The California Interscholastic Federation announced Wednesday its plan to hold one-week Southern California regional playoffs in seven sports, including basketball, baseball and softball, starting June 5 and ending June 26. The other sports include soccer, tennis, boys volleyball and golf.
Because only two of six Northern California sections — Central Coast and Oakland — are even holding playoffs, there will be no Northern California regionals. That also means for a second straight year there will be no state track and field or state swimming and diving championships.
The 2021 state track and field meet, scheduled for Buchanan High school in Clovis, would have been the 102nd in history.
The CIF, which only takes over playoffs at the regional and state level, had no choice. The organization's hands were tied. Section champions feed into the regional playoffs and with no champs to advance, regionals were impossible.
"Ultimately with only CCS and Oakland offering playoffs, regional playoffs in the North weren't feasible," CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said. "We wanted to wait as long as possible to make sure there were no update or changes (with the sections)."
Though disappointed that his athletes can't move on, CCS commissioner Dave Grissom said he's heard no complaints.
"This pandemic has been absolutely life changing and life altering for so many families," he said. "In the big scheme of things, for there not to be Northern California championships is OK. It's completely OK. It's just one of those things. It was impossible to pull off. I haven't heard one coach, athletic director or school be upset about it."
All four Southern California sections — the Southern, San Diego, Los Angeles and Central — will finish up their playoffs in late May or early June and then enter a one-week regional playoff.
The section playoffs must be completed by the following dates in these respective sports: boys and girls soccer (May 29), boys and girls team tennis (May 29), boys volleyball (June 5), boys and girls golf (June 12), boys and girls basketball (June 12), baseball (June 19) and softball (June 19).
The last date for regional championships for each sport: boys and girls soccer (June 5), boys and girls team tennis (June 5), boys volleyball (June 12), boys and girls golf (June 15), boys and girls basketball (June 19), baseball (June 26) and softball (June 26).
With just one week to complete tournaments, each bracket will be no more than eight teams. That will create many more brackets than normally, especially in basketball.
Teams and student athletes will likely be faced with many conflicts, concerning both graduation and club teams. Nocetti is hoping for flexibility in all cases.
"We understand that section championships are top priority," Nocetti said. "But we hope those teams communicate as soon as possible their plans on participation at regionals."
The Southern California baseball and softball regionals should be very interest. Currently, three SoCal teams are in the MaxPreps Top 25 national baseball
rankings and four SoCal softball squads are among the nation's 25 best