In the last few weeks, California Interscholastic Federation San Diego (CIFSD) cleared all San Diego County high schools to start their sports season.
The decision came from California Governor Gavin Newsom who had lifted the ban of high school contact sports on Feb. 26. Only counties that are in the red and purple tier are allowed to have contact sports as long as their COVID-19 rates are below 14 per 100,000.
Newsom said during a press conference that “weekly testing [is a] requirements will also be put in place for high contact sports, but not moderate sports. The State will pay for the cost of associated with regular testing of high school athletes”.
Some of the high contact sports consist of basketball, football, ice hockey, boy and men lacrosse, rugby, rowing/crew, soccer, and water polo.
Moderate sports are badminton (doubles), baseball, cheerleading, dodgeball, field hockey, gymnastics, kickball, girl and women lacrosse, pickleball (doubles), softball, tennis (doubles), and volleyball.
The majority of high school sports have cut their season in half by playing local schools in their league and area. Instead of football teams playing its traditional 10-game season before COVID-19, they will be playing in a six-game season.
Murrieta Mesa varsity girls volleyball in a conference match. Photo provided by Giovanni Vallido.
Indoor sports like volleyball and basketball will require athletes, coaches, and fans to wear a mask during the match. Outdoor sports supporters and benches are also required to wear masks. Only the athletes’ family members are allowed to attend this season and maintain social distancing guidelines.
Palomar College and other San Diego community colleges will not take part in sports this year because it was a conference decision to opt-out from having a season and keep their student-athletes safe.
Palomar College football coach Joe Early expressed via email “It’s frustrating to see youth sports, and local high school teams, play sports” he also mentioned, “Unfortunately, our level doesn’t get a lot of vocal support from parents”.
The big reason why high schools are having a sports season is that the parents, coaches, and students rallied in a march called Let Them Play which got the governor’s attention.
“Football is a fall sport and during that time, I believe the right decision was made not to play. But now, a year later, it’s time to get back and allow athletics at Palomar to resume,” said Early.
- Sports Blog Generic: Palomar College | Used With Permission