CIF announces guidelines for resuming sports in fall

Town Crier Report

The California Interscholastic Federation has issued its guidelines for restarting high school sports in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After several days of meetings with commissioners from the state’s 10 sections, the CIF said in a press release Friday that it will determine by July 20 if fall sports will continue as currently scheduled. The CIF is prepared to offer alternative calendars if it is determined by that date that fall sports may not start as scheduled due to ongoing public health and safety concerns.

The CIF also announced guidelines for returning to physical activity/training in preparation for playing sports in the upcoming school year. It allows for a coordinated reopening following the initial stay-at-home orders and also may be used if conditions dictate the need for increased restrictions in the future.

In anticipation of returning to physical activity, the CIF is providing resources to assist member schools and student-athletes at its website.

To address the impact that COVID-19 and school closures have had on students – recognizing that families may experience delays in obtaining appointments for their student for a preparticipation physical examination – the CIF said governing boards of school districts and private schools may elect to provide a one-time, temporary waiver of the requirement. The waiver would allow the student-athlete to participate in athletics for a maximum of 30 days from their school’s first day of practice in that fall sport.

The CIF also will grant a financial hardship waiver to students who transfer to a new school during the first semester of the 2020-21 school year “when there is a demonstrated and verifiable hardship condition due to financial difficulties,” according to the release.

For more information on the waivers, resources and guidelines, visit cifstate.org.

High school boosters’ run/walk raises more than $3,000 for CSA

”Charity
Courtesy of Clint Ladine
MVLA sports boosters have come together to organize this weekend’s MVLA Strong virtual 5K walk/run.

The MVLA Strong virtual 5K walk/run – organized by the sports boosters at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools – has raised more than $3,000 for Community Services Agency.

Former 49ers, Warriors & A’s exec Dolich weighs in on restarting sports

By Pete Borello
Staff Writer/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There may not be a better person in town to ask about restarting sports amid the coronavirus pandemic than Andy Dolich. With more than 30 years of experience as an executive for professional baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer teams, the Los Altos resident now runs his own sports consulting business.

Andy Dolich” width=
Courtesy of Andy Dolich
Andy Dolich, who runs a sports consulting business in Los Altos, said the resumption of sports could help lift Americans’ spirits.

While Dolich acknowledged that pro, college, high school and youth sports leagues face enormous challenges as they prepare to play games again, doing so could make pandemic life – which he called “the new abnormal” – more palatable.

“COVID-19 is a gut punch to America physically, mentally and spiritually,” he said. “Can sports be the medicine to take care of all that? No, but it can help.”

But how and when will that medicine be administered? Among the pro leagues, “everyone has a different plan” to resume play, Dolich said, and some of the entities are far ahead of others when it comes to implementation.

Among the major pro sports, he put the NBA at the forefront.

“In terms of leadership, safety and strategy, I think basketball seems to be the first one to restart,” said Dolich, who spent one year as president of the Golden State Warriors and seven years as president of business operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. “I have a high regard for (commissioner) Adam Silver and the level of trust he has with the players.”

The NBA has plans to resume its season by the end of July, with the top 22 teams playing and living at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., in an effort to limit exposure to COVID-19. Dolich wonders how easy it will be to keep everyone sequestered in one location for a month or two (depending on playoff success).

“Good luck with that,” he said. “You’re dealing with human nature. Everyone has their own manner of living their life.”

Because the NBA doesn’t intend to have fans in the stands, Dolich isn’t sure these games will be as exciting to those watching from afar on their TVs and computers.

“I welcome basketball back and its incredible athletes, but to me, it’s about the incredible live environment,” he said. “How are they going to replicate that?”

Major League Baseball has much bigger concerns, according to Dolich, who spent 15 years with the Oakland A’s. He called the league “the furthest away of any of the sports from having a true season” because the players and owners can’t get on the same page.

“It’s a nine-inning game and they seem to have nine different proposals,” he said. “It’s a tug-of-war between billionaires and millionaires. Every day, they seem to get farther down into the quicksand.”

Dolich added that “there’s a lack of trust” between the two sides, and that commissioner Rob Manfred is unable to unite them like Silver and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have in their respective leagues.

Football – at all levels – has a good chance of starting the season on time, according to Dolich, because “there are fewer games and people’s long-term love of professional, collegiate and high school teams.”

However, there also could be drawbacks to playing in the fall.

“Football, with the calendar, could be victim of (postponement) if we have a rebound of COVID-19,” said the former chief operating officer for the San Francisco 49ers. “It’s also a sport in which you exchange bodily fluids on every play. How is that going to work? How many players will test positive?”

Once football and other sports start playing again, there’s the matter of when to allow fans – and how many of them – back in stadiums and arenas. Dolich said that in places such as the South – where college football is king – fans of Alabama, Louisiana State University and the like won’t take kindly to being told that their seats won’t be available.

“If they only allow in 30 percent, the fans are going to say, ‘Why didn’t you pick me?’” Dolich said. “They will be way more than upset.”

Fans in other places – such as the Bay Area – may not feel as comfortable sitting in the stands, even if they are only partially filled.

“Do you trust the venues? Your family’s safety is a stake,” Dolich said. “That may not happen until people get back to their daily routines, and I don’t think we know when that will be.”

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LA, MV boosters combine forces for charity run

By Pete Borello
Staff Writer/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of all the rivalry games between Los Altos and Mountain View highs this spring, the schools will get one opportunity to compete against each another.

”Charity

The sports boosters at the two schools have come together to organize this weekend’s MVLA Strong virtual 5K walk/run, which includes a friendly competition to see which one raises the most money for Community Services Agency. Participants can join Team LAHS or Team MVHS when registering online for the event, which costs $5 (additional donations are welcome).

Mountain View High School Sports Boosters president Brett Schiller said CSA will keep track of the donations, which go directly to the local nonprofit.

“We don’t have a target (amount) – we’re just going for it,” he said. “We’re trying to get as many people as we can find and raise as much as we can.”

The booster clubs invite everyone in the community to participate – “The more the merrier,” Schiller said – and since it’s virtual, they may do the 5K either Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

“Bike, walk, skip, whatever – we don’t care,” Schiller said. “Just do it to support the community.”

There is one rule, he added: abide by the current social-distancing guidelines.

Initiated by his club, MVLA Strong came together in only a few weeks.

“We were having a meeting about next year and were concerned about school spirit (during the pandemic) and wanted to get the students re-engaged,” he said. “The director of our Turkey Trot said (that event) may not happen this year and she explained virtual runs to us. We started putting the pieces together and thought it would be great to do a running event while all the kids are home. That’s when someone suggested getting Los Altos involved and making it a competition.”

Los Altos High School Sports Boosters co-president Angela Player said her club was happy to collaborate with Mountain View.

“Brett and his team thought it would be a great idea to encourage both schools to support this fun run as a fundraiser for our communities during this time of need,” she said.

To register and for more information, visit mvlastrong.com.

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