CENTRAL CALIFORNIA – The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Section Commissioner Ryan Tos put out a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to provide a few updates on the athletics calendar going forward in 2021. The statement reiterated that local County Departments of Public Health will still decide if a county can play but did provide a little wiggle room for varying start dates. CDPH currently does not allow for any competition to happen in counties under a regional stay at home order.

The Central Section announced that the playoffs and championship events for cross country, football, girls volleyball, and water polo are all officially canceled this year. The cancellation of the postseason comes in mostly because CDPH guidance only allows competition between bordering counties but also allows more time for teams to get an extended regular season in. However, the statement claims there might be changes in the future and encourages teams to “consider leaving the last week of the season open for possible county playoffs or bowl games.”

The end dates for those four sports have been updated. The new end date for cross country is Mar. 27; football is now Apr. 17, and girls volleyball and water polo are both set to end on Mar. 20.

The Central Section has also moved up the start dates for swimming, diving, golf and tennis to Feb. 15.

The commissioner ended his statement by saying he would be hosting a zoom meeting this afternoon at 3 p.m. for athletic directors, principals, and superintendents. He will be going over the information and answering questions.

The commissioner’s statement is posted below:

“Central Section Leaders:

I hope that this message finds you in good health. As we all continue to prepare for the return of high school sports in the Central Section, I want to provide you a couple of updates at this time. But before I do that, I want to publicly thank our section’s executive committee for their input and leadership during these trying times. I also want to thank all of you as educational leaders in our section –I appreciate your patience and support. While there are few certainties in life right now, I do think that we can all agree that there is not a perfect solution for the current issues related to high school sports. Please keep the following in mind as we move forward:

1.Practice for all sports may commence as allowed by California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, local county health guidelines and school/district policy.

2.Current CDPH guidance does not allow for any competition to take place while a county is under the regional stay at home order.

3.Competition can only take place as allowed by CDPH, county and school/district guidelines.

4.Even though the Central Section has determined start dates each individual member school or district may elect to open their seasons at a later date within the section’s season of sport.

5.Based on current CDPH guidance student-athletes may only participate in one cohort (team) during the same time or season.

  1. For additional information, please review the Updated Youth Sports Guidance from the California Department of Public Health.

7.The football season must conclude by Apr. 17, 2021 for the 2021 fall season to begin as scheduled this fall (Jul. 19).

  1. I have received a few inquiries about Bylaw 504.F and the ability for a league to deviate from the state’s season of sport calendar. If your league chooses to pursue this possibility, please reach out to me so that I can provide additional information.

At this time, the following changes have been made to the Central Section Sports Calendar:

  1. Central Section playoffs and championship events for cross country, football, girls volleyball, and water polo are canceled. While this possibility has been discussed for some time, it is still a very difficult decision to make. While there may be changes in the future, the current CDPH guidance only allows competition between bordering counties, making section championship events impossible. This decision opens up additional dates for schools to schedule competition as the CDP guidance allows. The “new” end dates for these sports are as follows:
    a.CrossCountry –March 27
    b.Football –Apr. 17
    c.Girls Volleyball –March 20d.Water Polo –Mar. 20

** We encourage leagues to consider leaving the last week of the season open for possible county playoffs, bowl games, etc.

2.The start dates for swimming and diving, golf and tennis have been moved up to allow competition beginning on Feb. 15 (if allowed by CDPH guidelines).

  1. Badminton, boys volleyball, and lacrosse have been moved to match the state’s season of sport. The next page has an updated season of sport document that includes the information stated above. Upon request from some schools and the recommendation of the executive committee included a column titled “Recommended start by dates,” this is the date you would need to begin competition in order to have four weeks of competition. These dates may vary by district and/or school. I will be hosting a zoom session today at 3 p.m. for athletic directors, principals and superintendents if you would like to attend. I will review this information and respond to questions. The meeting link will be sent separately.”
Getting through this together, Atascadero