By Tom Bequette, Online Sports Editor
// The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced on Tuesday, Nov. 16 that Governor Gavin Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly from the California Department of Public Health postponed the release of California’s updated youth sports guidance. CIF competitions will remain prohibited until the updated guidance is given.
The CIF first postponed the fall sports season on July 20 when they pushed the fall sports to start in mid-December, winter sports into the spring, and spring sports a few weeks back. However, the CIF did acknowledge that their plans would be subject to change depending on the spread of COVID-19.
“We all knew that conditions would inevitably change throughout the year as [COVID-19] evolves, so it wasn’t a surprise but it is a gut punch,” North Coast Section Commissioner Pat Cruickshank said to Blueprint.
Governor Newsom cited the recent COVID-19 spikes across the state as a major reason for the decision.
“My heart goes out to the high school athletes who have not been able to have their season yet, but with the recent increases in [COVID-19] numbers we are not able to proceed at this time,” Newsom said in his Monday news conference.
Several students support the decision out of concern for their safety and the safety of others.
“It’s probably the right decision. [COVID-19] is just out of control now, so it just wouldn’t really be safe to return to team sports just yet,” junior varsity track and field sprinter Aidan Shvo said.
However, frustration continues to rise among high school athletes and coaches as California continues to be one out of 13 states without high school sports.
“It feels like everywhere else in the country is playing football, even in the [National Football League], so it’s really frustrating that we can’t,” junior and varsity football player Ryan Allen said.
Several student-athletes felt as though they could practice while taking precautionary measures.
“I just wish that we could be out there playing our sports because I feel like our coaches are capable enough to keep us safe,” senior varsity football player Hunter Ridley said.
Despite pressure to get the season underway, the CIF is keeping the health of athletes and coaches at the top of their priorities.
“The CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee will be working hard on figuring out the safest possible way for sports to proceed as the safety of our students and coaches is always our main priority,” Cruickshank said.