SCVAL sticks with three-season plan

After revisiting the three-season sports schedule it approved last month, the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board of Managers Tuesday (Feb. 16) unanimously voted to stick with that model, while also adding the possibility of extending Season 3.

In addition, the board – comprising the principals of Los Altos, Mountain View and the other 12 high schools in the league – agreed to consider allowing some sports to participate in the playoffs. That decision will be made at a meeting set for March 4. In the meantime, SCVAL Season 1 sports – cross-country, girls golf, girls tennis and swimming and diving – can resume.

Although the Jan. 21 vote to deviate from the Central Coast Section’s two-season calendar was also unanimous – setting in motion the plan to start Season 1 sports this week – the board called Tuesday’s meeting after a Palo Alto High parent sent the members a Cure and Correct letter accusing them of violating the state’s Brown Act because the public was not given adequate notice of the agenda.

The board allowed an hour of public comment Tuesday, during which 22 of the 28 speakers opposed the previously approved plan of having three six-week seasons without playoffs. The criticism largely came from players and parents associated with the Palo Alto and Los Gatos baseball teams, many of whom wanted a longer season – and a chance to make the CCS playoffs – for all spring sports cut short by the pandemic last year.

While baseball and the other spring sports in SCVAL Season 3 still won’t have a full season, there is now hope that they could play longer than six weeks. The board agreed to start Season 3 earlier than April 19 if the Season 2 sports that can only be played once the county reaches the “moderate” (orange) tier under the state’s COVD-19 restrictions get canceled next month. The SCVAL’s cancellation dates for those sports are March 15 for football and March 29 for badminton, soccer and girls volleyball.

For more on this story, read next week’s Town Crier.

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