There was much surprise last weekend when head football coach Eric Preszler at Capistrano Valley Christian in Orange County posted a photo with his team (shown in full pads and helmets) after it had won a game played against Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana. CIF Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod then said Tuesday that there was a second game between two private schools that also had been played. Later Tuesday, the CIF issued a memo to its member schools about the two games.
Here is the text of that memo:
The California Legislature has charged the California Interscholastic Federation (“CIF”) with the responsibility for governing and administering interscholastic athletic activities for secondary schools in the state of California. (Education Code §33353). The CIF takes this role and responsibility seriously. As such, the CIF Federated Council, which represents the 1,605 school membership of the CIF, has enacted mandatory rules regulating the conduct of interscholastic competition.
On March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency and issued multiple Executive Orders directing the citizens of California to adhere to specific health and safety requirements. Executive Order N-25-20 required all Californians to follow the directives of the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), which includes the CDPH’s COVID-19 Interim Guidance: Youth Sports issued on August 3, 2020 and the UPDATED COVID-19 Interim Guidance: Youth Sports issued on December 14, 2020.
The CIF and its Sections are bound by the orders, regulations, and guidance of the Governor’s Office, CDPH and the California Department of Education (“CDE”). The CIF and its Sections require and expect all of its member leagues, school districts, and schools to comply with the orders, regulations, and guidance of the Governor’s Office, CDPH, and CDE.
The vast majority of our members schools have complied with the State’s orders pertaining to high school sports, however, the CIF has recently become aware that several member schools have competed in interscholastic contests in contravention of the guidance of the CDPH and CIF rules. Any school determined to have participated in or to be conducting interscholastic athletics events in violation of the State’s orders or CIF rules may be subject to CIF Article 22 sanctions including, but not limited to, fines, suspension or dismissal from membership.
While the CIF understands that the postponement of interscholastic athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on all of our member schools and student athletes, the intentional violation of the orders, regulations, and guidance of the Governor’s Office, CDPH, CDE and CIF will not be permitted. Compliance by our member schools with the CDPH’s guidance regarding youth sports is mandatory, not discretionary.