There is still a giant question mark surrounding the future of high school athletics. In April, because of COVID-19, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) canceled all spring sports. Many hoped that would be the only season to be canceled, but that currently isn’t the case.
There still has not been a decision made on whether there will be fall sports played in 2020 or not, and that decision will not officially be made until July 20. On June 12, the CIF put out a statement for its plan regarding the upcoming fall sports season.
It read, “The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) believes education-based athletics and all co-curricular activities are essential to the physical, mental and social well-being of students, and realizes the impact and challenges that COVID-19 has caused for our member schools and education-based athletics. We continue to monitor the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education and state/local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts when they are planning when and how to reopen school this fall. As our member schools begin planning for the reopening of school, the CIF, in collaboration with our 10 sections, will (determine) by July 20 if fall sports will continue as currently scheduled. The CIF is prepared to offer alternative calendars if it is determined by July 20 that fall sports may not start as scheduled due to ongoing public health and safety concerns.”
As for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, a statement was made on its website that read, “We continue to keep watch on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation. We want high school sports to return in a safe way. Our schools and school districts, in consultation with county and state health authorities will be making the decision when to start practices and sporting events. Once schools begin, we will be able to provide a calendar. At the moment, we are anticipating a normal start to the fall calendar. It is our intent to provide all three seasons of sport for our member schools for the 2020-21 school year.”
And as far as any summer athletic activities, the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section website states, “We are officially in our summer calendar. The Sac-Joaquin Section is dark from June 1 (with the exception of Bylaw 2003.2) until the first day of fall practice. Therefore, all athletic activities during this time period shall be under the authority of each league and/or school district. When to start conditioning and/or practicing will be completely up to our local entities in consultation with county health authorities.”
As it currently stands, the official dead period for football begins July 20 and ends July 27. The dead period for volleyball, girls’ golf and cross country begins July 27 and ends Aug. 3. And the dead period for water polo begins Aug. 10 and ends Aug. 17. When the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section calendar was updated on April 29, it reads that all fall sports, with exception of water polo, can have official games on Aug. 21, with water polo able to start Aug. 28.