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Simeon Football, Two Other Schools, Allowed In Playoffs Despite Teachers' Strike

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Simeon Career Academy's football team, along with two other local affected teams, will move forward to play in post-season games despite the Chicago Teachers Union strike -- if classes resume by Wednesday.

The Illinois High School Association announced the decision Friday afternoon to loosen restrictions into playoffs after hearing an appeal from Simeon. The appeal took two IHSA rules to task: the requirement of playing eight varsity games prior to post-season, and the requirement that a team have three practice days before competition if its practices were canceled for seven days or more.

The IHSA Board waived the eight-game requirement for Simeon, at 8147 S. Vincennes Ave. in Chatham, Phoenix Military Academy, at 145 S. Campbell Ave. on the Near West Side; and Chicago Military Academy, at 3519 S. Giles Ave. at Bronzeville, making them eligible to be placed in the playoff field on Saturday.

However, the board voted against waiving the three-practice requirement, meaning the teams must resume practice by Oct. 30 in order to be eligible to play the first round of playoff games. That means Chicago Public Schools must resume classes by that date. Friday marks the ninth calendar day of the teachers' strike, as teachers demand more resources and controlled class sizes.

"Due to circumstances beyond their control, the three schools in question found themselves lacking the requisite number of games to participate in the State Series despite having otherwise qualified," said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson in a news release. "Given how many student-athletes have been negatively impacted by this strike, at the very least, it was a positive to eliminate some of the unknowns as it relates to the timeline for CPS football teams to participate in the IHSA playoffs."

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