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City Section schools must determine now whether their teams will start in January

City Section Commissioner Vicky Lagos conducted a videoconference meeting with the Board of Managers executive committee.
City Section Commissioner Vicky Lagos conducted a Board of Managers executive committee meeting via videoconference on Tuesday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

The City Section is about to learn how many of its 161 schools will field teams in January for a delayed sports season in football, cross country, water polo, volleyball and cheer.

A commitment letter went out Tuesday to athletic directors asking which varsity and lower level teams schools intend to field. They have a Sept. 10 deadline to return the letter. The following week, a committee will meet to decide which leagues need to be revised depending on how many schools choose not to field teams.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has yet to give approval for coaches to meet with students or open sports facilities because of COVID-19 safety concerns. If there’s a delay beyond November, the football season scheduled to begin Jan. 8 could be delayed. Official practice is set to begin Dec. 14, but coaches will need several weeks before that date to prepare players.

During an Executive Committee meeting Tuesday of the City Section Board of Managers, commissioner Vicky Lagos said several schools have voiced interest in co-ed water polo teams. But if fewer than six schools want to create co-ed teams, it will not happen, she said.

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The assigner for the Los Angeles softball officials unit sent a letter to Lagos requesting schools pay $5 per games that were assigned but canceled last spring because of the coronavirus. That is unlikely to happen, as it would violate City Section rules, she said.

LAUSD athletic coordinator Trent Cornelius said work is underway to make sure coaches who coach boys’ and girls’ teams at the same time in 2020-21 are paid two stipends.

Narbonne is requesting reduction in its sanctions for the football team that’s banned from participating in the upcoming playoffs because of rule violations. An appeals panel is expected to convene.

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As for what venues might host championship events for 2020-21, Lagos said it will depend on whether fans will be allowed to attend. Without fans, the higher seed in playoff brackets could end up hosting a championship match, but that decision will be made by the Board of Managers.

Tennis coaches have requested moving up the start of their season to Feb. 1 from Feb. 22 and golf coaches want to move up their season from March to Feb. 1 to help with scheduling.


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