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Two California Football Teams Held Scrimmage Against Shutdowns

January 21, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
Two California high school football teams gathered over the weekend to play a game, potentially violating California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and Southern Section rules as well as state health orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report from The Orange County Register, Capistrano Valley Christian and Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana are the two schools involved in the illegal game, which the head coaches called a “glorified scrimmage.”

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Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

“There were no kickoffs, and no kicks at all, really. We had very limited parents (at the game) — mostly just parents,” Calvary Chapel coach Pat McInally told The OCRegister.

Both teams are part of private schools and do not fall under the jurisdiction of a school district. Thom Simmons, a CIF Southern Section assistant commissioner and spokesman told The OCRegister that his office is still gathering information on the contest.

“We are still looking into it,” Simmons said via email to The OCRegister. “However, the decision to allow athletic teams to resume is an individual school/school district/private school decision, following the guidelines developed by the California Department of Public Health and local health authorities.”

The California Department of Public Health issued guidelines last month that said high school and youth sports competitions are not allowed until Jan. 25, at the earliest, because competitions increase the likelihood of transmission “due to mixing of households, traveling, and unavoidable physical contact.”

The contest violated the regional state-at-home order that prohibits “private gatherings of any size” in Orange County. The stay-at-home order was put in place last month to combat the surge in coronavirus cases throughout the state, according to The OCRegister.

Paul Caldera, the Orange County Football Officials Association assignor, told The OCRegister that his group did not assign the officials that worked the game.

“I did not assign it and I was not notified about it,” said Caldera, who also is the CIF-SS liaison for Orange County officials. “It’s being looked at and that’s all I can say about it right now.”

To read the full story about two high school football teams playing a game in spite of COVID-19 restrictions, click here