How Sports Are Looking for Gahr Athletes
On Monday, January 25th, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom ended the regional stay-at-home order after seeing a consistent drop in coronavirus cases in the last month. While this does mean that small businesses, restaurants, and places of worship can reopen and provide outdoor services, we must continue to be careful and refrain from large social gatherings.
What does this mean for Gahr athletes? Newsom’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which is a plan for improving coronavirus conditions by implementing social restrictions based on a county’s “tier.” Each tier reflects the severity of COVID-19 impact on a county in California, which for high school sports, translates to when certain sports will be able to have an official season.
Photo obtained from cifstate.org
California is currently almost entirely in the “purple tier,” which represents a widespread impact of the coronavirus and results in the most restrictions being placed. CIF showed in a diagram that in counties of “purple tier,” including LA County, the only sports that are allowed to take place are cross country, golf, skiing/snowboarding, swimming/diving, tennis, and track and field. (When participating in any of these sports, the use of proper sanitation, social distancing, and facial coverings are required).
In “red” or “substantial” tier, the sports that are allowed include baseball, softball, girl’s lacrosse, and field hockey. The “orange” or “moderate” tier allows football, badminton, boys lacrosse, gymnastics, volleyball, water polo, and soccer to take place. Lastly, in the “yellow” or “minimal” tier, basketball, competitive cheerleading, and wrestling are permitted.
As of now, Gahr’s cross country teams have the best chance of getting a few competitions this year. Despite the playoffs and League/District meets getting cancelled, Coach Leighliter, or “Coach L” as referred to by the runners, is working to hopefully get a race or two by the end of March.
“Riverside County is already allowing meets. Orange County has full practices. Certain parts of Los Angeles County (that have their own health departments: Long Beach, South Bay, Pasadena) are allowing practices. As part of Los Angeles County, we are still in limbo as [the] virus is still out of control,” Coach L wrote.
In other words, other schools in the same cross country league as Gahr are allowing team practices (in accordance with social distancing and preventative measures). On the other hand, the ABC District still has concerns on COVID-19, and is not permitting large assemblies of athletes, or Cluster Meets (competitions between all six schools); Dual and Tri-meets (competitions between 2-3 schools), however, are allowed.
“[The cross country] season ends March 27 now since [there are] no playoffs (which had previously been March 5). Each school in our league will decide who to race, where to race, and when (or even if) they will run a cross country meet,” said Coach L. “If [there is] no cross country, then school may begin track practice.”
In the meantime, Coach L has been posting workout plans each week for his athletes to follow, in order to prepare them for a possible race. Unfortunately, however, sports that involve more physical contact, such as basketball, can pose a risk for the spread of coronavirus, and until the pandemic dies down, will most likely not have any competitions take place.