Mark Tennis, who runs CalHiSports.com, the most reputable and in-depth website covering California high school sports and produces national high school softball rankings for Extra Inning Softball, reported in a story on Friday that, as expected, the spring sports season was cancelled by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
The Golden State had 11 of the top 50 teams in our latest Extra Elite Eighty High School Rankings published on March 20, 2020 and four of the top 10 and three of the top five.
Here are excerpts from Mark’s report…
As some school districts throughout the state already were extending closures due to the current COVID-19 health crisis to the end of the school year, the CIF did the expected on Friday, cancelled all spring sports state championships, including the longest-running CIF state title event in track and field.
CIF section spring sports playoffs and championship events also are now officially cancelled.
When the 10 section commissioners of the California Interscholastic Federation met on March 17, just three days after the CIF state basketball championships were supposed to have been held at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, executive director Ron Nocetti said that “today is not the day” to determine what would happen with the remaining weeks of the spring sports season and whether or not to cancel CIF spring sports events, including the state track meet in Clovis.
That day, however, arrived on Friday.
With the Coronavirus crisis still not peaking at any place in California and with cases and deaths expected to rise for perhaps the next month or more, the CIF matched recommendations by Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond to cancel all events for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
The section commissioners also came together to state that none of their various spring sports playoffs and championship events would be held, either.
“Based on the recent statements issued by Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, regarding schools turning to distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) does not see an avenue for the spring sports season to continue,” said the CIF’s statement signed on Friday by Nocetti.
“As such, in consultation today with the 10 Section Commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel spring Section, Regional, and State Championship events.”
The last cancellations of any CIF state championship events occurred for the CIF state track meet during World War II. There also were CIF baseball championships scheduled for 1919 that were cancelled due to an influenza outbreak that swept around the world that year. The 1919 CIF state track meet was held.
During World War II, there were schools that were open and continued to participate against each other in limited competitions. Some schools, for example, only played their closest neighboring schools in football.
Cal-Hi Sports founder Nelson Tennis even picked State Teams of the Year for baseball during World War II since the leagues in places like San Francisco (which was still producing an extremely high number of pro players) and San Diego were determining championships.
But with schools completely closed this spring and no teams even allowed to gather for any practices due to social distancing guidelines, none of that is possible in the coming weeks.
“We understand this is disappointing for everyone involved in education-based athletics and empathize with our student-athletes and all who are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak,” the CIF statement on Friday continued. “As always, our top priority is everyone’s ongoing health and safety during this challenging time, and we all look forward to the day when education-based athletics resumes.”
Here is the link to the CIF’s two-paragraph release issued Friday, April 3, 2020