Another Setback for Youth Sports amid the Pandemic

On Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health (SDPH) delayed the issuance of youth sports guidance, which has presented yet another complication for high school athletes in the state.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) isn’t’ expecting any guidance until at least January 1st of 2021.

“All full practice and competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued,” State CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said in a statement.

Season one sports were expected to start practices by December 12 and return to play by January 8, according to CIF. The affected sports include football, boys and girls cross country, field hockey, badminton, gymnastics, boys and girls water polo, and girls volleyball.

Despite acknowledging the eagerness students have to bring back some normalcy, the CDPH believes the revision to the CIF State 2020-21 Season Sports calendar allows the time required to accommodate the planning needed to ensure guidelines can be met.

“The CIF is confident this decision is a necessary and reasonable action for our member schools, student-athletes and school communities … in light of the current crisis,” Nocetti said. “This revision to the CIF State 2020-21 Season Sports calendar offers our sections and leagues the flexibility and needed time to plan for the return to practice and competition once updated guidance is provided by the CDPH.”

He also added, “By canceling Regional and State Championship events, more student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a larger season, rather than a truncated season with Regional and State postseason play for a limited number of schools.”

Photo via California Interscholastic Federation