Proposed sports schedules on the table for gameplay to return to California community colleges

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The California Community College Athletic Association recently approves three potential schedules that could be used to bring sports back during the 2020-2021 academic year. Valley News/AC Sports photo

The sports season for next year’s California community college school year is being mapped out as the board of directors for the California Community College Athletic Association recently approved three potential schedules. The CCCAA shut down all sports programs in mid-March during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so these plans involve schedules that could be used to bring sports back during the 2020-2021 academic year. The three schedules were approved Friday, June 5, during a teleconference meeting.

The plans were put together by the athletic association’s COVID-19 Working Group, which is comprised of coaches, athletic directors and athletic trainers, and is headed by Jill Board, president of Cerro Coso College, and Kanoe Bandy, vice chairman of the CCCAA Management Board and athletic director at Taft College.

“The following framework was created by the (work group) to provide guidance to the organization and its member institutions as we transition out of a shelter-in-place environment for the fall of 2020 semester/quarter,” the group said in its calendar proposal. “While this guidance is not perfect, it should nonetheless provide an opportunity for student-athletes to experience the many benefits of being part of intercollegiate athletics.”

The six guiding principles being considered included health, safety and mitigation, student opportunity, budget and financial consideration, equity, elements of uncertainty and information decision-making. These proposals have been named “Conventional,” “Contact/Non-Contact” and “Contingency.” In each one of the plans they have eliminated state championships as to avoid out-of-region competition during the pandemic.

Cross-country, football, women’s golf, soccer, women’s volleyball, water polo and wrestling would be played in the fall in the “Conventional” plan. Practices would start Aug. 31, and competition would begin Sept. 11, except for football, which would start on Sept. 26. The regular season would end mid-November, and a regional championship would be held the day after Thanksgiving.

In the modified “Contact/Non-Contact” plan, cross-country, women’s golf, swimming and diving and women’s volleyball would begin practice Aug. 31, with competition starting the second week of September. The regular season would again end mid-November and a regional championship would be held the day after Thanksgiving.

Spring sports would have two phases. In the first phase, basketball, football, soccer, water polo and wrestling would start practicing mid-January, and games would start a month later in February. The regular season would conclude the first week in April, and a regional championship would take place mid-April.

In the second phase, badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, men’s golf, softball, tennis, track and field and men’s volleyball would start practices March 27, and competition would begin April 10. The regular season would finish June 12, and the regional championships would take place June 23.

If the state determines that conditions have not improved during the summer, the “Contingency” plan would be established. Cross-country and women’s golf would be the only sports to be played in the fall with the same dates as the modified or contingency plans.

The spring sports season would be split into two segments. Basketball, football, soccer, women’s volleyball, water polo and wrestling would start practice Jan. 18, and the season would begin Feb. 5, except football, which would start Feb. 13. The regular season would be completed by April 6, and a state regional game would take place April 17.

Badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, men’s golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and men’s volleyball would start practice March 27, the first day of competition would be April 10 and the regular season would end June 12. The regional state championships would be June 23. Only about 70% to 75% of the seasons would be played in these plans.

The CCCAA board will meet again July 17 for a final vote. According to the legislation, if on July 17, “it is still unsafe to execute athletics within the ‘Conventional’ plan framework, they will then move to either the ‘Contact/Non-Contact’ plan or the ‘Contingency’ plan, based on where the state is in its reopening plan.”

The CCCAA Trainers Association also released an 85-page document for athletic programs to follow once they are cleared to conduct workouts on campus, which can be found at http://www.ccata.org.

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