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CIF announces high school spring sports season is canceled

Orange Lutheran's Max Rajcic delivers a pitch during a game on April 9. He will not pitch again this spring after the CIF canceled the remainder of the spring sports season.
Orange Lutheran’s Max Rajcic and other high school athletes in California had their seasons officially canceled.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The California Interscholastic Federation announced Friday that the remainder of the high school spring sports season has been canceled.

The 10 section commissioners from around the state held a teleconference and confirmed they had run out of options in the face of a growing number of school districts announcing this week that their schools would remain closed because of social distancing measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The big remaining state championship was in track and field, which was scheduled for May 29-30 at Buchanan High School in Clovis. According to PrepCalTrack.com, the cancelation marks the first time the meet has been truly canceled since the wartime years of 1942-45. In 1993, the state finals were canceled due to inclement weather, but widespread criticism statewide caused the meet to be revived and took place two weeks later.

Since schools were closed three weeks ago and the sports season suspended, high school athletes have tried to stay positive and continued to work out on their own in case the season was resumed.

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“I think everybody is feeling the same,” said Studio City Harvard-Westlake outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, a likely first-round draft choice should pro baseball have its annual draft in June. “It’s a good time for everyone to buckle down and figure out how to grind when stuff doesn’t go like you thought it would. It’s a lot bigger than sports at this point. People’s health and safety should be a huge priority.”

The commissioners discussed the idea of allowing schools around the state to play one game this summer if the environment allowed it so seniors could put on their school uniforms one final time, according to people familiar with the call. That discussion was not mentioned in the CIF statement but will be up to each section to decide.

The CIF is expected to form committees to come up with contingency plans for fall sports.

“We’re going to work with the sections to get out front for the fall,” said Ron Nocetti, executive director of the CIF. “All of us hope the contingencies we come up with won’t be needed, but we’ll have plans in place. There’s still so much unknown and still fluid. The plans we discuss with sections will be if we start on time or if we start and then have to pause.”

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It remains up to each of the 10 sections to decide whether to continue with summer dead periods, which require each school and each sport to take time off.

City Section Commissioner Vicky Lagos said she will have a conference call with the Executive Committee next week and will recommend suspending the dead period for City teams this spring and summer. The Southern Section has indicated it will not change its dead period policy.

The California Interscholastic Federation canceled the high school spring sports season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed campuses.


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