September 21, 2012
Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) interscholastic prep sports program has resumed following the end of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike. Many practices, games and matches are currently underway, with CPS football teams returning to the field of competition this Saturday and Sunday. CPS will post the revised fall sports schedules at www.cps.edu later today.
“Our students are back in class with their teachers and back on the field with their coaches, right where they belong,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard. “We’re looking forward to a great fall season.”
CPS has been able to reschedule many games and matches for non-football sports, and Sports Administration officials are working cooperatively with the Chicago Park District to ensure that facilities will be available for as many soccer, softball, tennis and golf matches as possible that have been lost to date because of the CTU strike. Some matches in these sports resumed mid-week.
Football games scheduled for this weekend, which is Week five of the Public League season, will take place on Saturday and Sunday. An Illinois High School Association (IHSA) rule requires three separate days of practices for teams that have been inactive for seven days. Practices took place Wednesday and Thursday and are continuing today, so teams will have met the practice requirement in order to play games on Saturday and Sunday.
Some 11,000 students participate in fall high school sports including football, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis and volleyball. The CTU strike sidelined CPS student-athletes for more than a week. Thirty-six football games, as well as approximately 75 other interscholastic sports contests, were cancelled last week. Due to the strike, CPS also was required to cancel all official practices in all fall sports across the District.
Although CPS teams have lost one week of competition, they remain eligible for the state tournament because IHSA rules require that teams play a minimum of eight regular season games. Some adjustments for next week’s football schedule (Week six in the schedule) might be necessary because of a separate rule that there must be five days in between football games, and any such changes will be reflected in the posted schedules and communicated to school officials.
CPS had earlier sought a waiver from the IHSA to allow its games and practices to continue as scheduled during the strike; the waiver was denied.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.