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Local boys lacrosse teams will have shorter seasons

Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board reaffirms its decision to offer shorter seasons for more sports

A Menlo School versus Menlo-Atherton High School boys lacrosse match. File photo.

UPDATE: On Feb. 19, the state lifted its ban on outdoor youth sports, which can resume in California counties that have case rates of fewer than 14 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. San Mateo and Santa Clara counties meet the threshold. Read the updated guidance here.

A controversial decision by the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board of Managers to create a three-season scheduling structure for prep sports this spring — a model that drew the ire of some athletes and parents — will remain in place, affecting Sequoia Union High School District boys lacrosse teams, the board affirmed at a special meeting Tuesday. (All other high school sports teams in The Almanac's coverage area are not part of the league, Menlo-Atherton High School Athletic Director Paul Snow said in an email.)

The meeting was called to address several issues with the league's decision to replace the California Interscholastic Federation's two-season format with the three-season model, a decision made by league athletic directors to allow as many athletes as possible, frosh-soph as well as varsity, an opportunity to perform.

Charlie Goldberg, a parent of a Palo Alto High School baseball player, filed a complaint that the board had violated the state's Brown Act, which regulates public meetings. He alleged the league did not allow sufficient time for public comment prior to making its decision. So on Tuesday, the board listened to public comment during the first hour of the meeting.

Objections to the three-season model were raised primarily by athletes, coaches and parents from traditional spring sports, who saw their seasons wiped out last March due to the coronavirus. Objections were also raised to the league's decision to not take part in any Central Coast Section (CCS) or California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs, should they occur.

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Season 3 sports — lacrosse, baseball, softball, track and field, basketball, wrestling, water polo, boys volleyball, boys golf, boys tennis and gymnastics — were given a five-week window for competition, from April 19 to May 28, which is quite a reduction from the normal four months of spring sports.

As various administrators at the meeting pointed out, having the seasons overlap is unfeasible due to several factors: the sharing of limited available facilities, individuals who coach multiple sports and the prohibition on athletes playing more than one sport at the same time.

The board tabled the discussion on the possibility of league teams' participation in the CCS playoffs until the next meeting, which will take place March 4 at 9 a.m. As Commissioner Brad Metheany pointed out, seven to 10 days need to be blocked off in order for teams to participate in the section playoffs. If five of the league's 14 teams in a given sport qualify for the playoffs, that would mean the other nine varsity teams would be idle, as well as the lower-level frosh-soph teams. A possible solution would be to move up Season 3 schedules to an earlier starting date.

The CCS has already canceled the playoffs for all Season 1 sports as well as Season 2's football, girls volleyball, field hockey and competitive cheer and Season 3's water polo. The neighboring North Coast Section has canceled all section playoffs.

Almanac reporter Angela Swartz contributed to this report.

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Local boys lacrosse teams will have shorter seasons

Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board reaffirms its decision to offer shorter seasons for more sports

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 4:55 pm

UPDATE: On Feb. 19, the state lifted its ban on outdoor youth sports, which can resume in California counties that have case rates of fewer than 14 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. San Mateo and Santa Clara counties meet the threshold. Read the updated guidance here.

A controversial decision by the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Board of Managers to create a three-season scheduling structure for prep sports this spring — a model that drew the ire of some athletes and parents — will remain in place, affecting Sequoia Union High School District boys lacrosse teams, the board affirmed at a special meeting Tuesday. (All other high school sports teams in The Almanac's coverage area are not part of the league, Menlo-Atherton High School Athletic Director Paul Snow said in an email.)

The meeting was called to address several issues with the league's decision to replace the California Interscholastic Federation's two-season format with the three-season model, a decision made by league athletic directors to allow as many athletes as possible, frosh-soph as well as varsity, an opportunity to perform.

Charlie Goldberg, a parent of a Palo Alto High School baseball player, filed a complaint that the board had violated the state's Brown Act, which regulates public meetings. He alleged the league did not allow sufficient time for public comment prior to making its decision. So on Tuesday, the board listened to public comment during the first hour of the meeting.

Objections to the three-season model were raised primarily by athletes, coaches and parents from traditional spring sports, who saw their seasons wiped out last March due to the coronavirus. Objections were also raised to the league's decision to not take part in any Central Coast Section (CCS) or California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs, should they occur.

Season 3 sports — lacrosse, baseball, softball, track and field, basketball, wrestling, water polo, boys volleyball, boys golf, boys tennis and gymnastics — were given a five-week window for competition, from April 19 to May 28, which is quite a reduction from the normal four months of spring sports.

As various administrators at the meeting pointed out, having the seasons overlap is unfeasible due to several factors: the sharing of limited available facilities, individuals who coach multiple sports and the prohibition on athletes playing more than one sport at the same time.

The board tabled the discussion on the possibility of league teams' participation in the CCS playoffs until the next meeting, which will take place March 4 at 9 a.m. As Commissioner Brad Metheany pointed out, seven to 10 days need to be blocked off in order for teams to participate in the section playoffs. If five of the league's 14 teams in a given sport qualify for the playoffs, that would mean the other nine varsity teams would be idle, as well as the lower-level frosh-soph teams. A possible solution would be to move up Season 3 schedules to an earlier starting date.

The CCS has already canceled the playoffs for all Season 1 sports as well as Season 2's football, girls volleyball, field hockey and competitive cheer and Season 3's water polo. The neighboring North Coast Section has canceled all section playoffs.

Almanac reporter Angela Swartz contributed to this report.

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