California delays HS sports until December or January

USA Today High School Sports

July 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the high school sports seasons in California. The CIF announced on July 20 it will be delaying the start of HS athletics until December or January.

The statement:

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season of sport schedule (see below for 2020-21 sports calendar). Our calendar reflects the season for each CIF sport and the last date for Section Championships and Regional/State Championships in those sports where a Regional/State Championship is currently offered. Following this announcement, each CIF Section Office will release their own calendar to reflect regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.

We are continuously monitoring the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts with student health and safety at the forefront. As these guidelines change, CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local Section. Also, given this calendar change, the CIF has temporarily suspended Bylaws 600-605 (Outside Competition) in all sports for the 2020-21 school year (see below for more specific information related to these changes).

One area that will be fascinating to watch is prep football. In recent years, many top players have been graduating early and starting college life in the spring semester. If this trend is to continue, some student-athletes would not play their senior season. Or, they could wind up staying in high school and not heading to college early to participate in spring football and other elements of training. The HS football playoffs are targeted to end April 17, 2021.

And on the flip side, if college football is delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic, could the players who leave HS for the spring semester suddenly start playing?

Something to definitely keep an eye on in the upcoming months.

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