Heinz: Revision needed on the nine-game minimum rule
While not as bad as last season, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on San Diego County football.
By the middle of the 2021 season, more than a dozen games were lost to COVID. while other teams have had to withdraw from games due to a lack of players, unrelated to COVID.
Several top-tier teams – Lincoln, Mater Dei Catholic, El Camino, Scripps Ranch, Torrey Pines, Oceanside – are at risk of missing the CIF-mandated nine-game regular-season minimum to qualify for the playoffs.
“We’ll definitely have to revisit that,” San Diego Chapter Commissioner Joe Heinz said of the nine-game rule. “We need to have discussions on the minimum number of games needed to advance to the playoffs, as that will affect the power standings and the playoff standings.
“We did the same for season 2 in the spring. There was a lot of common sense talk in the spring. Decisions have been made on what is best for our teams. It looks like COVID is on its downward slope, and we won’t lose many games anymore, but we want the best teams in the playoffs. “
This week, the Scripps Ranch-Sweetwater match was called off due to COVID at the Sweetwater campus, while Westview abandoned their match with El Camino due to the lack of healthy players unrelated to COVID.
Heinz explained that games lost to COVID are considered “without competition”.
However, matches not played because a team is running out of healthy players unrelated to COVID will be considered “forfeits”.
This week’s Westview-El Camino game is a forfeit victory for El Camino.
The CIF state office said it was suspending a rule banning Sunday games this fall.
Heinz said state regulation 504.M was being changed to allow schools affected by COVID cancellations or wildfires in northern California the ability to reschedule games.
“But Sunday is for games, no training,” Heinz said. “And that’s only for the fall.”
A decision is coming soon to the venues for the soccer championships.
The Open Division Championship is scheduled for Saturday, November 20. Divisions IV are scheduled for Friday and Saturday November 26-27.
Southwestern College has been hosting the finals since 2014 with Qualcomm Stadium the main venue for years before.
Southwestern and Escondido High are the considered venues for the championships. However, in this COVID era, San Diego community colleges have several seating restrictions.
Devore Stadium in Southwestern has an advertised capacity of 7,275.
The Wilson Stadium at Escondido High has an advertised capacity of 5,500 seats.
The 2012 CIF Championships were held at Wilson Stadium and additional seats in the end area were added.
The new, state-of-the-art San Diego Stadium, when complete, would be a great Finals venue if it is affordable.
Much of the San Diego Chapter’s income comes from its championship events, so rent and attendance are huge factors.
Cerritos College, which is due to host the state football championships, balks at his commitment.
This leaves the CIF state scrambling for a site. Cal State Fullerton, Santa Ana Bowl, and Saddleback College were discussed.
Wandering the county in search of a place to play nightly games, Santa Fe Christian had to travel from his home in Solana Beach to Clairemont High and La Costa Canyon for “home” games.
Without lights on its campus grounds, the SFC had played on Friday or Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles, however, hope to join the Friday Night Lights circuit.
“Next year we’re hoping for permanent lights on our land,” Miller said. “We followed all the rules, did what we had to do, so we think it will happen.”
Catholic cathedral quarterback Charlie Mirer has been nominated to play in the inaugural MLK All-Star Classic to be played Jan. 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Played in an East-West format, the game will have players from 17 states.