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IHSA answers questions about contact days

IHSA answers questions about contact days

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The Illinois High School Association offered guidance on Monday about contact days this fall for sports that are not in season including football, a high-risk sport that will not be allowed to have intra-squad scrimmages.

Students are allowed to participate on non-school teams, such as AAU basketball squads, in sports not contested by IHSA members this fall. The entire membership of a non-school team can be drawn from the roster of a school team, but school coaches cannot be involved with non-school teams.

The IHSA guidelines covered 20 days from Sept. 7 to Oct. 31. Low-risk sports such as baseball, softball, boys swimming, boys tennis and track can have intra-squad scrimmages.

Athletes and coaches are required to wear masks when participating in contact days indoors. If participants can socially distance outdoors, masks are not required. 

Medium-risk sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball and 7-on-7 football can have intra-squad scrimmages if parents give consent. Athletes must wear masks during the scrimmages except those social distancing outdoors.

High-risk sports such as football, wrestling, lacrosse, competitive cheerleading and competitive dance can have no-contact practices, but not instra-squad scrimmages.

During their 20 contact days, football teams can participate in handoff and passing drills and also hit sleds and tackle dummies. Teams can also run plays against air and against stand-up dummies.

Football players can wear helmets and shoulder pads during contact days. Players must wear helmets for two days before wearing shoulder pads on the third day. Players are not allowed to participate in person-to-person contact. Students are not allowed to share helmets or pads. 

Virtual team meetings do not count as contact days. Schools can hold open gyms and open weight rooms throughout the school year provided they are advertised and open to all students.

Contact Randy Sharer at (309) 820-3405. Follow him on Twitter: @Pg_sharer

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