California became the 10th state to cancel its high school spring sports schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The California Interscholastic Federation last Friday announced the decision after a conference call between CIF executive director Ron Nocetti and the 10 section commissioners, including new North Coast Section commissioner of athletics Pat Cruickshank.
The memo states that there will be no section, regional or state play, which obviously hits hardest for seniors who are deprived of that opportunity in their final high school season.
Keeping everyone safe
The president of the NCS board of managers is Concord High School principal Rianne Pfaltzgraff, a former collegiate basketball and softball student athlete. She summed up the disruptive legacy of the last few years for high school sports in California: “We have seen extraordinary circumstances in the past few years. We have cancelled school and athletics for smoke and air quality, for excessive heat, and now for a global pandemic. Although it is very disappointing for our athletes, we realize it is necessary to keep everyone safe, as is one of the goals of the NCS.”
Local high schools belong to the Diablo and East Bay athletic leagues. Spring sports include softball, baseball, swimming and diving, boys volleyball, track and field, boys golf, badminton, lacrosse, cheer and boys tennis. Club sports mountain biking, rugby, ice hockey and trap shooting also held in the spring.
EBAL commissioner Leo Lopoz of De La Salle High announced on Monday morning that during a conference call with the league’s board of governors and athletic directors it was decided to cancel spring sports. The statement said, “Our hearts go out to all of the student athletes and coaches who will not be able to compete this spring, especially the senior student athletes.”
DAL decision coming soon
DAL commissioner Pat Lickiss will have a Zoom meeting with principals from his member schools soon to make a determination about the fate of spring sports. The expectation is that there will be no resumption of play as noted in numerous social media posts from schools, teams and athletes since the CIF announcement.
The CIF’s cancelation notice said in part, “We understand this is disappointing for everyone involved in education-based athletics and empathize with our student-athletes and all who are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. As always, our top priority is everyone’s ongoing health and safety during this challenging time, and we all look forward to the day when education-based athletics resumes.”
For the first time in the history of the tournament, CIF canceled the 40th annual basketball championships a day before they were to start on March 13 due to COVID-19. The following week, CIF postponed its spring sports to take a wait-and-see approach until last Friday’s meeting. Some spring sports teams had a handful of competitions before the suspension of all school activities in mid-March.
While all schools in the Bay Area are closed through at least May 3, many people including Gov. Gavin Newsom, are anticipating that schools will not reopen before the fall term.
Links to Sports organizations websites
To read the message from CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti, CLICK HERE.