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CIF Announces Change in High School Athletics


Last updated 8/7/2020 at 9:31am

With many schools in California beginning the upcoming school year with distance learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision of athletics was also made.

The California Interscholastic Federation announced on July 20 that all three seasons of high school sports in the state will be moved to later in the 2020 – 21 school year due to COVID-19.

At this time, fall, winter and spring sports will be played between December and June, condensed into two seasons – fall and spring. This does not eliminate any athletic opportunities, which is great news for all.

In the statement, the CIF stated that they will “begin with a modified season of sport schedule.” It also stated that, “each CIF Section Office will release their own calendar to reflect regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.”

The directives and guidelines continue to change and CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local Section, said the statement.

Current plan for high school athletics in 2020 – 21:

- Push the official start date for high school sports to Dec. 14 for the 2020 – 21 school year

- Plan does not eliminate any sports;

- Will break the school year into two specific seasons of sport (fall and spring);

- Each season will be close to full lengths in a reduced calendar school year

Following the CIF announcement, the San Diego Section released its own statement saying this “provides our section with the information necessary to finalize the calendars and schedules for all of our CIF regulated sports, while also acknowledging the importance of the health and safety of our student athletes and coaches by pushing the official start date back to align with the Roadmap to Recovery set by the state of California.

CIFSDS are committed to have a plan/schedule in place by Aug. 14. Section leaders are in the process of meeting with advisory committees made up of coaches, athletic directors, superintendents, and athletic officials to review the framework provided by the state and seek input on developing a plan that will best meet the needs of the section. Committed to have a plan in place by Aug. 14.

“We understand that this has been a difficult period of time for our student athletes, coaches, athletic administrators and parents, with so much uncertainty and information changing on a daily basis,” statement said.

On April 3, CIF canceled the remainder of the 2020 spring sports season, and since then, high school athletics have been at a standstill in the state. Only some schools were able to have socially distanced practices for some sports.

On July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines to determine which school districts are allowed to reopen classrooms in the fall. In order to resume in-person class instruction, a county must have been off the state’s COVID-19 watch list for 14 consecutive days. Districts in counties on the watch list will only be able to do distance learning. This may be proven unfair for many schools or school districts in larger counties like Los Angeles and San Diego who are able to reopen and resume in-person instruction and athletics, but have to adhere to the guidelines.

In addition to the calendar change, the CIF has temporarily suspended Bylaws 600-605 (Outside Competition) in all sports for the 2020 – 21 school year.