IHSA Announces 2021 Softball State Finals

During the April 2021 IHSA Executive Board meeting the board approved the dates and location of the 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A softball state finals.

Softball State Finals

June 16: Class 1A & 2A State Finals at Louisville Slugger in Peoria
June 17: Class 3A & 4A State Finals at Louisville Slugger in Peoria

The Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria, IL provides ten outdoor, fully synthetic fields. Two of those ten fields are considered “championship fields” seating 1,300 people with a video board and concert sound. The venue also provides two 200′ fully synthetic fields under a dome for play in inclement weather.

A full-service restaurant and bar, a team shop, shaded bleachers, scoreboards on every field, well-maintained restrooms, and live streaming capabilities at every field make the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex an ideal location for such an event.

stadium 1 field aerial photo
Louisville Slugger Stadium 1

IHSA Mask Guidance

Earlier today Tracie Henry, Assistant Executive Director of Softball for the IHSA, released additional guidance on mask-wearing during high school softball contests. Following guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health the following guidance was provided:

Officials must wear a mask when:

  • Entering and exiting the field
  • During the pre-game meeting
  • During close conversation with coaches, team personnel, or conferring with other umpires

Officials do not need to wear a mask when:

  • When changing in a locker room or at your vehicle
  • While actively officiating the game

Futhermore, umpires are not responsible for monitoring mask requirements or social distance expectations in the bench/dugout area or with spectators. Those responsibilities fall upon coaches and school administrators.

EPG Returns to CISassigning for 2022

El Paso-Gridley Banner
El Paso-Gridley High School

El Paso-Gridley becomes the first of the Heart of Illinois Conference schools to return to CISassigning for the 2022 season.

After discussion with El Paso-Gridley, CISassigning will be handling contests for the district for the Spring of 2022. The game schedule has been provided and is available on the Available Games page. Because these dates are in 2022, and the Spring 2021 season is still being sorted out, these games will not be assigned until the weekend of April 17, 2021 at the earliest.

If you are a CISassigning umpire and are interested in applying for games, please do so within the next week. If you know umpires who might be interested in joining the CISassigning umpire ranks, please direct them to the Registration page.

IHSA Plans Postseason

The IHSA has announced that it will move forward with planning a postseason for Spring sports. Though details are not available yet, we do know that the Spring softball season is scheduled to end June 26.

As a result, a number of schools will be cancelling their later-scheduled games. Note that we don’t have enough information yet to know if the IHSA will maintain its normal staggered schedule for 1A/2A vs 3A/4A. Keep your calendars up-to-date to games that may be scheduled in June.

IHSA Expands Fan Attendance

On Monday the IHSA announced that outdoor Spring sports could increase attendance from 50 persons to 20% of venue attendance.

As reported on CIproud.com, “IHSA guidelines will still require all student-athletes to participate in masks, except for swimming & diving, gymnasts on an apparatus, and outdoor events where social distancing can occur. All game personnel not participating in the contest will also be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing.”

Guidelines and attendance allowances are subject to the Restore Illinois guidelines.

Two Schools Announce Pay Increase

Two local schools have announced that they will increase their umpire pay for the Spring 2021 season.

Dee-Mack will pay $60 for a single game and $110 for a double header.

Central Catholic will pay $65 for a single game and $120 for a double header.

I am still working to get pay information from other area schools and will update the Pay Rates page when information is provided.

Starting Fresh – IHSA Spring 2020

As everyone knows by now, the IHSA 2020 season won’t start until May 2020. There is still uncertainty about the impact of a late-starting season on travel softball and other high school sports. In addition, with high school football moving to the Spring, there will be additional impacts to the availability of officials across all sports.

Due to this uncertainty, and the late start of the season, I will be canceling all softball games in Arbiter through the end of April. That will clear your calendars for other assignors to schedule you without seeing you’re booked.

When I get more information and adjusted schedules from schools, games will be assigned following the standard process.