SPHS Sports Update | CIF Puts Competitions, Practices on Hold

The uncertainty of the 2020-21 season continues with the rapid rise of coronavirus cases in the country, with a major impact in California

FILE PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | SouthPasadenan.com News | Ray Solari Stadium with the High School Gymnasiums in the background, at SPHS in South Pasadena

California Interscholastic Federation officials (CIF) have announced that practice and athletic competition start dates for high school sports in the state are on hold.

In a statement, the high school sports agency said all regional and state championships will be cancelled for the fall.

“The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) does not expect the California Department of Public Health will issue any guidance allowing for schools to return to full practice and competition until after January 1, 2021, at the earliest,” reads the statement. “Thus, all full practice and competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued.”

CIF announced that regional and state championship events have been removed from the Season 1 sports calendar to give schools more schedule flexibility. Season 1 sports include football, boys and girls water polo, boys and girls cross country and girls volleyball.

The boys’ volleyball season will be moved from Season 1 to Season 2 to avoid the potential loss of a second full season.

In response to the action taken by CIF, South Pasadena Athletic Director Anthony Chan sent out the following statement, in part, to SPHS families:

“At this time, all state playoffs games are cancelled for Season 1 Sports. The exception is Boys Volleyball, which had their scheduled state playoffs moved to Season 2 since they did not have a chance last school year. However, CIF-SS Playoffs are still scheduled, but will cancel if not played.

We will continue to hold training & conditioning in pods. Full practices, as we would in a normal year, will be to the discretion of LA County Health. Though we have our matches scheduled for Season 1 Sports, we might not be able to play them under current restrictions. If we are unable to play matches that are scheduled, they will continue to cancel until we are able to hold full practices and matches.

There have also been a lot of questions about playing two sports. Under the current pod training guidelines, we can not have student-athletes be in two pods at once.  This does not mean they can’t be in two sports, should restrictions be lifted. We are strongly encouraging student-athletes to pick one sport per season this year. Once a season of training and conditioning for pods is completed, they can head to the next. Should a student-athlete be a Junior or Senior and have conflicting sports in one season, and we are out of pod training, they will need to email both coaches and myself to see if it would be workable between the programs.

Additionally, Boys Basketball is going to begin their pod training and conditioning on December 4th at South Pasadena Middle School. Then, next week, tennis will be held for new members to try to adjust our numbers due to our limited facilities and pod size.  Also, on December 3rd there is going to be maintenance on the trees on Meridian next to the High School Stadium from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Please adjust your parking accordingly, if parking and not dropping-off or picking-up. As times and situations are ever changing, I appreciate your patience and willingness to work with SPHS Athletics. Though we may not have matches, we hope to continue to offer training & conditioning for our students as it is beneficial to both their physical health and mental health. Should any other news arise, I will update you all once again.”

To date just in Los Angeles County, the virus has about 466,000 people, resulting in 8,000 deaths.

Chan said SPHS teams have been participating in monitored conditioning programs where safety for student-athletes is a top priority.

The CIF State office announced in July that all three seasons of high school sports in California would be moved to later in the 2020-2021 school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The three traditional high school sports seasons – fall, winter and spring – were slated between December and June, but instead of the usual three seasons of sports, CIF announced there would be two condensed seasons, fall (Season 1) and spring (Season 2).

Full practices for the fall season – which includes football, competitive cheer, boys and girls cross country, girls volleyball and boys and girls water polo – were scheduled to begin in December. Dates for beginning those seasons of sport are now on hold.

In response to the latest coronavirus numbers, showing an increase in cases, Barbara Ferrer, the director of public health in LA County, said: “I can’t emphasize this enough – everyone must take personal steps to protect themselves and protect others. We can’t afford lapses in the straight-forward recommended safety measures because they have deadly consequences. It is a mistake to relax and let down our guard. Staying home is the best way to protect ourselves, those we love and those most vulnerable in our communities.”