Prep sports allowed to begin return to competition

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Pictured above: girls soccer from 2019. File photo by Ted Apodaca

High school sports are on the verge of returning to competition. Cross country has already started and girls tennis returned to the courts on Monday. Most of the other sports would be allowed to begin on Friday, depending on COVID rates in the areas in which the school are located.

The Information was given to media outlets on Friday during a press conference on Zoom, by CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod. The CIF is rolling out sports based on a two-season schedule with sports such as football, cross country, girls volleyball and water polo running between January and April. Season two will run from March to June, with sports including baseball and softball, basketball, soccer, golf and boys volleyball. However, indoor sports such as basketball and volleyball would be required to play outdoors under current guidelines.

Guidelines require that in order for teams to begin practices and play games, the adjusted COVID-19 case rate must be equal to or lower to 14 per 100,000 residents in the county in which the school is located. Although, for now, once a sport’s season is underway, they would be allowed to continue even if the numbers rise back above 14 per 100,000, according to Wigod. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County’s adjusted tier rate was at 12.3 cases per 100,000, opening up the county for prep sports competition. During Friday’s press conference Wigod felt good about the downtrend of the numbers continuing.

“I’d like to be very hopeful and optimistic about those numbers,” Wigod said.

While sports are on the verge of returning, spectators are likely going to have to wait a little longer. The guidelines currently allow for only immediate family members of athletes to attend games. Wigod will be responsible for determining what “immediate family means.” Even though sports will be allowed to restart, it will also fall upon individual schools and districts to determine if they want to participate. Wigod said the CIF-SS would work with whatever decision schools make on which sports they will attempt to bring back.

“We’re going to respect those decisions, we’re going to support those decisions,” Wigod said.

Avalon School Director of Athletics, Patti Engel confirmed that Avalon School baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer and boys golf are working on scheduling games to begin in mid-March.

Prep sports allowed to begin return to competition