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CIF Southern Section Executive Council formally adapts revised sports calendar for 2020-21

CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod address the Executive Council meeting on Thursday.
(Screenshot by Matt Szabo)

The CIF Southern Section Executive Committee unanimously approved a revision of the 2020-21 sports calendar on Thursday in an emergency action item during its virtual meeting.

The two-season model, which will begin with practices in December due to COVID-19, was announced by Commissioner Rob Wigod at a July 20 meeting. The revision was approved by the committee, which includes Marina High School athletic director Michelle Spencer and Huntington Beach Union High School District athletic director James Perry, by a 21-0 vote.

Under the July proposal, fall sports for 2020-21 will include football, girls’ and boys’ volleyball, girls’ and boys’ water polo, girls’ and boys’ cross-country, field hockey, gymnastics and traditional competitive cheerleading.

Spring sports, which would start with games in March for most sports, include baseball, softball, competitive sports cheerleading and boys’ and girls’ seasons for basketball, soccer, lacrosse, golf, swimming and diving, track and field and wrestling.

Also Thursday, the CIF Southern Section Executive Committee voted that sports schedules must be entered into the CIFSSHome system by Oct. 12 for fall sports, and by Dec. 14 for spring sports.

Wigod said during the meeting that he has received support for the revised calendar, which ensures a 10-week regular season for football teams beginning with Week One games on Jan. 8, 2021.

“From where we sit, it’s been an extremely positive reaction,” Wigod said. “I’ve been in contact with many schools and heard from many people, read a lot of news articles from a lot of different places around our section. I’ve been so proud, really, of the reaction of our adults, of our educators, of our coaches, athletic directors, principals.

“They’ve really taken this on and gone forward in the right spirit, which is to show the student-athletes that we’re going to make these calendars work and these adjustments happen. Even parents who have reached out, in most cases, have been extremely positive and grateful that we’re trying to have the seasons of sport.”

Still, the economic realities of COVID-19 hit the Southern Section hard. The section revealed in a report that it has received a Payroll Protection Plan loan of $456,100 from the federal government. The funds, which will be for the 2020-21 fiscal year, were acquired in April and the section began using it last month.

With help from the loan, the CIF Southern Section has not had to lay off or furlough any of its 17 employees.

The section estimated that it lost more than $101,000 total due to spring sports being cut short by COVID-19, Chief Financial Officer Mitch Carty explained in a presentation.

However, fall and winter sports performed well, particularly football, which earned more than $760,000 for the 2019 season — a significant profit since the sport’s budget was $640,000.

Boys’ and girls’ soccer also brought in a profit of more than $27,000.

The CIF Southern Section Executive Committee also tabled a vote Thursday related to soccer red cards until its next meeting on Sept. 24. The bylaw revision is that a player who receives two yellow cards in the same match would still get a match disqualification, but now would be able to play in the team’s next match.

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