St. Ignatius guard Parker Higginbottom

St. Ignatius guard Parker Higginbottom celebrates during the sectional semifinal last year. The IHSA announced on Oct. 28 that boys and girls basketball will be included in the winter schedule. (Review file photo)

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on Oct. 28 that the upcoming winter season will be played with a majority of the scheduled sports moving forward as planned, including boys and girls basketball.

Wrestling will be moved to the summer season.

The winter season will start with teams allowed to practice beginning Nov. 16. Competitions can begin Nov. 30.

The season will run through Feb. 13, 2021.

The news of the go-ahead for basketball comes a day after Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) elevated the sport from a medium to a high-risk sport.

“The IHSA Board of Directors made the decision today to continue with the basketball season scheduled in 2020-21,” the IHSA Board said in a release. “The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) offered additional mitigations, such as masks during play and social distancing on benches that the SMAC believed would allow basketball to be played safely.”

The winter season will include boys and girls basketball as well as boys swimming and diving, cheerleading, dance, girls gymnastics and boys and girls bowling.

The IHSA board will review spectator and group gatherings for all winter sports at a future meeting in November.

Specifically for boys and girls basketball, teams will follow limitations allowing a maximum of 31 games. It will become a local school decision to determine if a school will allow their teams to participate following the guidelines developed by the SMAC.