Some Sports Get The Go Ahead

There is good news heading into the Winter Break and coming back in January. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced youth and high school athletics could begin soon. In a public statement yesterday, CDPH offered guidance for youth and high schools to follow should they pursue resuming, or starting, their sports seasons. But, it still all depends on CDPH and the current Tier of the County.

The Tiers, as documented by CDPH, are broken down into four categories: Widespread (Purple), Substantial (Red), Moderate (Orange), and Minimal (Yellow). This morning, Weston Ranch High School is in the purple tier, which means that while most sports are on “lockdown,” the purple level does allow outdoor, low-contact sports. Competition for these sports cannot begin before January 25th, but another evaluation is scheduled for January 4th.

“We’re pretty sure some sports will happen this year,” said WRHS Athletic Director Brett Lewis. “The tiered system shows that while our county is in the purple, we can begin to prepare for golf, tennis, swimming, track, and cross country.”

It is unclear whether the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section will change dates for sports seasons. The original plan of having a “Season 1” and “Season 2” has been put on hold with the news from the CDPH; however, with the announcement yesterday, the CIF has promised to release information between January 18th and January 25th. The CIF has not ruled anything out, but the Tier system calls for them to reevaluate governing high school sports in the future. Shortening seasons to at least get some sports that fall within the high-contact (football, basketball, and volleyball) sports designation are on the table, as is allowing student-athletes to play multiple sports. A calendar from the CIF is yet to be released.

“Once we are promoted to the less-restrictive red tier, we can begin to prepare for moderate contact sports like baseball, softball, and cheerleading,” Lewis said. “Football, soccer, and volleyball won’t play until we get into the orange tier.”

It’s important to note that plans to move forward are fluid at best. While there is a plan to resume high school athletics’ normalcy, the public must still proceed cautiously. Schools and communities must still follow all protocols (wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, etc.) to help move this plan to fruition. If it’s essential to begin sports, everyone has to do the prework.

Lewis concluded, “We are excited that there is some hope for high school athletics this school year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like all sports will have a season, but getting Spring sports in will be a positive thing for the students since their sports were cut short last year.”