The possibility for high school students to play all fall sports is again at a standstill.
On Thursday, a DuPage County judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the Illinois High School Association that could have allowed more fall sports to be played.
The class action lawsuit, brought on by a group of student-athletes and their parents, was dismissed Monday morning.
They argued that IHSA did not follow the procedure of conducting a referendum vote with schools when making the decision to not allow students to play certain fall sports like football and volleyball.
“What ISHA did was they adopted Pritzker’s guidelines that may or may not be part of an executive order which in of itself may or may not be enforceable,” said Jeffrey Widham, the lawyer representing the parents and athletes. “It was up to member schools to vote on whether to follow those guidelines and the governor’s wishes — and that didn’t happen.”
IHSA declined to speak with WTTW News for the story, referring instead to a statement from IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson which reads, in part:
“While the IHSA defended itself in court, our defense was not a rebuttal against expanding the participation opportunities for high school athletes in Illinois. The IHSA has and continues to believe that we can safely conduct high school sports in Illinois throughout the 2020-21 school year. We are already conducting cross country, golf, swimming & diving, and tennis this fall, with a plan in place to run all sports in modified seasons this school year. If changes to that schedule are forthcoming, we feel that the path to achieving them is through collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and state leadership, as opposed to litigation.”
The IHSA has allowed non-contact sports like boys and girls golf, boys and girls cross country, girls tennis and girls swimming and diving to continue for the fall season.