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The Granada Hills Charter girls basketball team received the No. 1 seed in the City Section’s Open Division playoffs, but the team won’t be able to host its opening-round playoff game Thursday night against San Fernando due to the school’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.
“Anything indoors, our admin hasn’t lifted the vaccine requirement for spectators and visitors,” Granada Hills athletic director Cristina Garcia said.
During the regular season, the West Valley League schools agreed to the policy, which allowed for the Highlanders to host games in their home gym. But the playoffs are governed by the CIF, which states: “… if a school wishes to host a playoff contest, those specific school site rules may not be imposed on the visiting team during LA City Section playoff events. … the host school cannot mandate that a visiting team comply with their individual school site requirements that exceed the requirements of the CDPH or local county departments of public health.”
San Fernando did not agree to Granada Hills’ policy, which forced the Highlanders’ game to be moved to a neutral site. Granada Hills will now play the Tigers at Birmingham Charter Thursday at 7 p.m.
“It’s disappointing we won’t be able to play on our home floor, but we’re an ‘anytime, anywhere’ kind of team,” coach Jared Honig said.
The girls team will have to play away from home, but as of Monday afternoon, the Granada Hills boys basketball team will get to host its Division I playoff game against Roosevelt Wednesday night. Roosevelt has agreed to the policy, but that could change.
“We’re ready to play wherever we need to,” boys basketball coach Jon Bent said.
The City Section Open Division semifinal and finals are scheduled to be played at Pasadena City College on Feb. 18 and 25, respectively.
The school’s vaccination policy has created athletic challenges in the past. The girls volleyball team had to play its postseason matches at Birmingham Charter this past fall until winning the City title at Cal State Northridge. The school’s baseball team, which received the No. 1 seed in the Open Division playoffs in 2021, had to play its first-round game against Birmingham without any fans. Birmingham won 9-2.
Friday’s City Open Division baseball quarterfinal between Birmingham and Granada Hills will be played at Granada’s home field. No fans. The school has yet to permit spectators (including parents) this spring.
A live stream will be available + viewing through right field fence.
— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) June 10, 2021