The CIF-Southern Section offices recently announced the playoff division pairings for the 2020-2021 high school fall sports season, which includes football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross-country, girls’ tennis and boys’ water polo. Despite there still being no start date to the fall sports season, and with a recent spike in coronavirus cases nationwide, sports families in the area are anxiously awaiting a decision by CIF State officials. It was announced recently that a decision would be made by July 20 whether the fall sports should begin as scheduled. Since mid-March, all high school sports activities in the state have been shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the fall season does indeed approach quickly, here is the breakdown for the proposed playoff division pairings for the 2020-2021 high school fall sports seasons, not including football, which has yet to be released. These are for the high school’s that are inside the Valley News coverage area as of June 12:

Divisional Playoff groupings

Girls’ Volleyball

Division 1/Division 2: Chaparral, Great Oak, Murrieta Valley, Paloma Valley, Temecula Valley, Vista Murrieta

Division 3: Murrieta Mesa

Division 4: Hemet, Linfield Christian

Division 5: Elsinore, Heritage, Rancho Christian

Division 6: San Jacinto, Temescal Canyon, West Valley

Division 7: Orange Vista, Rancho Verde

Division 8: California Lutheran, Cornerstone Christian, Perris, Temecula Prep

Division 9: Hamilton, River Springs (Hemet), River Springs (Temecula), San Jacinto Valley

TBD: St. Jeanne de Lestonnac

Both Temecula Valley and Chaparral high schools will join three other Southwestern League schools in the Division 1/Division 2 girls’ volleyball playoff groupings for the 2020-2021 school year. Valley News/Annette Saenz photo

Boys’ and Girls’ Cross-Country

Division 1: Chaparral, Great Oak, Hemet, Heritage, Paloma Valley, San Jacinto, Temecula Valley, Vista Murrieta

Division 2: Elsinore, Murrieta Mesa, Murrieta Valley, Orange Vista, Perris, Temescal Canyon

Division 3: Citrus Hill, Lakeside, Rancho Verde, Tahquitz, West Valley

Division 4: No local schools

Division 5: California Lutheran, Cornerstone Christian, Hamilton, Linfield Christian, Rancho Christian, River Springs (Hemet), River Springs (Temecula), San Jacinto Valley, Santa Rosa Academy, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac, Temecula Prep

** The CIF-SS Cross-Country divisions are based on CBED information from the 2019-2020 year. When the CBED information for 2020-2021 has been submitted to CIF-SS and the State Department of Education, any school that incurs a gain/loss in enrollment of a minimum of 15% in the current year will utilize the new CBED data for placement into division. Reporting of the information to the State Department of Education occurs in October of each year school year. Final divisional placement for each school will be determined once this information has been received and compiled.

REMINDER: By action of the CIF-SS Council at the March 23, 2000, meeting, no schools will be allowed to compete outside of their enrollment-based division.

Four Southwestern League cross-country teams find themselves in the Division 1 playoff groupings this fall. Valley News/Annette Saenz photo

Girls’ Tennis

Division 1: Great Oak, Murrieta Valley

Division 2: Temecula Valley

Division 3: Chaparral, Elsinore, Hemet

Division 4: Heritage, Murrieta Mesa, Paloma Valley, Vista Murrieta, Vista Murrieta

Division 5: Citrus Hill, Lakeside, Linfield Christian, Orange Vista, San Jacinto, Rancho Verde, Tahquitz, West Valley

The Linfield Christian High School girls’ tennis team will join seven other local high school teams in Division 5 of the fall sports CIF Southern Section playoff groupings. Valley News/Annette Saenz photo

Boys’ Water Polo

Division 1/Division 2: No local teams

Division 3: Murrieta Valley

Division 4: Great Oak, Temescal Canyon

Division 5: Chaparral, Elsinore, Temecula Valley, Vista Murrieta

Division 6: Hemet, Murrieta Mesa

Division 7: Heritage, Lakeside, Paloma Valley, Perris, Tahquitz

JP Raineri can be reached by email at