IHSA cancels boys basketball state playoffs in Illinois


The IHSA officially canceled the boys basketball state tournament on Thursday night due to public health concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

Following a day in which the IHSA attempted to keep the state playoffs going, the organization followed the path of other major pro sports leagues and the NCAA and opted to put public health ahead of competition. 

March Madness is officially over. 2020 is the first year since 1907 in which a boys basketball state champion will not be crowned. 

“We appreciate the patience and understanding that we have received from everyone involved in this process over the past 72 hours,” said the IHSA's Craig Anderson in the statement. “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 earlier in the day had called for fan limits at remaining state tournament games. New rules called for only 60 fans per school per game in an attempt to slow down the spread of coronavirus. 

The Class 1A and 2A boys basketball state semifinals and finals were scheduled for the next two days in Peoria. Class 3A and 4A were in the midst of sectional finals for Friday night. The week after for those two classes included supersectionals on Tuesday and the state semifinals and finals the next weekend. Now that the boys basketball season is officially over, it will be fascinating to see the next steps involving Illinois high school basketball. Sports across the country are limited right now given the public health crisis. But the sport could make a return in June with the summer shootouts and a new recruiting period that remains in flux with the current status.

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