Are you ready for some high school football?
After Friday’s update from the California Department of Public Health that stated outdoor high-contact sports like football can be played in counties in the purple and red tiers as long as the counties have a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000, high school football players, coaches and fans across the state started to get excited.
So how soon could games start in the CIF Southern Section, home to 558 schools? The earliest would be March 11.
The updated county statistics will be released on Tuesday, and if the seven counties in the Southern Section – Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and Kern (one school) – reach the case rate threshold, high school football teams in those counties can start conditioning immediately.
The teams will be cleared to start holding padded practices on Feb. 26, in accordance with the latest CDPH guidelines. Games can be played after 14 days of practice – which includes the conditioning days – so teams are targeting the March 11-13 window to play their first games of the 2020-21 season.
Again, this all depends on their county meeting the case rate benchmark on Tuesday. If the county does not meet the benchmark, then they have to wait until the following Tuesday to re-evaluate the data.
The Southern Section released a statement Monday detailing different scenarios for football teams returning to play. The best case scenario involves teams playing a six-game schedule, then goes down from there. Here’s the full breakdown: