The CIF Southern Section has canceled the postseasons and championships for sports that are supposed to be played in Season 1 of the 2020-2021 Section high school sports calendar, per a release on Tuesday. The announcement affects girls volleyball, boys and girls water polo, girls and boys cross country, and 11 and 8-man football. These sports will now only have regular season events/games if they are allowed to be played in the coming months.
The rationale for the Section canceling the Season 1 postseasons is that it will give athletes the best chance to compete in as many games/events as possible. Dates that were set aside for postseason contests will now be available for all teams to have games/events if they are permitted.
Regional and state championships have already been canceled for Season 1 by the CIF State Office. Games/events in those sports can now be played up until the dates of when the regional and state championships would have occurred (see below).
But the key question remains, will the Season 1 sports be able to be played in the coming months due to the current COVID-19 trends in Southern California?
Right now spring sports remain in place with the same dates the Section provided back in July.
The California Department of Public Health released updated youth sports guidelines on December 14 that pushed back the California high school sports season until at least Jan. 25 and detailed which sports can be played when depending on what COVID-19 numbers look like in individual counties.
Every county that makes up the CIF Southern Section is currently in the “purple widespread” tier for COVID-19 cases. The tiered system monitors every county’s COVID-19 test positivity and adjusted case rate. The only Season 1 sport that is allowed to be played in the purple tier is cross country, and even that can’t occur until the state’s stay at home order is lifted.
Once the stay at home order ends, cross country meets between two schools can begin if the schools okay it. When counties move into the orange tier, football games can begin.
The cross country championships were canceled, despite the sport being allowed to take place in the purple tier, because the Section didn’t think it was realistic to host a championship in one location and have student athletes from all seven counties in the Southern Section footprint travel there to compete based on current COVID-19 trends in the region.