In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) – the governing body for high school athletics in California – has modified the sports calendar, determining that most fall sports, including football, will start their seasons in December or January.
“We are continuously monitoring the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health and local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts with student health and safety at the forefront,” said the CIF in a press release.
“As these guidelines change, CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local section.”
The CIF Central Section, which is based in Fresno and covers much of the Central Valley, has football, cross country, water polo and volleyball starting practice on Dec. 14. Cross country, water polo and volleyball are set to have their first competitions on Dec. 28, and football will have its first games on Jan. 7.
Football league games are scheduled to end on March 19.
All other sports will constitute the spring schedule and start practices in February and March with competitions beginning in early March.
“From today forward, I hope we focus on the opportunities that this plan provides for our student-athletes,” said CIF Central Section Commissioner Ryan Tos in a statement. “The upcoming school year will test the resolve, adaptability and determination of all involved. At the end of this process this is the plan that provides the most opportunities for the most student-athletes.”
The CIF will release more information regarding state championships over the upcoming months.