The Western State Conference, the sports league for both Santa Barbara City College and Hancock College, will meet on Monday to discuss the viability of holding competition this year under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ball was put back into its court after the California Community College Athletic Association’s Board of Directors voted on Friday to keep its modified calendar. It heard three options from its COVID Working Group.
“We’re still kind of in a waiting game,” SBCC director of athletics Rocco Constantino said. “I will be interested to see what the discussion is at the WSC meeting Monday.”
The state board voted to stick with a plan that extends the semester to June 23 while splitting all JC sports into two seasons. Constantino sent a summary of Friday’s CCCAA meeting to SBCC’s administration.
“We likely would have to make a decision on opting in or out of sports sometime in the next few weeks,” he said.
Football at SBCC and Hancock College are scheduled to begin official workouts on Jan. 18 and play their first games on Feb. 13.
Six other sports — basketball, cross country, women’s golf, soccer, women’s volleyball and water polo — would begin play a week earlier, on Feb. 5. They would all end their regular seasons on April 6, with a regional playoff period running from April 10-17.
Spring sports (baseball, beach volleyball, men’s golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and men’s volleyball) would begin workouts on March 27 and competition on April 10. The regular season would end June 12, with a one-week playoff period from June 16-23.
“It will now be up to the institutions to decide if they are going to opt out of any or all competition,” Constantino said. “Schools may pick and choose which sports they would like to compete in.
“They can compete in all of them, none of them or anything in between. There was discussion of schools opting out for the first half of the spring, but then opting back in for the second half, and that was approved as an option for schools, as well.”
The CCCAA Board of Directors did announce a change in testing protocols. Only high-risk sports are required to test all personnel after every single competition. At SBCC, they include football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and water polo. The other sports must test “regularly” in a timetable established by the individual school.
“The state athletic trainers were tasked with creating some guidelines,” Constantino said. “We have already made those guidelines in our department and can adjust if needed.”
The CCCAA also passed a waiver stating that the 2020-2021 school year will not count towards a student-athlete’s service time.
“Every governing body in the country has now passed that waiver except the NCAA,” Constantino said. “It was said that the NCAA is expected to honor the waiver that was passed by the CCCAA today.”