Poor air quality from the Camp Fire in Northern California left Bay Area high school sports administrators on heightened alert Friday, trying to figure out whether to hold playoff games across the region.
Central Coast Section commissioner Duane Morgan sent his schools a memo, informing them that the section has “no specific air quality guidelines to determine if a game will be played or not” but that it does “monitor air quality though airnow.com, which has current updates.”
North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon was in a meeting Friday morning to decide what to do about games in his section, which include an Open Division football semifinal Friday night between Pittsburg and De La Salle in Concord.
The NCS has a recommended air quality guideline of 150 and below for its athletic events.
Because the CCS stretches from San Francisco to King City, it allows administrators at each site to decide whether it is safe to play, said Morgan, who offered compassion to the fire victims in his memo.
“Our hearts go out to the families impacted by these fires up North and we wish them the best,” Morgan said.
He also advised schools how to handle the situation:
“During the day we will be monitoring certain areas where our games are to be played and be in communication with different sites and determine the viability of safe play,” Morgan wrote. “If it determined that it is not safe then the default position for football games would be Saturday. If Saturday is not doable, the latest the game would be played is Monday night.
“If football teams are at the site, the home and visiting administrators in conjunction with the CCS site director will determine if it would safe to play the game. Again the default game day would be Saturday and or Monday.
“As far as cross country, water polo, tennis and field hockey this would be determined on a site by site decision by the CCS persons at the venues. We again would be monitoring our sites and if we have to make the decision early to reschedule we will get in touch with everyone impacted by that decision.
“In the case of cross country, water polo, tennis and field hockey, we have options for a Monday meet-since it is a day off or a next Saturday meet. We will have to check with venues and site specific personnel on their availability.”
In August, Bishop O’Dowd’s football game against Kennedy in Fremont was canceled because of poor air quality. The air quality reading at the field that night was 157.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports