Patriots News · CIF Commissioner Update

DATE: March 14, 2020
TO: Principals, Athletic Directors and Coaches
FROM: Jerry Schniepp, CIFSDS Commissioner
RE: Update on School Closures and Athletic Contests



The purpose of this letter, and future updates is to be a resource to our members during these trying and complex times. First and foremost, I trust that you are all safe, taking necessary precautions and making all decisions with student safety at the forefront of your processes.

We hope to provide some clarity to how we are addressing closures and cancellations of schools and events due to the Covid-19 virus. The CIFSDS has, and will continue to be in close communication with the state CIF, the San Diego County Office of Education and the Superintendents of schools and schools districts throughout the section. We have been and will continue to be the conduit for discussion, the sharing of information, ideas and courses of action.

The information below is intended to provide clarification and to answer questions:

Practice and Competition

High School teams will not practice or compete during the period designated by each school or school district in which schools are closed; this includes practicing at alternative sites. For all intents and purposes, “no-contact period” guidelines will be in effect-coaches may not coordinate, schedule, direct or plan team activities and there can be no student-organized or led practices.

The spring “season of sport” and rule 600 remain in effect. Student-athletes may not practice, train or compete with club teams during the high school season of sport. Please keep in mind that the purpose of all recent cancellations and closures is to actively encourage people to avoid groups and gatherings.


The CIFSDS office has notified all official associations of school closures and cancellation of contests based on school and school district communications. It is incumbent on all schools (AD’s and coaches) to communicate up-to-date schedules with each association when play resumes.

CIFSDS Post-season competition

No CIFSDS playoffs or post-season competitions have been cancelled to date. However, dates are being reviewed and post-season competitions may ultimately need to be modified or cancelled based on when teams return to competition. The CIFSDS is closely monitoring return to competition possibilities and will include conference presidents, coaches advisory committees, Coordinating Council and the Board of Managers in those discussions when appropriate.

Return to Practice and Competition

Just as with school closures and cancellation of contests, schools and school districts will notify teams when they can resume practice and competition. Teams will be provided an opportunity to practice prior to resuming competition (number of days/practices is yet to be determined).

Playoffs/Playoff Seeding

We will review all options of conducting the CIFSDS playoffs and post-season competition once play resumes. Rankings, seeding procedures, numbers of participants and dates will all be under consideration to modify.

Minimum Number of Contests

Individual Sports (Track & Field, Swim & Dive, Gymnastics, Tennis and Golf)
Waivers may be submitted and will be reviewed for those student-athletes in individual sports that do not meet the minimum standard of contests.

Team Sports (Softball, Baseball, Lacrosse, Volleyball)

Currently, a minimum of 15 games are required to have a “valid” power ranking and once play resumes, all teams should make every effort to reach this number. However for most sports, officials associations will not be able to accommodate requests to make-up all contests. Once play resumes, the minimum number of contests will be reviewed for each sport and may be reduced.

The commissioners of each of the 10 sections in the CIF will be meeting next week, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 along with the state CIF to share information and to discuss the impact of Covid- 19 on the spring season. Section leadership will also convene in some fashion in the near future; we will provide information to our schools following that set of meetings. Stay safe and take care.