CIF Updates Return to Sports Schedule

By Miller Smith, Staff Writer

// California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) North Coast Commissioner of Athletics Pat Cruickshank released an update on Jan. 14 stating that high school sports could return as early as Feb. 1 based on COVID-19 tiers if the California Department of Public Health and other officials approve the plan. 

   Different sports can begin playing depending on a county’s tier. Those in the purple tier can allow cross-country, golf, tennis, track and field, swimming, and diving. In the red tier, counties can allow baseball, softball, girls lacrosse, and field hockey. When in the orange tier, football, boys lacrosse, soccer, water polo, badminton, and volleyball can play. Competitive cheerleading, basketball, and wrestling can begin in the yellow tier.

   No competition or official practices may begin before Feb. 1 because of the uncertainty of when leagues will start their seasons. There will be no section championships and CIF state or regional opportunities for schools. Also, schools cannot hold competitions until the stay at home order is lifted, and there will be a maximum number of contests for every sport.

   To limit the possible transmission of COVID-19, student-athletes can only play one sport at a time, causing some students to choose between different sports.

   “I feel pretty split and anxious about the new rule on athletes only allowed to play one sport. [My two sports] are both unique in their own ways so picking one over the other will make me miss out on some of the traits of the one I didn’t choose. All in all, it is going to be a hard decision to make,” junior Caroline Crossland said. 

   Some student-athletes were upset that other athletes in different states could play sports while they could not.

   “After seeing the new guidelines, [we] seem to be taking further steps back from being able to play again while other states seem to be making progress by holding games indoors and outdoors,” varsity football player and sophomore Tyler Murphy said.

   Even though the CIF’s decision caused students to miss out on a normal season, many understood its resolution. 

   “[While] it sucks that playoffs and championships were canceled, it’s still a good thing that we can continue to practice safely and that other sports may be able to play again in February,” junior varsity soccer player and sophomore Joey Bettencourt said.

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