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CIF pushes high school sports start date back to December or January

The move means a higher likelihood that football seniors have already played their last HS football game

The California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body over high school athletics, has officially pushed back the start date of the upcoming seasons to at least December or January, according to a release by the CIF on Monday.

The move now signifies a start date change and an end date, outlined in the calendar that accompanied the release.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season of sport schedule (see below for 2020-21 sports calendar). Our calendar reflects the season for each CIF sport and the last date for Section Championships and Regional/State Championships in those sports where a Regional/State Championship is currently offered. Following this announcement, each CIF Section Office will release their own calendar to reflect regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.

We are continuously monitoring the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts with student health and safety at the forefront. As these guidelines change, CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local Section. Also, given this calendar change, the CIF has temporarily suspended Bylaws 600-605 (Outside Competition) in all sports for the 2020-21 school year (see below for more specific information related to these changes).

The section playoffs are scheduled to end on these specific dates for each of the following fall sports:

Volleyball: March 13, 2021
Water Polo: March 13, 2021
Cross Country: March 20, 2021
Football: April 10, 2021

And has subsequently given us the dates for the last day of section playoffs for the following spring sports:

Badminton: May 22, 2021
Soccer: May 29, 2021
Swimming & Diving: May 29, 2021
Tennis: May 29, 2021
Wrestling: June 5, 2021
Basketball: June 12, 2021
Golf: June 12, 2021
Baseball: June 19, 2021
Softball: June 19, 2021
Track & Field: June 19, 2021

“This is the best possible plan we have with what’s going on to give students an opportunity to participate,” said Vicky Lagos, the Los Angeles City Section commissioner. “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.”

So, now, what does that mean for the USC Trojans? Well, it’s simply really. It means now that the majority of the next-level high school football stars in the state have obviously played their last high school football game, and it was in 2019.

With the influx of high school football players committing early and signing their National Letters of Intent in December (still scheduled for December 18 this year), that just means those that wish to enroll early, still can do so, but will essentially be in college when their senior seasons would be happening at the high school level.

Most of them can also then opt out of their final seasons and prepare to enter their college of choice in summer like usual, and not risk a potential spring injury.

This change also means that Clay Helton and Co. will focus solely on junior and underclass tape from recruits in order to fill out their class of 2021 entirely.

Either way, this is a developing story and we’ll keep you in the know about anything USC-related pertaining to this news as it continues to evolve.

Fight On!