Sports

Northern Section set to defy CIF decision

By Ray Hamill — The Northern Section appears ready to defy the CIF and play this fall, announcing on Monday that it is pushing forward with plans to compete as soon as local health officials give them the all-clear.

“It is still the intent of the CIF-NS to host a Section playoff for Fall sports using a modified playoff structure,” the section announced in a  press release shortly after the CIF announced its decision to push fall and winter sports back until after Christmas.

However, the North Coast Section, which includes Humboldt and Del Norte counties, will abide by the state prep sports governing body’s decision.

If the Northern Section schools do compete this fall, they will not be eligible for state playoffs.

The CIF’s decision will make it difficult for certain programs to field teams in different sports at the same time, especially at the smaller schools, including many here on the North Coast.

The CIF’s decision means that the traditional three sports seasons — fall, winter and spring — will now be condensed into two seasons and that means basketball, wrestling, soccer, cross country, golf, tennis, track and field, baseball and softball will all compete at the same time in the spring.

According to the Northern Section’s press release, its “member school teams will begin league play when the member school districts’ County Health officers approve the implementation of youth sports, including high school athletics.”

The full statement reads as follows …

“Many students are primarily motivated to succeed in school by the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities, most specifically interscholastic athletics. The CIF-Northern Section met on Friday to consider the re-opening of member schools and the effects of the pandemic on member school athletics.

“After considering multiple factors influencing any decision to re-start athletic participation in member schools in a safe and consistent manner, and more specifically the impacts on eventual CIF-NS playoffs and CIF State championship playoffs, the following decisions were made:

“CIF-NS member school teams will begin league play when the member school districts’ County Health officers approve the implementation of youth sports, including high school athletics

“This decision could result in the removal of some sports from CIF State Championship-level playoffs

“CIF-NS member school teams may have the opportunity to compete outside league play when the member school districts’ County Health officers approve the implementation of youth sports, including high school athletics

“This decision could result in teams in one county playing teams outside their league in another county.

“It is still the intent of the CIF-NS to host a Section playoff for Fall sports using a modified playoff structure.”

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