By: Chloe Bruno
After high school sports kept getting postponed, California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) decided on Tuesday, January 19th to cancel fall sports play-offs. While this decision was supposed to happen earlier in the year, it’s been put off many times due to fluctuations in the COVID classification tiers that Orange County is in. While the decision was made for the playoffs to be canceled, CIF announced that they were still looking for ways to make it work.
Many athletes, parents, and coaches have raised their concern about this and some even took initiative to start a group called Let Them Play California to raise awareness to start sports. It has gathered over 40 thousands members on Facebook where many people share stories of their children and how their mental and physical health has been impacted this year because of the inability to play sports. Many are comparing high school sports to college sports to try to get the season back. Since many college teams are still playing, people believe the same can be applied to high school however it’s far from the same thing. College players are adults who can sign waivers and similar paperwork while high school athletes can’t. Colleges also have a bigger budget to work with and can travel out of state to compete against other colleges.
There has been much talk between parents and coaches on what they can do about this situation including having all sports outside or even taking COVID tests daily. But as COVID vaccines start to roll out to the general public many will not have access to it and many will not take it out of personal wants. But as of now nothing is determined as no one really knows what’s going to happen as there may be no sports at all this year since many schools in California have not even opened their campus for students to go back to school.
Although there may not be playoffs for Southern California, there is a possibility to still have league games. A maximum of 5 games or matches for the team to have at the end of the year if the pandemic gets better by early May or June. But many of the high level athletes in high school have already transitioned into club sports and have been competing out of state which puts many high school athletes with lower income and no outside help in jeopardy as it makes competition harder and they have no way of getting training with a coach or teammates.
The cancellation of Fall Sports play offs is just another step of student athletes losing hope for a season especially for the seniors that want to compete in college. Many college coaches, however, have taken what is happening in California into consideration and will look at previous years for recruitment. However many athletes will go to college rusty and will be a different athlete after a year long break from competition.