State Basketball Tournament, Others Canceled by IHSA Due to COVID-19

State Basketball Tournament, Others Canceled by IHSA Due to COVID-19

PEORIA – After initially announcing spectator restrictions, The Illinois High School Association is canceling this year’s 2020 Boys Basketball State Series and other IHSA events, including Scholastic Bowl, Drama & Group Interpretation, Music, Debate and Journalism as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The announcement was made late Thursday evening in a release after plans to continue the tournament in front of limited crowds of 60 were scratched.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding that we have received from everyone involved in this process over the past 72 hours,” Craig Anderson said in the release. “We have stressed the fluidity of this situation and have been transparent about the possibility that a suspension or cancellation could occur. While we had support from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Peoria City/County Health Department to continue our events with limited spectators, it has become untenable to continue the events among our member schools. Multiple schools who are participating or hosting these sports and activities have been forced to withdraw from those roles, clarifying the need for the IHSA to take definitive action. The Board considered suspending the events, but after deliberate discussion, did not believe that was a realistic option within the timeline. We feel for everyone who has been impacted, but must put the health and safety of all involved ahead of these events.”

The IHSA has not made any decisions related to spring sport tournaments at this time.

“It is too early to make any decisions regarding IHSA spring state final tournaments,” Anderson said. “We respect the NCAA’s decision to cancel its spring championships, but also recognize that the exposure and travel by our high school teams is not as expansive as collegiate teams. At this juncture, we recommend that all IHSA spring sport teams consult their local health departments, and follow their recommendations on if and how to proceed with practices and regular-season contests.”

The Goreville Blackcats boy’s basketball team was scheduled to compete at the State Finals Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.