The California Interscholastic Federation offices, at the state and local level, have finally released the info high school sports fan have been waiting for, which didn’t come with much surprise. The CIF State office, which governs high school athletics in California, passed down the decision Monday, July 20, at 9 a.m., and as most anticipated, high school sports are being canceled until late December or early January due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, all is not lost, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. High school sports have been approved to begin in December. Now, there are hopes of starting months earlier if the pandemic is controlled enough to allow for it, but at the rate at which positive coronavirus cases are climbing, there is no reason to go down that rabbit hole.

CIF Southern Section Commissioner, Rob Wigod. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The most notable surprise that came from the press release that CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod sent out was that instead of conducting three shortened seasons of winter, fall and spring sports, there will now only be two seasons. The statement says there will be a fall season and a spring season, but with contests not starting until December for most normal fall sports programs, the winter weather will for sure show its face. The calendar for the two sports seasons, as most expected, looks a lot like what the California Community Colleges announced a few weeks ago.

It appears the calendar, highlighted below, will help preserve longer section playoffs, state regional playoffs and allows teams to play a longer season, which were three things CIF and coaches and athletic directors were hoping to accomplish.

Unfortunately, it appears this will impact dual-sport athletes and dual-sport coaches the most because of crossover dates. The most shocking news is that because the new schedule doesn’t coincide with the traditional season of club sports for soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball and others, CIF will allow not be making athletes choose between their high school and club teams. Instead, in an unprecedented move, athletes will be able to compete simultaneously with club teams during the high school season of their sport. This is going to open up a whole new can of worms in the coming months.

The CIF State, and Southern Section offices, announced a 2-season sports calendar that starts in December. Valley News/File photo

“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,” the CIF State release explained. “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.”

Here is what the Fall sports season will look like:

  • The CIF-SS will allow football teams to begin practice Dec. 14 and play their Week 1 games Jan. 8. The sit-out period will end Feb. 8. The schedule allows for 10 regular-season contests ending March 12, with CIF-SS playoffs running from March 19 through the CIF-SS finals April 9-10. The CIF state championship bowl games will be April 16-17, with no state championships.
  • Boys’ and girls’ volleyball would be begin games Dec. 19 and boys and girls water polo Dec. 21. The CIF-SS water polo championships would be March 6, with regional finals March 19-20.
  • For volleyball and water polo, section championships would be March 13 with state regional championships through March 20.
  • The cross country section finals would conclude March 20, with state competition concluding March 27.

The Springs sports season would include baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ basketball, soccer, tennis, track and field, swimming, badminton, golf and competitive cheer.

  • Boys’ and girls’ basketball sectional finals would be completed June 12 with state regional playoffs finishing June 19.
  • The section championships for soccer, swimming and tennis would end May 29 with state regional playoffs concluding by June 5.
  • Baseball, softball and track and field sectional finals would be completed by June 19, with state regional finals June 26.

*A meeting is set for 1 p.m. (PT) Monday, July 20, for the media, which could help make things clearer, and an updated article will run in the Valley News, and online, later this week. 

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.