California delays high school sports seasons until at least December

California delays high school sports seasons until at least December
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The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) said on Monday that it will be delaying its kickoff for high school sports seasons for the coming 2020-2021 school year to December 2020 or January 2021.

The move by the governing body comes as season calendars for student and professional sports across the nation have been pushed back amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which health data shows has led to more than 3 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and more than 140,000 deaths. 

In its announcement, the group said its officials 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.”

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The group also added in the announcement that its new calendar is not entirely set in stone and said “as these guidelines change, CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local Section.”

The decision, the group said, was made in collaboration with the body’s 10 sections.

Vicky Lagos, who serves as Los Angeles City Section commissioner, told the Los Angeles Times the recent move is “the best possible plan we have with what’s going on to give students an opportunity to participate.” 

“There are going to be issues in terms of facilities and multiple-sport athletes, but this is the best scenario for the most people,” she continued. “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.” 

The move comes as California has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks.