CHICAGO (CBS) — A day after the NBA suspended its season when a player was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the Illinois High School Association is placing strict limits on the number of fans who can attend the rest of the state’s basketball playoffs.
The IHSA said no more than 60 spectators per team will be allowed in the arena for this weekend’s Class 1A and Class 2A boys’ basketball state finals. Those games will be live-streamed by the IHSA.
The same limit will apply to all other remaining basketball games this year, including the Class 3A and Class 4A sectional, super-sectional, and state finals.
“This was a difficult decision shaped by thoughtful deliberation set against a truly unprecedented backdrop,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “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.”
Fans can get full refunds for any tickets already purchased for remaining games.
In addition to the limits on fans for the basketball playoffs, the IHSA said also is placing restrictions on the upcoming debate series, drama & group interpretation series, and Scholastic Bowl series; which all will be limited only to competing students, coaches, and essential personnel.
REMAINING IHSA WINTER STATE SERIES SCHEDULE
-Class 1A/2A Boys Basketball State Finals on Friday & Saturday, March 13-14 at the Peoria Civic Center.
-Class 3A Sectional Semifinal on March 12.
-Class 3A & Class 4A Sectional Finals on March 13 & 14.
-Scholastic Bowl Sectionals on March 14.
-Class 3A & Class 4A Super-Sectionals on March 17.
-Scholastic Bowl State Finals on March 20.
-Class 3A & Class 4A State Finals on March 20 & 21.
-Debate State Finals on March 20 & 21.
-Drama/Group Interpretation Sectionals on March 20 & 21.
-Drama/Group Interpretation State Finals on March 27 & 28.
The following ancillary events at the Class 1A/2A Boys Basketball State Finals have also been impacted:
-Thursday’s team shootarounds at Carver Arena will not be open to the public.
-The Class 1A & 2A Finals of the Country Financial Three-Point Showdown have been postponed.
-The March Madness Experience in the adjacent Peoria Civic Center exhibit halls will not open this weekend.
-Saturday’s Unified State Basketball Tournament held in conjunction with Special Olympics Illinois has been canceled.
-The state basketball welcome dinners have been canceled.
-The Wheelchair Basketball State Tournament on March 20 & 21 has been canceled.
-The Learning From the Legends Clinic on March 21 has been canceled.
-The Student Section Showdown winner announcement has been postponed.
-All-State Team and IESA champion recognition will not occur.