Village News Reporter
The CIF San Diego Section has a “dead period” in which contact between coaches and student-athletes is not allowed. The period is 14 days, and schools can now split that no contact period into two seven-day periods.
A unanimous CIF Board of Managers vote Wednesday, April 5, approved a revision in the language which allows schools to split a no contact period while also allowing the retention of a 14-day consecutive period.
“This would be another option,” CIF commissioner Joe Heinz said.
In 2002, the CIF implemented a two-week period which prohibits participation or scheduling of organized practices, student-led team practices, team participation in tournaments or clinics, issuance of equipment, school site physical examinations and organizational meetings. Individual students are allowed to attend a clinic or tournament, and a weight-training school class that an athlete is not required to attend does not violate the regulation. The prohibition against team activity rather than activity involving an individual student-athlete allows student-athletes with a relative coaching at the school to discuss athletic matters or participate in informal athletic activities.
Before 2015, the CIF commissioner annually set a specific two-week “dead period” for the entire section, although if a school principal submitted a written request for an alternative 14-day period the commissioner had the authority to grant that. A 2015 change allowed schools to select a two-week dead period for each sport, although the no contact period still needed to be for two consecutive weeks. Each school submits a form to the CIF office stipulating the starting and ending dates of the no contact period for each sport. The dead period can start no earlier than the close of school and no later than July 19, a date which would end the no contact period Aug. 2. Because the no contact period is during the summer the prohibition against team camps, clinics and tournaments applied only to fall sports and not to winter or spring sports. In 2018, the CIF allowed such activities supervised by the school coach or coaching staff members and within two weeks of the start of fall practices. Eliminating injuries during the season, especially in sports such as cross country where endurance tolerance can be beneficial if a runner builds base miles during summer training, was also a reason for that modification which did not eliminate the dead period.
The option to split the no contact period allows more flexibility which may enable schools to have more actual no contact time for student-athletes which could include academic commitments. The change may allow more flexibility in summer vacation schedules both for the athlete’s family and for coaches’ families. It may also be possible for a school to have a single dead period for all sports, which would be to the benefit of multi-sport athletes.
“If you don’t want to split, you don’t have to,” Scott Giusti, director of physical education, health and athletics for San Diego Unified School District and SDUSD representative on the CIF Board of Managers, said. “What we’re asking is for the flexibility.”
Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].