Athletics Return to Play 2020-21

Menlo School has been monitoring state and county health guidelines, as well as those of CIF, CCS and our leagues so that our student-athletes have the best chance of getting back to the playing fields as soon as possible, as safely as possible.

County tier map —  Club sports (NEW):  The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school athletics, has again waived its bylaw prohibiting playing club sports and high school sports at the same time. The state Department of Public Health also recently changed its stance to a recommendation that athletes should play only on one team at a time. While always advocating for our students, their safety and well-being, we have decided to revise our policy to one that is more lenient, yet one that we feel is safe while abiding by CDPH and San Mateo County Health Department guidelines. Menlo students may play on an outside team if that sport’s assigned color tier matches San Mateo County’s tier, or is allowed in a more restrictive tier. For example, when San Mateo County is in the red tier, athletes may play on outside teams provided that sport’s CIF assigned tier is red (baseball, girls’ lacrosse) or purple (distanced individual sports). If the county moves to Orange Tier, athletes may participate in sports allowed in the red, purple and orange. Should the county move to yellow, playing on a club team for any sport will be allowed. 

2.19.2021 — The state has updated its stance on youth and high school athletics participation, allowing outdoor sports competition starting Friday, Feb. 26.

Menlo Athletics Community Update 2.21.2021

In Season 1, football and water polo are among the sports allowed to begin competition next Friday in any county in the state with a per-capita case rate of fewer than 14 per 100,000 residents — which currently includes San Mateo County. Football and water polo on top of Menlo’s weekly testing requirement must have a test 24 hours prior to competition. 

There are many considerations that we must review not only with county guidelines, but also the Central Coast Section, our three leagues and school policy. The School is addressing travel, officials and sport-by-sport protocol. We are thrilled about the likelihood of a competition season for many of our sports, and we will continue to share more details and developments.

Here are several resources of the news released:

2.2.21 — Menlo School and its associated leagues West Bay Athletic (WBAL), West Catholic Athletic (WCAL) and Peninsula Athletic (PAL) will continue to follow the Governor’s Office, State Department of Public Health, San Mateo County, and CIF/CCS authorities regarding return-to-play protocol. Teams cannot begin competition until it has moved into the properly colored tier. Information will continue to be updated as competition dates near. 

All Menlo School teams in both seasons are practicing or have practice schedules in place. Please contact the varsity head coach contact for program information on any level of sport.

ImPACT/BioSway testing
To participate in athletics, all student-athletes need to have a pre-participation physical on file, all health forms completed on Magnus and completed ImPACT and BioSway testing. Here are the instructions for at-home ImPACT testing  while we are in a pandemic. If you need to make an appointment with Menlo Sports Medicine, click here.

Playoffs Season I: The CCS voted to eliminate playoffs for season 1 sports as defined by CIF (cross country, football, volleyball, and water polo).

Practices: The official start of “practices” for Season 1 is Saturday 1.16.2021. Season 2 start date has been eliminated which means is that all sports can hold team conditioning/skill sessions now because all sports are allowed at this time. Season 2 sports stay in the summer activity model. Participants in these sessions must be socially distanced and must follow all COVID-19 safety protocol. Athletes who play a season 1 sport, as well as a season 2 sport must work out with one team (priority goes to season 1).

Games and League play: Members of the WBAL, PAL and WCAL  are discussing whether they will be moving toward a different model for games, and possibly switching some sports seasons. 

Background & Resources

CIF logoOnce the state public health leaders announced updated
guidelines on youth and adult recreational sports, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which governs 10 sections, including the Central Coast Section (CCS) issued a plan for return to play. Menlo will abide by the directive of the state and San Mateo County public health officials. All return-to-play plans are tentative. See the chart above for amended seasons and tentative dates.

The CIF office and California Department of Public Health have created the following information that is directly related to high school sports to help clarify guidance.

CIF Sports COVID-19 Tiers - A document that illustrates the colored tier of each county in California, along with the sports that are currently allowed in each tier. (Updated 2.2.21)

CIF All Sports Guidelines — Specific health and safety protocols created for each sport. (Updated 1.21.21)

The California Department of Public Health released guidance on Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Sports  (as of 12.14.2020).

COVID Testing

Students, as well as coaches and staff, will need two consecutive tests to return to campus, and need to be tested weekly throughout participation in Menlo Athletics. Remember to upload a pdf of your results to both:

UPLOAD Athletics (for practice and competition)

UPLOAD Academics (for hybrid learning)

UPLOAD Coaches & Athletics staff

Menlo School’s COVID-19 Resource Page


Virtual training & education

Wellness Program

Wellness Program: Menlo’s Athletic Trainers have created a series of physical and mental wellness talks for students and the whole community. Look for announcements on the Monday topics or visit the Menlo Sports Medicine video library .

Online workouts: Since March 2020, the Performance & Wellness coaches have led online workouts in addition to team-specific training. Visit @menlo_performance on Instagram.