When most professional and all collegiate sports took the unprecedented action last week of hitting the pause button—and in some cases outright canceling competitions—it was a precursor of high schools and local youth sports groups following suit as the country tries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Fans may be bemoaning the elimination of March Madness and (hopefully only) the suspension of play in all the other major sports, but local athletes are also now on the sidelines as schools and municipal facilities have been shut down in light of the pandemic.
The first high school victims of the coronavirus shutdown were girls and boys basketball teams in the Northern California tournament. A few schools withdrew from the Regionals when members of their school community were diagnosed with the virus and then later last week CIF pulled the plug just before the start of the two-day State finals in Sacramento.
Then local, section and state officials put all high school sports activities on hold for a period that might extend long enough to finish off the spring seasons which are all scheduled to end in May with section and state competitions.
The 10 CIF section commissioners were to meet this Tuesday to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the rest of the spring season. The local Diablo and East Bay athletic leagues are part of North Coast Section and will be abiding by the section’s mandates as well as their own school’s dictates.
Concord AYSO canceled its spring season, the first full cancelation of a local program due to the coronavirus.
AYSO, US Club Soccer and USYSA/Cal North have each put a hold on all soccer activities for their teams, clubs and leagues.
The cities of Concord and Clayton closed their facilities last week.
Swim teams may not be out of commission as long as other sports. The CDC website says, “There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Practices for recreation swim teams are scheduled to begin next month with meets starting in May.
The Oakland Diocese has suspended the CYO track and field season at least through the end of this month. Meets were scheduled this month and next. The season-ending Diocese meet is currently scheduled for May 8-9.
Little League International, which operates more than 6,500 baseball and softball programs in over 80 countries, recommended “that our leagues exercise an abundance of caution and implement a temporary suspension of all league activities until no earlier than April 6.” The three Concord-based little leagues have followed their national organization’s lead with the expectation that the shutdown may go longer.
Athletes and families should be monitoring their school or organization website for updates in this fluid situation as the coronavirus pandemic continues to create unprecedented interruptions to the normal course of life in America and beyond.