CIF announces return of high school sports playoffs, championships; Hart district officials ‘thrilled’

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: Canyon's Ellie Villavicencio (1) tightly guards St. Anthony's Kali Murrell (2) during a home game on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

William S. Hart Union High School District officials Tuesday expressed excitement about their student-athletes being allowed to compete in playoffs and championships once again. 

“Both the Hart district and the Foothill League are thrilled with the (California Interscholastic Federation) Southern Section’s announcement there will be divisional championships for Season 2 sports,” Hart district officials said in a statement. “Many of those student athletes did not get the chance to strive for a title — so for them, as well as the coaches and families committed to their success, we couldn’t be happier.” 

The organizers of high school athletics in Southern California announced Monday their plans to move forward with section championships for a number of outdoor sports.  

In a release that was followed by an afternoon news conference, CIF Southern Section officials said that the following sports would be having section championships: baseball, boys/girls basketball, boy/girls lacrosse, boys/girls soccer, softball, boys/girls team tennis, boys volleyball and boys/girls dual meeting wrestling.  

“In terms of qualifications for our playoffs in the sports that we’re planning on are going to remain the same,” Rob Wigod, commissioner of athletics for the CIF-Southern Section, said during the news conference. He later added that it would be “up to our individual school districts and private schools to be working with their local county, along with the California Department of Public Health guidelines, to deal with issues as they arise, such as a positive test or what quarantine issues may be necessary.” 

However, due to the ongoing county department requirements, boys/girls golf, boys/girls swimming, boys/girls diving, boys/girls individual tennis, and boys/girls track and field all remain in limbo as to whether they will have their playoffs.  

“For the Season 2 individual sports, we are actively working on securing approvals from various county health departments to ensure we can conduct championship events involving student-athletes from all eight counties within the Southern Section footprint,” Wigod said in his statement from Monday. “More information will be coming soon as we attempt to finalize plans going forward for these individual sports.” 

CIF officials had not yet disclosed the start dates and locations for CIF Southern Section playoffs/championship, but said they would be releasing regular bulletins about those team sports, as well as the individual sports not already allowed to have playoffs, once those dates come closer, Wigod said.  

“I’ll tell you that when we received the news Tuesday night that there was a possibility that the travel limitations were lifted and the ability for us to conduct section championships was going to be possible, we got to work immediately for the rest of last week and up to today,” said Wigod. “We’ve already been in contact with various sites that we were trying to line up for track and field, or swimming, for golf, for individual tennis already working with trying to find some sites already working with some county health departments. We have already received an approval for one of our track events.”  

“Obviously, as I mentioned in today’s segment, we’re doing the very best we can to get the information out as soon as we can get it,” said Wigod.” 

The Hart district announced last week that a number of these sports have already begun their Foothill League play or are scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.

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