PEORIA — Illinois is among a handful of states in the U.S. that will not have high school football this fall.
The National Federation of State High School Associations has been tracking the pandemic-related decisions made by high school sports governing bodies around the country.
The IHSA's decision Wednesday to shift football to a shortened spring schedule put Illinois with California, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia among those who will not play football this fall because of COVID-19.
The NFHS says 27 states have made no changes, while 24 states have made changes to their sports schedules.
Illinois neighbors Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and Missouri have made no changes to their sports schedules. Wisconsin and Kentucky have modified their sports calendars.
"For the last couple of months, we’ve had Zoom meetings with other Midwest states and also on a national level," IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said Wednesday. "We’ve compared notes in all of those meetings. I was definitely aware of what was happening around us.
"I shared those results with (Illinois state officials) to advocate for our students in Illinois who were being held up from what’s being permitted in other states. I don’t know why things are trending a certain way in one state vs. our state.
"But I’m definitely aware that states around us are planning to go through with all of their fall sports with some delays.
"Those are good plans and I hope and pray they get them to play out. But we recognize in our state those higher-risk sports could end in shutdowns. We have leaned on the guidance of the governor and the IDPH and that’s how our board ended up with our plan."
Wisconsin opted to start girls golf, girls tennis, girls swimming and diving and boys and girls cross country on Aug. 17, and delay football, boys soccer and boys and girls volleyball until Sept. 7.
Kentucky delayed fall sports launch to Aug. 24, with the exception of boys golf.
You can see the national map, and a detailed list of sports schedule changes by going to https://www.nfhs.org/ and clicking on the Fall Sports Status Update under the News category.
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports columnist, and covers the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.
Dave Reynolds contributed to this story.