“High School Sports–Had to Happen”
If you are an Oceanside Pirate, a Poway Titan, a Carlsbad Lancer or a Rando Bernardo Bronco, you feel disappointed.
You might play at Helix or San Ysidro or Mira Mesa, but you won’t be playing this fall.
LaCosta Canyon and Torrey Pines, Escondido to St Augustine’s, Ramona and Eastlake..you have an empty feeling.
It’s everywhere, affecting everyone, and it is sad.
The CIF, the governing body of high school sports, had to do it, and they did it.
There will be no fall sports at any high school in the state of California.
This had to happen, and the reality is Governor Gavin Newsome made the decision for them last Friday, when he announced schools would not open this fall in California.
Virtual learning will take place via computers starting in September and going forever however long it takes to tamp down the raging spread of the virus. Classrooms will be closed and so will stadium gates.
The scary spread of the virus triggered all this. So did the cost of testing athletes multiple times a week. And the very real risk of an outbreak.
The CIF’s decision doesn’t solve the virus, and it creates alot of other issues, for every high school athletic department in the state.
The big money maker is high school football. No camps opening up next week, no games to be played on Friday night, until January.
The CIF calendar shows football camps opening December 14th. Games starting on January 8th.
The playoffs will roll out in early April, and the state finals will be April 17th.
We can do that because we live in San Diego. You might have trouble doing that in parts of Northern California, where winter weather is in full force that time of the year.
In essence, the CIF is going to schedule 3-seasons of sports, into 2-seasons on the calendar.
Basketball will start camp in January, and will play into spring with the state tourney June 19th.
Baseball will open later, and play till June 26th.
The big issue will be the crunch on high school facilities. High school football fields also serve as the home of the soccer team at many schools. Ditto for field hockey or lacrosse. How to make all that fit.
The basketball court serves as home for volleyball and wrestling and more.
Baseball, track, cross country, swimming, are more than often operating out of their own facilities.
And then there is the wear and tear on athletes, some who excel and star in a couple of sports in a given school year.
And there are issues now with coaches, some of whom work for a couple of sports, crossing over from one season to the next.
And for the star athlete, the star quarterback or running back, does he even play in the spring football season, or try to graduate early, and head to college early, where he might take place in spring football.
CIF incoming Commissioner Joe Heinz will have his hands full now, trying to develop an all-encompassing calendar, to fit all the teams onto fields and in practice facilities.
Maybe teams play a reduced ‘conference only’ schedule in the marquee sports. Maybe there are more quad track meets to give everyone a chance to get competition in. Maybe basketball pares down its holiday tourneys and out of league schedules.
It will be different, it will be for one year, but it still presents challenges, especially if the US cannot put a lid on this virus.
Maybe as high school athletes get to play games in January, we will have a vaccine in time, that might change the course of our lives.
But for now, no football in Oceanside, delayed wrestling in Poway, a different schedule for Torrey Pines basketball and all the other schools.
800,000 student athletes up and down California won’t be in class in the fall, and won’t be on the field, on the court, or in the gym, at least in September.
We are losing a part of our community for the next couple of months, on top of all the other things we have lost, jobs, family time, friends.
Would have never thought a ‘stay at home’ order would last this long, spill this deep into other facets of our lives.
The CIF, with an impossible task ahead of them, did the only thing they could.