The CIF Southern Section offices released their latest updates regarding high school sports recently, and as August leaves and September begins, there have hopefully been some developments moving things forward in the effort to resume high school sports programs. Member schools are now conducting conditioning workouts on their campuses following the appropriate health and safety guidelines recommended by state and local health authorities.

“As these workouts continue to take place at more and more of our member schools, and prove to be done successfully, that is certainly a positive step in the right direction,” Rob Wigod, commissioner of the CIF Southern Section, said. “I want to thank our principals, athletic directors and coaches for their ongoing commitment in guiding our student-athletes through these challenging times in a healthy and safe way. We must continue to vigorously follow the advice of our health professionals as we navigate through the critical weeks and months ahead as things hopefully open up even more.”

Rob Wigod, commissioner of the CIF Southern Section, who is seen with Fox Sports West reporter, Alex Curry, released an update recently regarding the 2020-2021 high school sports seasons. Valley News/Courtesy photo

With some states around the nation starting their fall seasons of sport, including allowing spectators in the stands, questions have been brought about to Wigod and his staff about concerns of the Southern Section and California feeling like they are being left behind.

“Quite the contrary, I believe the lessons learned from the experiences in other states can be applied to the time period we have available to us before the beginning of our 2020-2021 sports calendars and will provide valuable information to us for what lies ahead,” Wigod said.

The last chance for the new principal-athletic director workshops wrapped up Thursday, Sept. 10. These workshops helped athletic administrators prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. Guidelines for communication, new rules, review of eligibility, suggestions and best practices for athletic programs were just a few of the topics that were covered.

As the schools move forward, CIF administrators said they want to be sure and let athletic directors know to invite them to any meetings as they are more than happy to join.

“We were able to attend many league meetings last spring and are prepared to do so again,” Wigod said. “To get one of us on your league meeting schedule, please email me robw@cifss.org and we will make it happen.”

This school year, the CIF Southern Section will be going through the area placement process. It is an opportunity for member schools to request a change from their existing releaguing area to another one or to affirm their desire to remain the releaguing area they are currently in. On Friday, Sept. 11, an email went out to every member high school principal. The area placement request form must be filled out and returned to the office by Friday, Oct. 9. In addition, in that same email, there was a timeline for area placement this school year and a current listing of every releaguing area of the southern section and the member schools within each one.

Now that the 2020-2021 sports calendars are in place, the CIF Southern Section office have been actively working on securing broadcast rights agreements from various entities that wish to showcase their outstanding product on television and through livestreaming platforms.

“Demand has never been higher,” Wigod said. “We expect to have several entities confirmed soon.”

The CIF State and Southern Section offices release an adjusted sports calendar earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Per the CIF Southern Section Blue Book Rule 149, the revenue from each of these broadcast rights agreements is shared directly with member schools. If any of the member schools is approached by any group to broadcast video content of any varsity athletic event, direct them to Assistant Commissioner Thom Simmons, thoms@cifss.org, who will coordinate the facilitation of those broadcast rights to retransmit their athletic events.

The NFHS Network announced an offer for schools that are facing possible attendance restrictions at events during the 2020-2021 school year. Through its High School Support Program, the NFHS Network is offering up to two free Pixellot automated-production units for schools that lack production capabilities to stream events on the NFHS Network. The offer of two Pixellot units – one for indoor events and the other for outdoor contests – has been extended to all 565 CIF Southern Section member schools. In addition to receiving two free Pixellot production units, schools will receive a larger percentage of subscription revenue generated from their events to help offset revenue losses from reduced attendance. For more information about the High School Support Program, visit http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/supportprogram. Schools wishing to sign up for free Pixellot units should visit http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/pixellot.

Finally, the latest transfer numbers for July and August of this year, as well as those same months of the 2019-2020 school year, are available online at http://www.cifss.org.

“I hope this information is useful to you moving forward and if you have any questions, or I can help you in any way at all, do not hesitate to contact me,” Wigod said. “My staff and I are ready, willing and able to assist you in any way we possibly can. Thank you very much for your help and support, it is deeply appreciated. Be well, stay safe, take care and all the best to you and your families.”

The CIF offices are open with normal business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those looking to get in touch with the offices, phone service will resume, but no walk-ins will be permitted at this time. Advanced in-person appointments or virtual meetings only will be allowed, and the office staff continue to be available via email as well. If someone who made an in-person appointment or a member of their family or staff are not feeling well at the time of the appointment, the offices ask that they either reschedule or participate in a virtual meeting instead. The offices will also continue to monitor the ever-changing situation involved with the COVID-19 pandemic in preparation of the fall and spring sports for the 2020-2021 school year.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.