First time CIF basketball championships were cancelled
The Campolindo Cougars of Moraga made it to the state championship game scheduled for tonight, Friday, March 13, 2020, by beating De Le Salle in the NorCal Division 1 championship game 54-49 Tuesday night. (See game video highlights here) But in response to concerns over the coronavirus, on Thursday morning the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) cancelled the 12 state championship games and one Northern California Open semifinal game. That includes the Division 1 game between the number 7 ranked Campolindo and the number 8 ranked Ribet Academy Fighting Frogs of Los Angeles.
Campolindo ended the season unbeaten in league at 12-0 and with an overall record of 26-6. Ribet finished with a 30-3 overall record and 7-1 in league.
In the CIF news release announcing the cancellations, it states:
“Effective Immediately – The California Interscholastic Federation (‘CIF’) has canceled all remaining CIF State Basketball Championship games. This includes regional finals scheduled for March 12, 2020, and the CIF State finals scheduled for March 13-14, 2020 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. This decision was made after careful deliberation and in the primary interest of protecting the health and safety of our member schools, fans, and most importantly, our student-athletes. While we understand this decision is disappointing, we strongly believe that the opportunity to compete in this event does not outweigh our obligation to place the health and safety of our member schools and school communities above all else.
We want to recognize the hard work and commitment our student-athletes have made to reach the State Basketball Championships. The impact of COVID-19 created many unexpected challenges during this year’s tournament season, and we want to thank everyone involved for their flexibility, patience, and commitment in providing our student-athletes a great experience despite this unique situation.
For those that have already purchased tickets for the March 13-14, 2020 games at Golden 1 Center, refunds will be made available at the original point of purchase. If tickets were purchased online via ticketmaster.com, refunds will be processed automatically.
CIF Executive Director
According to Cal-Hi Sports, this was the first time the state basketball championships have been cancelled since the competition begin 1981.
“This is not the first time that the CIF has had to cancel a state championship event, but it’s the first time since World War II. The only CIF state finals in those days was the CIF state track meet and it was not held because of the war for 1942 through 1945. The worldwide flu epidemic in the late 1910s also caused the CIF not to conduct regional football championships in 1918 as well as the 1919 state championships in basketball. Those early years of the CIF state basketball championships began in 1916 and were halted in 1928.
There also was great disruption to the 2018 CIF state football championships due to an outside force, but it was due to the natural disaster in Northern California known as the Camp Fire and the immense amount of smoke it generated that stayed locked near the ground for several weeks. In that case, the CIF moved its state football finals back one week, but no championship games were cancelled.”
An attempt to reach Campolindo Coach Steven Dyer for comment was unsuccessful before publication. Please check back later for updates to this report.