A key decision will be made by July 20 from commissions at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) as to whether sports will be scheduled this fall at the high school level and if they do what it will look like due to the coronavirus.
As a result of ongoing public health and safety concerns, CIF has prepared to provide “alternative calendars,” according to a statement released by the organization that governs high school athletics.
“We are currently in a dead period until June 18,” said Anthony Chan, South Pasadena High’s second-year athletic director. “At that time, we have the ability to have our coaches contact their teams and begin any virtual practices to prepare for a possible fall season.”
Chan explained that CIF has left decisions to be made by individual districts based on their county guidelines. “Since CIF and CIF-Southern Section cover a lot of land, it is hard to find a one size fit all,” he said.
Will Friday night-lights, as in varsity football, return in the fall?
“At this time, I am unable to answer that question,” Chan said. “I know the coaches, student-athletes, and parents are prepared. We have also had a lot of interest from incoming 9th graders for football, so I am hopeful that we can hold athletic contests in some capacity and continue to build our athletics program.”
While no teams are working out currently in face of the virus, Chan recognizes that athletes can work-out on their own should CIF give the fall season get the go-ahead. “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail,” he said. “If coaches are having virtual practices and classroom, student-athletes should be attending to learn. If work-outs are sent, we should be doing them to the best of our ability. We want to be ready should we get a green light.”
High School athletic directors like Chan are in a position where they must await the outcome, while also acknowledging these are uneasy times for everyone. “It’s been a constant back and forth of information with changes happening very quickly,” noted Chan. “At this moment, it looks like everything is opening up, but just as easily we could be facing a closure again. I want to emphasize the importance of social distancing when possible and wearing masks. If we can continue to take COVID-19 seriously, we can try to find a way to get back to some form of ‘normal.’”
“We continue to monitor the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education and State/Local County Health Departments and Agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts when they are planning when and how to reopen school this Fall,” issued CIF in a statement. “As our member schools begin planning for the reopening of school, the CIF, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, will be determining by July 20 if Fall Sports will continue as currently scheduled.”