Jul 21, 2020 - Sports

California delays high school sports until December

A football helmet

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The fall high school sports season in California will be postponed until at least December, the California Interscholastic Federation announced Monday.

The state of play: The three typical high school sports seasons — fall, winter and spring — will be played between December and June and compressed into either fall or spring seasons.

  • Football — a staple of fall Fridays — will now take place in winter and spring, with the last game played no later than April 17, 2021.
  • Basketball and baseball will now overlap and end in late June, forcing multisport athletes to make tough decisions.
  • Athletes will be permitted to participate on club teams at the same time as their high school seasons in a temporary suspension of CIF rules.

The big picture: The fall high school sports season has also been called off in New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Virginia (football only so far).

  • Eleven other states — Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia — have delayed the start of football, in most cases by a few weeks.

What to watch: Texas, Florida and Georgia — the three biggest high school football states besides California — are still moving forward with fall seasons.

  • The first games in Texas are still scheduled for Aug. 27, per USA Today.
  • The Florida High School Athletic Association voted on Monday to retain its fall sports start date of July 27.
  • The Georgia High School Association voted on Monday to push the season back two weeks, with a proposed start date of Sept. 4.

The bottom line: California's revised high school sports calendar isn't ideal for multisport athletes and will present facilities challenges. But it also might give the state's 800,000+ athletes their best shot at playing their respective sports.

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