H-DNL still playing the waiting game

Ray Hamill/ – Eureka’s Jackson Giacone, right, and St. Bernard’s Jake Fairfield in action last season.

By Ray Hamill — With less than six weeks to go before the scheduled start to the H-DNL sports calendar, the local league continues to play the waiting game.

The California Interscholastic Federation has been in talks with state officials in regard to allowing a return to competition, but no decision has yet been announced.

High school sports have been on hold since mid-March and must get the green light from state and local health officials before a resumption.

According to the National Federation of High Schools Associations, California remains one of just six states in the country (along with the District of Columbia) not allowing high school sports this fall.

There is an online petition to get state officials to allow competition again, which can be accessed here.

The state has not updated its youth sports guidelines since early August and is currently allowing only restricted practices.

Even if state officials allow a return to competition, the H-DNL will also have to get the go-ahead from local health officials.

Humboldt and Del Norte counties, however, appear to be in a better position to allow competition than some of the more populated areas in the state, especially with no out-of-the-area travel scheduled for any local teams before March.

The first sports tentatively scheduled to resume competition are cross country and basketball.

Cross country is an outdoor sport with traditional social distancing and should not be a problem, although it’s questionable at this stage whether basketball — an indoor sport with a lot of close contact — will get the go-ahead in time.

An alternative would be to push the local basketball season back to the spring, which could put it in line with the rest of the North Coast Section and the state.

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