Tully Talk: Will sports will be able to rebound sooner rather than later in wake of coronavirus?
We are all waiting, hoping and praying.
There are concerns if the sports landscape will ever be the same again.
The shutdown of athletics and sporting events, from the professional ranks to youth organizations, have taken its toll on millions not only in this country, but throughout the world.
It’s affects have reverberated from the ball fields of Burbank to the gyms in Glendale to the running tracks in La Crescenta and the pools in La Cañada. No community has been immune to the repercussions of the COVID-19 virus and lives have been forever altered.
Unfortunately, in the wake of the challenges and changes brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, at this juncture, there are far more questions than answers.
The main question on the minds of many is when will things get back to normal? At this point, that is a question that will likely remain unanswered in the near future.
We know about all the cancelations and the suspension of play in the college and professional ranks, but the impact on high school athletics and youth sports have been nothing short of devastating.
The CIF, the governing body of high school sports in the state, made the decision to cancel the remainder of the spring sports season on April 3.
In the wake of that decision, there is also concern that the shutdown could continue into summer and even adversely affect fall sports, like football.
The CIF Southern Section put out a memo on April 8 about summer activities: “With spring sports now over, our athletic programs move to the bylaws contained in Summertime Rules. Those bylaws state that all summer athletic programs are under the authority and jurisdiction of the high school principal.”
But until the country, or California, is opened up again, there will be no summer activities, including summer leagues and camps that have been a staple for a group of area high school coaches and schools.
Also contained in the memo, signed by CIF Commissioner Rob Wigod, was information about the pending fall athletic season: “Out staff and I are already working on potential scenarios for the start of fall sports. Obviously, none of us know exactly when we will be able to resume athletic activities, but with schools closed for the remainder of the school year, that date is probably going to be after the end of the school year. If that date is June 1, or July 1, that means one thing. If that date is Aug. 1, Sept. 1, Sept 15, etc., it could mean quite another.
“One thing to keep in mind is the situation for the fall is completely different than this spring. We started spring sports, had to stop, and continued to look for a way to conduct our championships as time continued to pass with the end of the school year quickly approaching. In the fall, we will await the date schools will reopen and adjust calendars appropriately for when schools can safely begin. There will be more flexibility for us in the fall that we did not have in the spring, as we can adjust calendars within a larger time frame and there will be many different options that can be explored.
“Just know that we are totally committed to doing everything we can to be able to go forward with fall sports championships.”
Spring football has already been lost and the clock is ticking for teams to be ready for the 2020 football season. Unlike some other sports, football teams need weeks of preparation and practices in order to be prepared for the season. Not giving athletes enough time to prepare can lead to injuries.
If teams aren’t able to get back on the practice field by late spring or early summer, the season might have to be pushed back and early games canceled.
The same goes for youth football programs like the Burbank Vikings, Glendale Bears and La Cañada Gladiators organizations. There seasons could be lost or delayed as well.
Youth football is not the only sport silenced by the coronavirus outbreak. Little League baseball and softball have been halted, as well as YMCA youth sports, park and recreation activities and gyms and studios across the board have had to close their doors.
Lets just hope and pray that we will be able to turn a corner soon and we can get back to a sense of normalcy with our lives, which includes sports. So much damage has already been done with this virus, we just don’t need any more.