The sports seasons for more than 800,000 California high school athletes are on pause until “December or January” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision by the California Interscholastic Federation, which administers high school playoffs, was announced Monday and follows a covid-19 summer surge that has caused most public and private schools in the state to start the academic year with online classes. The CIF’s 10 sections determine their starting and ending dates, according to the CIF.
“This is the best possible plan we have with what’s going on to give students an opportunity to participate,” Vicky Lagos, the Los Angeles City Section commissioner, said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “There are going to be issues in terms of facilities and multiple-sport athletes, but this is the best scenario for the most people. I have confidence the schools and coaches will work it out among themselves. My take from coaches is they want the opportunity to participate and be with the kids.”
High school football practice was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 3, with games following on Aug. 21. Now, the last day for the football state championships will be April 17. Girls’ volleyball, cross-country, boys’ water polo, girls’ golf, girls’ tennis and field hockey also face delays.
Facilities were closed March 16 and principals and athletic directors are expected to meet with coaches this week to discuss how to use facilities with multiple-sport athletes.
“I’ve been trying to make the best of the situation and control what I can control,” Chance Tucker, a defensive back at Encino’s Crespi High School, told the Times.
“I feel everyone is going to need to adapt just as they did when this whole quarantine happened, and it’s really up to them to stay on top of [conditioning] themselves.”
Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia have delayed fall high school sports; New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., will not play football in the fall, according to Bruce Howard of the National Federation of State High School Associations.