What happens to multisport athletes in the CIF diet? – The Vacaville journalist

How did athletic directors feel when they learned on Monday that the California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body for high school athletics, had decided to combine winter and spring sports in just one season?

The small high school DAs probably felt the same way Donna Hagans, the athletic director of Vacaville Christian High – not great.

“Unfortunately, this decision to skip two seasons, just the format, negatively impacts smaller schools in every possible way,” she said. “From attendance numbers to the ability to even out programs on the ground. We haven’t even discussed the financial impact or the challenge of coaches, facilities or transportation. The programming alone really ties the hands of a small school.

This is because of the dilemma of the multi-sport athlete.

As part of the CIF plan, the fall sports season is postponed to December and January due to the coronavirus pandemic. Teams can start training in December, but many regular season events will begin in January. The second season will combine winter and spring sports, including girls’ and boys’ soccer, girls’ and boys’ basketball, softball, baseball, badminton, girls’ and boys’ tennis, wrestling, swimming for girls and boys, golf for girls and boys and athletics.

So, for example, a VCS girl who plays both softball and basketball must either choose between them or try to play both (which is allowed by CIF rules).

“How many student-athletes do you know who are able to maintain their high marks and split their attention between two sports?” Hagans asked. “It’s incredibly difficult as a high school student. I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think they should have to do that…Kids kind of feel responsible. They walk around by themselves. They will begin to burn the candle at both ends or gnaw inside with this ridiculous guilt that is not of their making.

Hagans said the new schedule will have long-term effects.

“We have incoming freshmen,” she noted. “And a lot of young people haven’t had the opportunity to practice a good part of the sports that we offer at the secondary level. This is their chance to start. So if you really limit them in their first year, the next year they will make choices based on that limited window. We are going to lose children this way.

Hagans had expected CIF to release a calendar with three truncated seasons for fall, winter, and spring. She said she would have been fine with a schedule that limited competitions to league matches and sectional playoffs.

VCS is now partnering with other small schools to create a proposal to send to the Sac-Joaquin chapter for the three-season format they had hoped for.

“We had nine girls on our basketball team last year,” she said. “And now you want to have it at the same time as softball and at the same time as athletics and at the same time as swimming? They are the same girls.

Athletic directors at larger local high schools were more accepting of the two-season plan, although they recognize the challenges.

Vanden High athletic director Matthew Bidou also expected CIF to have a three-season schedule. But he thinks his school can handle the two-season mode.

“I’m comfortable with what they’ve done. I think it’s manageable,” he said.

He also believes that athletes can be able to play two sports simultaneously, with the right support system.

“If the athletic departments and the coaches are working with these multi-sport athletes and the coaches are working together and working with the athlete and with the athlete’s family,” he said, “then those juniors and seniors who practice multiple sports and are looking for scholarships, it’s still possible, it’s just going to take a little work.

Bidou said there would have been an overlap with a truncated three-season schedule that he says would have made it just as difficult, if not more difficult, for student-athletes to compete in more than one sport.

But he added that multi-sport athletes should be closely monitored.

“There has to be a good solid plan and the eyes have to be on everything,” he said. “We all have to agree on how to reduce if it’s too academic or too much wear and tear on the student body. No student-athlete at Vanden is just going to play multiple sports without having all the coaches, the athletic department, and the parents involved.

Like Hagans and Bidou, Vacaville High athletic director and football coach Mike Papadoplous anticipated the CIF would produce a three-season schedule. But he said he understands why he decided to postpone sports until January and opt for a two-season schedule, rather than trying to start in October, for example, and have three seasons. .

“I understand why the moves and the decisions were made,” he said. “As early as our Governor’s message last Friday, he placed major restrictions on the opening of schools. So you have to be responsive to that somehow.

It also includes the challenges of student-athletes playing more than one sport in the same season. He said he knows two girls from Vacaville High who compete in basketball, tennis and track and field — all of whom are now in the same season.

“Our message to our children is to work within the model given to us and what we will be able to do, not the flip side of what you can’t do,” he said. “It’s obviously overkill to do three, but it’s a realistic possibility that some kids will still try to do two if we can do that within the coaching staff and organize it for them appropriately. and safe… The situation for all our students and athletes is difficult, but I appreciate the effort to try to offer all sports to children.

The use of facilities will be an issue for all local secondary schools in terms of the use of a gymnasium, for example, for boys and girls basketball and badminton, or a tennis court for boys and girls.

Papadopolous and Bidou pointed out that an advantage for their schools is that they play, along with Will C. Wood High, in the Monticello Empire League, in which the six schools are in Solano County. This means that they will operate under the regulations of only one county’s health department, which is not necessarily the case for other leagues.

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