Palisades High sports are over for the remainder of the school year. The City Section, which includes Palisades, issued a statement Friday:
It is with a heavy heart that, in conjunction with the State CIF, we have canceled the spring 2020 state, regional and section championships. In the best interests of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans, and school communities, health and safety are our No. 1 priority.
“As difficult a decision as this was, we must look out for the well-being of each of our student-athletes, coaches, and educators. Our section is heartbroken that we will not continue with spring sports,” City Commissioner Vicky Lagos said. “The opportunity for a student-athlete to participate in sports plays a valuable and integral part of their character formation as a teenager and young adult.
We are heartbroken that so many of our student-athletes, especially the senior class, will not be able to continue competing in the sport they desire. Overcoming this adversity, however, will be a defining ‘championship’ moment for each of our athletes.”
The CIF-LA City Section will consult with our Board of Managers and member schools to see how we can support and celebrate the Class of 2020 once we overcome this current crisis.
We will continue to follow the recommendations set forth by Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the CDC.
Ron Nocetti, CIF Executive Director issued the following statement earlier Friday:
“Based on the recent statements issued by Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, regarding schools turning to distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the California Interscholastic Federation does not see an avenue for the spring sports season to continue. As such, in consultation today with the 10 Section Commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel spring events.
We understand this is disappointing for everyone involved in education-based athletics and empathize with our student-athletes and all who are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. As always, our top priority is everyone’s ongoing health and safety during this challenging time, and we all look forward to the day when education-based athletics resumes.”
When the state basketball championships were canceled in March it marked the first time any CIF state final was canceled since the state track meet during World War II. Before that, CIF baseball championships were canceled in 1919 due to an influenza outbreak that had swept around the world, although the state track meet was held that year.
During World War II some schools were open and continued to play games, though primarily limited to neighboring teams, but with schools completely closed this spring and no teams even allowed to gather for practices due to social distancing guidelines, none of that is possible in the coming weeks. One tradition that will come to an end is the 51-year streak of Dodger Stadium hosting the City championship baseball game—a streak that spanned from 1969 through last May when Birmingham defeated Palisades 9-5 for its third straight title.
LAUSD announced March 12 that it was canceling all games and practices until further notice due to concerns about COVID-19, expanding the ever-growing list of schools shut down because of the health crisis.
At Palisades, most sports had just started league play, including softball, boys tennis, volleyball, and golf and boys/ girls lacrosse, while swimming, track and baseball were still in “invitational” or “tournament” mode. The girls basketball team was preparing to play for the CIF Division II state title in Sacramento two days later, but that too was canceled.
Now the focus switches to the fall and Lagos said Friday she expected to have conference call with the Executive Committee this week to recommend suspending the dead period for City teams this spring and summer.
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