SB 486 seeks to even the playing field (literally) for high school athletes

State Senator Melissa Hurtado introduced the bill after watching Shafter and Orland High try to play a state championship football game on a muddy, ill-equipped field.
high school football sports
Posted at 10:16 PM, Jul 13, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — State Senator Melissa Hurtado and the City of Shafter are leading the way for change with Senate Bill 486, which is currently headed to the Assembly floor for a vote.

The bill comes after the recent CIF Division 5-A state title game between Shafter and Orland High School. The field was muddy and many Shafter fans were not provided seats in the bleachers.

SB 486 aims to hold all high school football state championship games at a neutral location. In March, Hurtado and members of the Shafter football team spoke to members of the state legislature about the challenges they faced.

The bill has passed through committees without much opposition, but the California Interscholastic Federation believes the bill is an unnecessary use of state authority.

The CIF believes they can solve the state championship venue selection issue in-house with their own internal team.

If the California State Assembly votes to advance the bill, it will be sent to Governor Gavin Newsom for his signature or veto.