Gov. Pritzker says high school basketball is back on hold, IHSA plans to start season in November

Gov. Pritzker says high school basketball is back on hold, one day after IHSA says it would start on schedule.

He said at his daily press conference Thursday that basketball will be played in spring, and would not start as planned on Nov. 16.

“We're not shutting them down. We've asked that they be moved to the spring. . some, later in the spring,” said Gov. Pritzker.

Pritzker says school districts who choose to go ahead with winter basketball could face consequences.

“Schools, as I've said several times, will be subject to some legal liability if something happens as a result of their playing a sport that we've issued guidance about,” said Pritzker.

The IHSA says it is moving forward with high school hoops on Nov. 16, and released lengthy safety guidelines for games.


The IHSA coaches and officials will need to be masked during games, and the season will be shortened to 31 games.

“There's been this massive disconnect between the IHSA, the governor's office and state superintendents and you're seeing that going on right now,” said Joe Trost, a student-athlete advocate. 

The State Board of Education is slamming the decision made by the IHSA and released the following statement urging IHSA to reconsider.

“Public health experts have determined that basketball poses a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and is not currently safe to play. Defying the state’s public health guidance opens schools up to liability and other ramifications that may negatively impact school communities.”

Pritzker has given the green-light for so-called "medium risk" Winter sports to move forward.  

It does remain to be seen just how many school districts decide to allow winter basketball; at this point, it appears the decision is ultimately in the hands of local superintendents.