M. Todd Henderson on the Problems with Illinois' Categorization of Sports According to COVID-19 Risk

The Knowledge Problem in Illinois

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its sixth month, Illinoisians are being put to difficult choices about what risks are acceptable. Given the large numbers of us and our different personal situations and tolerances for risk, it is inevitable that many different choices will be made. But Governor J.B. Pritzker would like to make some decisions for us in the name of public health. Case in point: his new edict declaring which youth sports are deemed safe. As with many government decisions, this one is off the mark.

The governor put each sport into one of three risk categories—high, medium or low. With the stroke of his pen, Pritzker deemed low-risk sports safe to proceed, while high-risk ones are limited to training only. There can be no physical contact or games. This is the effective cancelation of these sports.

Some of the categorizations make sense. Tennis and track are deemed low-risk, while wrestling is deemed high-risk. Fair enough. But there are obvious errors in the government's classifications, and these will have enormous consequences on youth sports in Illinois.

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