The CIF released a new set of guidelines on Dec. 18 that organizes sports according to what tier they’ll be allowed to play and lists the modified ways in which they can be played.
Along with the new guidelines, which were released four days after the state’s Department of Public Health released updated guidelines, the Sac-Joaquin Section sent a letter to member schools’ principals and athletic directors that noted that the postseason for season one sports, including football and girls volleyball, is being cancelled so that the regular season has a better chance of being played out in full. Instead, a bowl game could take the place of the regular postseason.
The SJS noted that due to travel restrictions due to shelter-in-place, some league seasons may be shortened due to some teams not being able to play one another. However, there are no changes for season two, which includes baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field and wrestling.
The CIF is pushing to have more sports allowed at the earliest time possible, noting that the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines present a stricter timeframe. The CIF had hoped all sports could be played under the “substantial” tier; that tier currently only allows baseball, field hockey, girls lacrosse and softball along with the sports offered in the purple “widespread” tier (cross country, golf, skiing/snowboarding, swimming, tennis, and track and field.
CIF Commissioner Michael Garrison said in the CIF’s letter to principals and athletic directors that it will continue to communicate with the CDPH and try to allow more sports to play.
No decision has been made on the cross country postseason, which will be evaluated by the SJS in mid-late January.
For season one sports, modifications by the CIF include possibly widening courses to at least six feet at the narrowest point of the course, extending the team box on football sidelines to the 10-yard line to provide better social distancing, encouraging long sleeves for both players and officials to reduce the chance of skin contact with footballs and not switching benches between sets during volleyball matches.