New Restrictions on Youth/Adult Sports Announced

July 29, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today guidance, effective Aug. 15, for youth and adult recreational sports, including, but not limited to, school-based sports, travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs. Collegiate sports and professional leagues are not impacted by these restrictions. The guidelines are available at the state’s COVID-19 website.

“I know our hearts break when we hear the word ‘restrictions,' especially when it comes to our children's love for their sports. Whether this year is their first time on the court or it's their senior season - this isn't the news anyone wants to hear,” Governor Pritzker. “But with rising rates of spread of the virus, with rising positivity rates throughout Illinois and the United States, this is a situation where the toughest choice is also the safest one. Therefore today, my administration is releasing new guidance restricting youth and adult recreational sports in Illinois. We have worked in consultation with the governing bodies of many of these organized sports programs, and collectively we hope that, when metrics and risks improve measurably, we will be able to restart these sports.”

The new guidance categorizes sports into three risk levels – lower, medium, or higher – based on the amount of contact between athletes and their proximity during play. The guidance sets four levels of play allowed based on current public health conditions:

  • Level 1: only no-contact practices and training are allowed;\
  • Level 2: intra-team scrimmages are allowed with parental consent for minors but there can be no competitive play;   
  • Level 3: intra-conference, intra-EMS-region or intra-league play is allowed and there may be state- or league-championship games allowed for low-risk sports only; and   
  • Level 4: tournaments, out-of-conference/league play, and out-of-state play are allowed. Championship games are also allowed.

Based on current conditions, lower risk sports can be played at levels 1, 2 and 3. Medium risk sports can be played at levels 1 and 2, and higher risk sports can be played at level 1.