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 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.

IHSA Decision Shakes Up the Season

A couple of weeks ago the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) adjusted the start date of many Spring sports, softball included. With practices able to start on April 7, and no more than seven practice dates before being able to play, most high schools have adjusted their schedules.

Originally many schools had their games starting later in the Spring and going through early-to-mid June. The IHSA Spring softball season is slated to end on Saturday, June 19, with the possibility of a state series to wrap up the season.

Umpires have likely seen a number of cancellations over the past couple days as schools move their late May/early June games to mid-April. These changes have caused a lot of work for athletic directors, assignors, and umpires. Believe me, the athletic directors have earned their pay over the past year as they work to provide the best possible athletic experience to student athletes.

As with any Spring, there will be additional adjustments as mother nature brings us showers, and games get postponed, rained out, or rescheduled. I sincerely thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we work to get things squared away.

Yours in sport,

-Rob-

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.

Behind the Mask Podcast: Episode 108: Mask Up

Today’s topic is going to be Mask Up. This is about softball. There are a lot of rules that have been put forward to allow the girls to be able to play, coaches to coach, and for us to get back on the field to umpire. Regardless of how you feel about COVID-19, its impacted a lot of things in our lives. How does that affect us on the field? And the most important of that is what can we do as officials to make sure that we don’t hinder those games from being played?

IHSA Licensing and Concussion Test

I emailed a number of officials a couple of days ago notifying them that they are not able to umpires IESA/IHSA games because their registration is incomplete.

Umpires, please remember that CISA cannot assign you to work IESA or IHSA contests if you are not on the IHSA approved umpire list. The most commonly overlooked element that prevents umpires from being approved is the concussion test.

The approved umpires list is updated multiple times a day, so if you did forget to complete that test, and take and pass it, the list will reflect the change fairly quickly. If you have received that email from me, please complete your registration and ensure your tests are complete.

Schools can rest assured that any umpires who are not IHSA-licensed will not be assigned to games.