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CIF postpones high school sports, possibilities left in Northern Section

California Interscholastic Federation decided to delay fall sports due to COVID-19 pandemic. CIF Northern Section says fall sports is still a possibility.

Posted: Jul 20, 2020 12:38 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2020 8:27 AM

KHSL - The California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body for high school athletics announced on Monday that the fall sports season will be delayed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the CIF’s Northern Section said there is still possibilities for Fall sports.

In collaboration with ten sections, the CIF released a Section Championships and Regional/ State Championships schedule in sports where it is offered.

Regional or state football playoffs will be held on April 17 and the last day of section playoffs will be held on April 10, according to CIF.

Click HERE for CIF's full 2021 schedule.

“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 CIF in a statement.

CIF says 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 CIF Northern Section said its “member school teams can begin league play when the school districts’ County Health officers approve the implementation of youth sports, including high school athletics.”

The biggest thing right now is what local agencies are saying, CDC, Butte County Public Health, it’s really about being put on the watch list or not on the watch list,” said Pleasant Valley High football coach Mark Cooley.

Paradise high's Athletic Director and volleyball coach Anne Stearns says there’s a lot of unknown, but she will plan for it.

“We need to put together a plan to keep our kids safe and everyone else safe. I think the next step is getting our athletic directors together, especially in Butte County and making sure we are all on the same page,” said Stearns.

If approved by the county, a few high schools hope to start season play by October. The teams who decide to play will have to opt out of CIF’s Regional and State Championships for fall sports in the spring.

“I think every competitor wants to play for the top pinnacle spot in their sport. That’s kind of my mind set. I want to play for a state championship, but if our section is saying we're only going to play in the fall and our pinnacle is the section title than we'll shoot for it,” said Cooley.

The CIF-NS still plans to host a Section playoff for fall sports using a modified playoff structure.

“I know the importance, because of the fire and all of the things that have been taken away from all these kids,” said Stearns. “I understand the importance of athletics and getting them back on the field and court.

“I really don’t want to see another group of seniors get cut out of sports, so if we're able to play in the fall, that's a good thing. If we're able to play in the spring that's a good thing. We just want to get some kind of season in somewhere.

The CIF-NS also says its teams may have the opportunity to compete outside league play when the member school districts’ County Health Officers approve youth sports, including high school athletics.

Butte County Public Health says it follows state guidelines and as of now, recreational and high school athletics have not been approved.

CLICK HERE for CIF Northern Section's Statement regarding 2020-21 season. 

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