QHS’s decision to not play volleyball at Hannibal made ‘trying to be cautious’


QUINCY — The decision to cancel the Quincy High School volleyball team’s match against Hannibal, which was scheduled to be played Thursday night at the Pirates’ Korf Gym, was made with the best of intentions.

“We’re trying to be cautious and make sure we get through the year,” QHS athletic director Matt McClelland said.

The regulations brought forth by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and followed by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois High School Association require participants and fans to wear masks during all interscholastic events held indoors.

Neighboring states do not have the same regulations, so the Quincy School District has decided not to plan any indoor sports that cross state boundaries.

“It is a local decision,” McClelland said. “We feel like a district at this point — this is as of right now and I’m not looking past fall sports — it is wiser to play people in our state or teams following the same protocols.”

McClelland pointed to last weekend’s Early Bird Tournament held at the QHS gym with the QHS volleyball team as the host. Kirksville (Mo.) participated and adhered to the rules and protocols Illinois schools are following when it comes to mask usage.

“We want to play in a place that’s going to put us in a period where we’re going to have masks and we’re going to protect people,” McClelland said. “We feel good about that at the end of the day.”

McClelland said district administrators have fielded several questions whether the mandate came from the state. It did not, and he reiterated the decision was made at the local level.

“From a district standpoint, it’s the best move for us,” McClelland said.

Currently, the decision only impacts volleyball, and QHS does not have another trip across state lines scheduled for this season. The Blue Devils do play in the Metro East Classic at Belleville East on October 1-2, and the field could include St. Louis-area schools. Since the tournament is played in Illinois under Illinois guidelines, there is no reason to skip the tournament.

No decisions on how the mask mandates impact basketball or wrestling have been made either at the local or state level. No one expects anything definitive until November.

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