Local and state CIF officials are determined to see prep athletes take to fields, courts, pools, and golf courses during the coming school year but not until at least December under a revised sports schedule proposed recently at the state level.
Commissioners of the 10 separate state sections have been working on a plan that would allow tens of thousands of high school athletes to experience training and competing in both individual and team sports. They have arrived at a drastically different schedule that does not begin until December with hopes COVID-19 cases have been reduced to a level state health officials feel will not place these adolescents at risk.
In the San Diego Section, these critical decisions fall on the shoulders of new CIF commissioner Joe Heinz, previous coordinator of athletics for the Sweetwater Union High School District.
“Safety is the priority. So we’ll play by the rules, whatever those rules happen to be," Heinz said.
Under the proposed schedule adopted by state commissioners, the normal three-season (fall, winter, spring) seasons would be compressed into fall and spring although the fall season will actually be played in the winter. Spring season sports may last past scheduled graduations in June 2021.
The state calendar mandates when the final day of section and regional/state competition could be in sports where a regional/state championship is determined. Starting dates are suggestions. Heinz expects a master calendar for the local section to be ready by mid-August.
The state schedule will allow the new prep season to start about four months later than normal. Heinz said current plans are to start practices on Dec. 14 with competition to begin on Jan. 8.
Ten sports would be played during the fall period with 20 to be played in the spring. This would prevent some athletes, especially at smaller schools, from playing multiple sports during the year.
Football, the section's most-attended sport, would remain a fall sport but be played in the winter with a final day for section playoffs of April 10, and the last day for regional or state playoffs one week later. Heinz feels area schools can play 10 games with no bye week and shortened playoffs.
With the current situation, the state CIF has suspended Bylaws 600-605 for all sports this year, which would allow athletes to play concurrently for club or travel teams.
Both Heinz and state officials stressed they have been and will be following all directives and guidelines from the Governor's Office, California Dept. of Education, Dept. of Public Health as well as local county health departments.
“We’ll do everything we can to provide the best experience for all the athletes,” Heinz concluded.
FALL CIF SEASON (begins December)
Sport (last section playoff, last regional/state playoff)
Football (April 10, April 17)
Boys and girls volleyball (March 13, March 20)
Boys and girls water polo (March 13, March 20)
Boys and girls cross country (March 20, March 27)
Competitive cheer (***, April 17)
Field hockey (***, #)
Gymnastics (***, #)
Skiing and snowboarding (***, #)
SPRING CIF SEASON
Baseball (June 19, June 26)
Softball (June 19, June 26)
Boys and girls basketball (June 12, June 19)
Boys and girls soccer (May 29, June 5)
Boys and girls track & field (June 19, June 26)
Boys and girls tennis (May 29, June 5)
Boys and girls swimming & diving (May 29, June 5)
Boys and girls wrestling (June 5, June 12)
Boys and girls golf (June 12, June 19)
Boys and girls badminton (May 22, May 29)
Competitive cheer (***, #)
Boys and girls lacrosse (***, #)
*** Determined by local sections
# Regional/state championships not currently offered by state CIF.