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Illinois regions in Phase 4 cleared for intra-conference play of high school sports

CHICAGO (WEEK/WGEM) -- The Illinois Department of Health's top doctor announced Friday regions in Phase 4, can resume intra-conference play in high school sports.

As of Friday, that includes Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike, Schuyler, Scott counties and others in Regions 3, 5, and 6. 

Dr. Ngozi Ezike said these regions are now able to play competitive basketball and resume practices.

According to the IDPH's website, regions in Phase 4 will be able to play at "Level 3" for higher-risk sports, such as basketball, wrestling and football. This means intra-conference play or inter-league play is allowed.

However, state championships will only be allowed for lower-risk sports under "Level 3."

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) previously published guidance for how and when prep sports can resume.

Friday afternoon IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson notified member high schools and clarified the impact of the announcement.

Anderson stated the Board of Directors will set season dates for the remainder of the school year when they meet again on Wednesday..  

Anderson announced that an updated mitigation table (including Phase 4), sports schedules, risk levels, and other pertinent information can be found at

Anderson also outlined the following requirements:

  • All low-risk winter sports must conduct practices on seven days prior to their first contest.
  • Basketball teams must conduct 12 days of practice prior to their first contest.
  • Fall, spring, and summer sports can begin contact days on Monday based on the allowances of your EMS Region and local school district approval. 
  • Masks must be worn in practice and competition.
  • Social distancing should be adhered to for bench players and game personnel.
  • Schools must follow the mitigations and guidelines established by the IHSA.
  • There is no differentiation in the numbers below regardless of whether the sport is indoors or outdoors. The numbers below do not include players, coaches, officials and other necessary game personnel, the spectators are in addition to them.
    • In Phase 4 Regions, you can have a maximum of 50 spectators.
    • In Tier 1 Regions, you can have a maximum of 25 spectators.
    • In Tier 2 Regions, you cannot have spectators.
  • Host schools may choose to be more restrictive in their spectator policies.

Anderson added that football contact days that are permitted in some regions beginning Monday will be limited to the provisions of IHSA By-law 3.157.  These guidelines outline a build-up acclimatization to maximum equipment of helmet and shoulder pads with no live contact or tackling to the ground during the contact day period.  

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Jim Roberts

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