Los Angeles COVID-19 levels are hampering the restart of district sports.
By Gene Wickham, Staff Writer
Due to the current high COVID-19 infection levels across the nation, especially in Southern California, the return to sports in January has been ruled out.
“With the COVID-19 spiking in LA County, we are expecting to opt out for the spring one schedule,” said Jim Fenwick, Valley College athletic director.
When the COVID-19 lockdown began in mid-March, the fall 2019 sports were completed and the winter sports were finishing their season. Everything came to an abrupt halt and the following spring season was canceled as a result. There has been no sports competition since.
The California Community College Athletic Association met in July and informed the community colleges that a decision to start sports again would be announced by the end of October. On Nov. 6, the organization announced the decision to start sports again would be left up to the individual colleges and districts to decide, depending on their local health situation.
The CCCAA had laid out a plan at their meeting hoping to return to sports on Jan. 18, during the spring 2021 semester. The association had basically squeezed three sport seasons into one. However, that will no longer be the case.
Valley President Barry Gribbons has been keeping abreast of the situation and learned the LACCD board declined to approve the return of any sports in the spring due to the current rise in COVID-19.
“We’re not able to continue with competition for fall sports that were moved to the spring semesters,” he said.
Gribbons had been monitoring the actions of other colleges and conferences and noted the South Coast Conference canceled their competitions for the January fall sports. While the Western State Conference (which Valley is a part of) hasn’t made any announcement yet, Gribbons said they are likely to follow suit.
“We are working with the district though in the recovery planning to identify phases at which we can bring student athletes back to campus.” he said.
The spring was supposed to allow for the fall and winter sports to convene on Jan.18 and the spring sports to follow afterwards in the second half of the semester. With the current local health situation, all spring sports have been canceled.
Currently, there is no date for when student athletes can meet for practice or conditioning for either fall or spring sports.