For all the good that it has done, the state organization overseeing high school sports continues to offer guidelines for how, and when, athletics might resume this winter and spring for student athletes.
The latest update came Tuesday, Jan. 5, about the same time that the state re-allocated its response to the increasing COVID cases by moving from county-by-county restrictions to regional stay-at-home guidelines.
The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) issued guidelines previously and didn’t really make any changes for the Jan. 5 update, just posting the old schedule and the latest COVID-19 Tier information for the region.
As officials note, it’s unlikely any school sports activities will actually get underway until COVID cases begin to decline across the state, and ICU availability increases.
The guidelines still call for two seasons in the rest of the school year, with Season 1 and 2 on the schedule, but no start date even in sight.
CIF Season 1
Season One is supposed to be January through April. It’s set to include Cross Country, Football, and Girls Volleyball, in addition to a couple of sports Riverbank High doesn't participate in: Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Water Polo and Skiing/Snowboarding.
CIF Season 2
Season Two is supposed to be March through June, and include RHS sports like Baseball, Basketball, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Boys Volleyball and Wrestling. Other sports set, but not played by the Bruins, include Lacrosse and Swimming & Diving.
“Competition between two teams will not be allowed in California until January 25, 2021, at the earliest,” the CIF announced.
All this may be moot, depending upon the status of COVID cases in the San Joaquin region
The Sac-Joaquin Section, which the Trans-Valley League and most Central Valley leagues belong to, currently reports dates and scheduling based on information posted last summer, prior to the resumption of school. Riverbank competes in the Trans-Valley League.
Just as in-person instruction for high schoolers has yet to resume, the continued rise in COVID-19 cases and lack of ICU availability has forced high school athletics to be paused as well.
The CIF announcement on Jan. 5 included detailed lists, by sport, of changes necessary to protect participants and officials, as much as possible, but they vary from sport to sport. An update on the possible resumption of school sports is anticipated later in the month.