CIF delays fall sports, again

Jermaine Johnson II

California’s governing body for sports announces practice, game dates on hold; regional and state playoffs have been canceled for fall sports

TULARE COUNTY – This week was set to be the first official week of practice for high school sports in Tulare County, but the ongoing pandemic has pushed that date back yet again.

Last Tuesday, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced that all practice and competition start dates are on hold until the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issues updated guidance on youth sports.

The CDPH postponed the issuance of its updated youth sports guidance due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. Back on July 20, the CIF Central Section announced that the current season will be modified with fall sports being pushed to winter. Practices were set to begin on Dec. 7 with the first contest scheduled for Dec. 28. According to a recent press release from the CIF, they do not expect the CDPH to issue any guidance allowing for schools to return to full practice and competition until after January 1, 2021, at the earliest. As a result, they have also decided to cancel all regional and state playoffs for fall sports.

“By canceling regional and state championship events, more student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a longer season, rather than a truncated season with regional and state post-season play for a limited number of schools,” the press release said.

“The CIF is confident this decision is a necessary and reasonable action for our member schools, student-athletes, and school communities in light of the current statewide crisis. This revision to the CIF State 2020-21 Season 1 Sports calendar offers our Sections and Leagues the flexibility and needed time to plan for the return to practice and competition once updated guidance is provided by the CDPH.”

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