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CIF doesn’t expect youth sports update from state until after Jan. 1 at the earliest

The CIF announced on Tuesday it does not expect a youth sports update from the state until after Jan. 1.
The CIF announced on Tuesday it does not expect a youth sports update from the state until after Jan. 1, delaying the start of the high school sports season.
(CIF)

The California Interscholastic Federation announced Tuesday that it does not expect updated youth sports guidelines from state health officials until after Jan. 1 at the earliest, putting on hold the previously scheduled start of full practices in December.

The state‘s governing body for high school sports also announced that it is canceling regional and state championships for season 1, primarily fall sports, to enable the 10 sections to have better flexibility for its calendar and scheduling. That means no bowl games in football and no state championships in cross-country, volleyball and water polo.

Football teams were scheduled to begin practices on Dec. 14, with other sports such as girls’ and boys’ volleyball, water polo, gymnastics and cross-country practices also scheduled to start this month. The high school season had been delayed in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this additional delay will put in jeopardy nonleague football games that were scheduled to begin Jan. 7-8.

Boys’ volleyball is moving back to season 2, where it was originally played in the spring.

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“The bottom line is the start dates for practices are on hold until we get guidance from the California Department of Public Health,” said Vicky Lagos, the City Section commissioner.

State officials were supposed to release updated sports guidelines last month but then pulled back after a surge in COVID-19 rates.

The section commissioners held a video conference Tuesday, and one proposal under consideration to help with scheduling issues is allowing practices and games on Sundays.

Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod released an update that the section could be facing revenue losses from $600,000 to $700,000, which would require dipping into cash reserves to cover a shortfall.

Wigod said schedules will remain in place and if fall sports can’t begin as scheduled, those games will need to be canceled. The key to holding playoffs will be having league games played in February and March. Wigod said he will have a better sense of the overall situation on Jan. 19 and offer another update then.

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The continued delay in youth sports guidance is likely to empower parents to seek out club teams in various sports. Club teams continue to train and travel to competitions outside of California.

With COVID-19 cases rising, some schools are halting conditioning activities, which are allowed under the youth sports guidelines. The Los Angeles City Parks and Recreation Department has suspended permits for youth sports until Dec. 21.


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