CIF sports appear ready to resume after stay-at-home order rescinded


Granite Hills’ Izzy Cox was an impact freshman on the school’s spring 2020 swim team.

The indefinite stay-at-home or­der imposed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom was lifted on Mon­day for all regions in the state, pav­ing the way for a quicker return to play for high school sports.

San Diego Section Commission­er Joe Heinz said the stay-at-home order was among many items that has contributed to the long road back to the playing field for area teenagers.

The section revealed its latest plan to resume education-based athletics on Jan. 13, with the re­scinding of the stay-at-home order the key to resuming athletic com­petitions.

Conditioning drills have been ongoing. Practices are set to start Feb. 1 for cross country and swim­ming and diving.

“We’ve talked to most of the conference presidents and we’ve received positive feedback from them,” Heinz said in an upbeat tone. “I think there will be chal­lenges with pools maybe, but hopefully we’ll receive help from some districts.”

Individual schools and school districts may delay participation in particular sports based on local health data, Heinz added.

High school sports shut down in March 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization.

Youth sports leaders have since taken directive from national, state and local health organizations, in­cluding the Centers for Disease Control and the California Depart­ment of Public Health.

The CDPH issued its latest youth sports guidance on Dec. 14 that gave each sport a risk assess­ment based on the state’s color-coded tier system.

Heinz said the California Inter­scholastic Federation, including the San Diego Section, will abide by all CDC and CDPH directives in opening up sporting opportuni­ties on campus.

“We (were) just waiting for the stay-at-home order to come off,” Heinz said. “When that happens, we’ll have lots of sports going on.”

Boys and girls golf, boys and girls coed tennis and boys and girls track and field are all set to start practice Feb. 15. Golf and tennis are now cleared to resume competition once student-athletes have accumulated enough practice time.

Track and field may start com­petitions on March 13.

All those sports are classified as low risk outdoor sports by the CDPH and may operate while their counties remain in the most restrictive Purple Tier.

“Once we get to Feb. 15, we’ll have a lot of sports going on,” Heinz said. “It will feel more like normal. Kids will be out practicing and playing again, and the media will be covering them.”

More sports are expected to open up as well. Once the county enters the lower restrictive Red Tier, Season 2 activities may start in baseball, girls lacrosse and soft­ball on March 13.

When the county reaches the even less restrictive Orange Tier, sports such as boys lacrosse, boys and girls soccer, boys volleyball and boys and girls water polo may start their seasons.

Soccer is scheduled start Feb. 22. Heinz said the section will open practice for that sport once the county reaches the Red Tier.

The date set for the section’s cross country championships is March 27. Dates are still pending for the section’s swim and dive fi­nals, though the season must end by April 24.


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