

94.1 WGFA