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Jump Ball: Illinois Governor and Athletic Association Tussle Over Basketball Season Start Date

Coronavirus K-12 Education

Along with every one of our school district clients who are members of the Illinois High School Association, we are trying to sort out the conflict between the Governor’s action on Tuesday of this week to postpone high school basketball and the IHSA’s decision on Wednesday to start the season as scheduled next month. This is further complicated by the Governor’s statement on Thursday about moving basketball to Spring and advice from a prominent insurance cooperative about loss of tort immunity liability protection. We are analyzing the Governor’s actions to determine their level of compulsion, assessing the IDPH’s and ISBE’s enforcement rights and intentions, and communicating with the IHSA. After review of the IHSA’s 20-21 Basketball Considerations posted this afternoon and the SMAC report expected to be issued by Friday and re-examining the liability protections afforded by the Illinois Tort Immunity Act, other Illinois laws, and the possible use of waivers, we plan to have initial guidance and assessment of risks and options for our clients early next week. We have had numerous discussions with clients already and their questions and concerns have been helpful as we identify the issues, formulate answers, and develop options to address another unprecedented turn in our COVID-driven environment. We welcome such communications from all of our clients to help us provide the best advice possible.