State Update Is a Mixed Bag for High School Athletes

A new directive from the California Department of Public Health leaves only fading hope for the playing of most high school sports during the 2020-21 school year, especially those scheduled for Season 1. Athletes, coaches, parents and administrators waited more than four months for the update on youth sports, and the news wasn’t good.
The directive, released on Monday, delays sports competitions between teams until at least Jan. 25. When the California Interscholastic Sports Federation — the governing body for prep athletics in the state — announced a revised schedule on July 20, fall sports were scheduled to begin as early as Dec. 19. Two weeks ago, the schedule was pushed back to Jan. 1. The return-to-competition date will be reassessed by Jan. 4.
In the meantime, teams are forbidden to participate in tournaments held outside of California, as had been common during the pandemic.
“It’s not surprising at all,” said Brian James, Burbank High School assistant principal of activities and athletics. “We talked about the surge happening after Thanksgiving and that is now the case, and now we have a major holiday coming through. We will just have to see what happens.”

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As Virus Spreads Further, High School Sports Shut Down

Photo courtesy Adam Colman
The Burbank Unified School District suspended all on-campus athletic activities on Monday in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The Burbank High School football team had been conditioning on the field for about three weeks.

Concerned over the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Los Angeles County, Burbank Unified School District officials announced the suspension of all on-campus conditioning for the district’s high school athletes on Monday.
The county record for daily new coronavirus cases was broken for a second time this week with 7,854 reported cases on Thursday. The previous high (7,593) had been reported on Tuesday.
The student-athletes’ and coaches’ joy upon returning to campus for conditioning lasted only three weeks.

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High School Sports Delayed Until December in CIF’s New Calendar

Photo courtesy Doug Brown
The CIF State office’s revised calendar has a two-season format — fall and spring — that would give each sport at least 90% of a normal season. There will not be any athletic competition until December at the earliest. The first week of football is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8.

The California Interscholastic Federation released its much-anticipated revised high school athletics calendar for the 2020-21 year, announcing a two-season format scheduled to begin in December.
CIF State, the governing body for prep sports in California, announced its schedule for section playoffs and state tournaments on Monday morning. Soon after, the Southern Section, the largest section in the state with 566 member schools, released a calendar that gives student-athletes an opportunity to play “90% to 100%” of a normal season, according to CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod.
“The reason for [the two-season format] was to help with the overlap of sports and trying to have some separation between two seasons to allow for dual-sport athletes, for coaches that coach more than one sport and for maximizing the utilization of school facilities,” Wigod said in a press conference on Monday.
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