Nothing has been announced officially by the California Interscholastic Federation, but moving up the CIF state championship calendar by at least one week for the 2018-19 school year has been common knowledge to many in the media and for many coaches.
For years, the CIF fall sports calendar has had state championships in cross country first and this year’s meet will be this weekend at its longtime home at Woodward Park in Fresno. The CIF girls volleyball state finals will then be held the following week on Dec. 1-2 at Rancho Santiago College in Orange.
The easy path for the CIF in moving up fall events by one week would be simply to move up cross country, girls volleyball and then football. That’s not so easy, however, and here’s why.
Vendors who are signed up by the CIF have a monster day during the Friday before the Saturday at the cross country championships. It’s the biggest CIF event of the year in terms of competitors (thousands and thousands) and since it’s always Thanksgiving weekend all of those competitors run the course the day before the actual races. All of their parents are there with them and buy all of their souvenirs on that day as well. The CIF’s many business partners therefore probably won’t want to see that Friday bonanza moved one week earlier.
So what’s the solution? It’s simple. Girls volleyball can be two weeks earlier and cross country stays the same. Moving up girls volleyball by two weeks also would align the California season with the rest of the nation. States that just ended with championship events last weekend were Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. As it stands now, California doesn’t end for two weeks and is the only state still going. With the two-week change, the California season and the national season would then be over at the same time as those other states.
Moving up the girls volleyball calendar by two weeks may have a big impact on some of the late-season tournaments like the Santa Barbara TOC, but all in all it’s probably the correct move for the CIF.