PEORIA – The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) in a release Thursday announced attendance for all remaining state basketball games and other IHSA events will be limited to 60 spectators per school to preemptively reduce possible spread of COVID-19.
“This was a difficult decision shaped by thoughtful deliberation set against a truly unprecedented backdrop,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in the release. “IHSA Basketball is America’s Original March Madness, and we recognize that this tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the competing teams, communities and fans. Ultimately though, we have to put the health and safety of the students, along with the general public, ahead of the spectacle of the event. This is and remains a fluid situation. It is important that our member schools and fans understand that events outside any of our control could lead to further changes over the coming hours and days.”
The decision follows consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Peoria City/County Health Department, the latter of whom made the recommendation that no more than 60 spectators per school be allowed in the arena for each contest at this weekend’s Class 1A and Class 2A Boys Basketball State Finals, which includes the Goreville-Roanoke matchup Friday afternoon.
Matt Troha with the IHSA said they hope to continue the tournament with the restrictions, but nothing is being ruled out in order to keep everyone involved safe.
Games impacted by this change include the 2020 IHSA Class 1A/2A Boys Basketball State Finals March 13-14, plus the remaining contests at the Class 3A and Class 4A Sectional, Super-Sectional, and State Final levels. IHSA State Series’ in Debate, Drama & Group Interpretation, and Scholastic Bowl will also operate under a similar premise, with those events being limited to competing students, coaches and essential meet personnel.
Full refunds will be available for those who purchased tickets in advance for the remaining games.
Withers Broadcasting Companies/Dana Communications station 104.7FM WNSV in Nashville, IL will carry all 1A/2A games from The Civic Center on the radio and online at v1047.com this weekend.