KINGSBURG — Thanks to updated guidelines from the California Department of Health, some questions are answered and some remain when it comes to a 2020-21 athletic season at both the high school and community college levels.
They did learn that certain sports can continue, depending on the area's current tier on the COVID case scale.
For example, schools in counties that are in the purple tier can participate in cross country, golf, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field.
Baseball, softball and outdoor cheerleading can be played if the county is in the red tier with football, soccer, volleyball and water polo available for counties in the orange, or moderate, tier.
Basketball, wrestling and indoor cheer are available for teams and counties in the yellow, or minimal, tier.
In addition, competition will not be allowed in California until Jan. 25, 2021, at the earliest.
"While athletic administrators across California have been anxiously awaiting direction from public health officials regarding the allowances to begin athletic competition the release of each sport being tied to a tier of color comes with mixed emotions," said Selma High athletic director Randy Esraelian.
Central Sequoia League athletic directors met on Dec. 16 before a meeting the next day with Central section CIF commissioner Ryan Tos.
"The guidance that has been issued will not allow competition to cross county lines, and not allow tournaments in team sports," said Esraelian, adding, "How do we do this, and how do we predict each County's current status to allow competition? How do we know how each school district will rule in regards to their own County guidelines?"
Esraelian hopes that the newly-administered vaccines can offer some normalcy to the sports season.
"In our meetings, we discussed many of these challenges, however until state public officials and CIF determine our newest calendar we are going to have to hope the vaccination being released can help reduce cases to secure a safe environment for each and every student, athlete, coach and parent," he said.
One sport, Reedley College women’s golf, is still alive on the community college level.
Both Fresno City and Reedley announced on Dec. 16 that fall and winter sports (known as Spring 1) will not compete in the 2020-21 season. Football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball are the sports affected by the decision at RC.
All student-athletes will retain their year of eligibility regardless of their teams’ status during the 2020-2021 academic year and will continue to progress toward their degree requirements.
Reedley College has also made a decision to approve the following sports for competition in the Spring 2 category: Baseball, softball and men’s golf. Men’s and women’s tennis will play a season that lasts from March 27 to June 23.