Thousands of Illinois high school athletes got the bad news many thought was coming. 

The IHSA Board of Directors met Thursday afternoon to discuss the immediate future of high school sports and determined to pause all IHSA winter sports and activities by November 20th, which is Friday.

A statement from IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:

All IHSA sports and activities will cease by November 20 for what we hope is a short-term pause. Fiven the rising COVID-19 cases in our state and region, we support the Governor's mitigations and believe it is imperative for everyone in the state to do their part in following them so that we can return to high school sportys participation as soon as possible.

The board will revisit the decision in two weeks on December 2nd and then again on December 14th.

In addition to pausing all activities, the IHSA has asked all athletes and coaches to also pause all non-school athletic programs outside of the IHSA's rule.

...we are calling upon non-school programs to hold themselves to that same standard.

The participation clarifications are as follows:

Winter Season Start Date: Given the timing of the Governor's new mitigations, November 16 will not be recognized as the start date of the winter season, regardless of whether winter sport teams conducted any official tryouts or practices. A new start date will be established for each sport once winter sports can be conducted again.

Condition & Weight Training: Conditioning and weight training before and after school are paused. Local schools will decide if conditioning and weight training programs that are a part of their academic curriculums continue or are ceased.

Open Gyms: All indoor open gyms are paused and cannot be conducted at this time.

Outdoor Workouts: Outdoor workouts may be conducted in any sport in groups of 10 or less with masks and social distancing. Coaches are counted toward the 10. Use of sport-specific equipment is allowable with proper sanitizing practices.

One-on-One Skill Work: Per Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations and with school approval, one-on-one skill work between a coach and student-athlete is permitted for winter sports only, but is limited to one coach and one student-athlete per facility.

Activities: Practices and competitions may only be conducted virtually.

Non-School Participation: All sports organizations in the state, school or non-school, have been directed to abide by the Governor's mitigations. IHSA coaches cannot organize non-school participation in any fashion.

Another update will be coming December 2nd.