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Gov. Pritzker Releases Restrictions For Youth Sports In Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Citing the rising rate of COVID-19 spread in Illinois, Governor Pritzker announced a set of guidelines and restrictions for youth sports.

Under the state's Restore Illinois Phase 4 plan, youth and recreational sports venues can operate at maximum of 50% of facility capacity. At the max, 20% seating capacity for spectators, with groups of up to 50. According to the state "capacity restrictions and group sizes will be reassessed based on the latest science and public health data on an ongoing basis throughout Phase 4."

"As much as I'd like to, this virus isn't something that we can wish away. So we have to act responsibly and collectively to protect the people that we love," the governor said. "There are certain sports, whose seasons can move forward with more limited restrictions tennis and baseball as examples simply don't carry the higher risk inherent in contact sports like wrestling and football."

Pritzker said there are three levels of risk that helped to determine which sports have what restrictions. They are categorized into lower, medium and higher.

"Think of these guidelines like a grid. Three risk levels of sports and four tiers of levels of play, based on current public health conditions at each of the four tiers, different aspects of play are permitted from no contact practices that includes conditioning and training at level one to full scale tournaments in level four effective, August 15," Pritzker said. "Lower risk sports like tennis, and baseball and golf can be played at levels one two and three, with activities like no contact practices teams scrimmages and certain competitive games allowed with DPH safety guidance."

The governor said "at risk" sports including basketball, soccer and volleyball can take place as levels one and two with no contact practices and team scrimmages allowed and higher risk sports like football. Hockey and lacrosse can be played at level one with no contact practices. trainings and conditioning.

"With rising rates have spread of the virus, with rising positivity rates throughout Illinois, and the entire United States, this is a situation where the toughest choice is also the safest choice," Pritzker said.

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