The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced Tuesday that without an updated youth sports guideline from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), fall sports are once again on hold. A new guideline is not expected until after Jan. 1, 2021.
The news comes after another surge in COVID-19 cases were reported in both the state and Tulare County.
“Due to the continued surge in COVID-19 infections, the California Department of Public Health has postponed the issuance of its updated youth sports guidance,” the CIF’s press release read. “The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) does not expect the CDPH will issue any guidance allowing for schools to return to full practice and competition until after January 1, 2021, at the earliest. Thus, all full practice and competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued.”
On Twitter, the Central Section (@CifCentral) also shared the CIF’s press release and wrote, “UPDATE: All practice and competition start times in the Central Section are on hold until we receive state return-to-play guidelines. We will continue to share updates as information is available.”
Fall sports, also known as “Season 1” sports, were scheduled to begin next Monday (Dec. 7) with football practices. Those were to be followed by cross country, water polo, and volleyball practices beginning on Wednesday, Dec.7. The first competitions of the season were to begin on Dec. 28 with all sports except football, who was to start on Jan. 7.
All of that is now on hold.
Along with delaying the fall sports season, the CIF also canceled state playoffs for fall sports so athletes and teams can have longer seasons during this limited athletic year.
“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.
For the complete press release, visit cifstate.org.