The California Interscholastic Federation’s Sac-Joaquin Section has issued its revised schedule for high school sports in 2021.

With COVID-19 infections on the rise across the state the CIF and its sections are constantly having to revise their schedules, with the expectation that at some point high school athletes will be able to salvage some type of competitive season.

The CIF state office’s guidelines for the start of “Season 1” mirror those issued by the California Department of Public Health on Dec. 14, where counties now in the purple, or “widespread” tier under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy are restricted in which sports they can allow. Those are the non-contact individual outdoor sports, like cross country, golf, swimming and track and field.

In his Dec. 18 memo to athletic directors, Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Michael Garrison said that the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommended that all sports be allowed under the less restrictive red, or “substantial” tier.

Instead, the CIF will follow the department of public health guidelines, which has set Jan. 25 as earliest date that any athletic competition can begin. For most Season 1 sports, including football, volleyball and water polo, the Sac-Joaquin Section’s 16 counties must move into the less restrictive tiers under the governor’s “blueprint.”

Moderate-contact outdoor sports like baseball and softball would be allowed under the red “substantial” tier, and counties must be under the even less restrictive orange “moderate” tier before they can allow outdoor contact sports like football, volleyball, soccer and water polo. Indoor sports like basketball and wrestling won’t happen until counties are under the yellow “minimal’ tier.

In his memo Garrison also said that the Sac-Joaquin Section will follow the lead of the CIF and cancel all post-season playoffs for Season 1 sports, including football, volleyball and water polo.

Instead, the season for volleyball and water polo is now set to end on March 13, with potential “bowl games” to be determined by the section on March 20, and the season for football will end on April 10, with bowl games to be played April 16 and 17. Post-season meets for cross country will be decided in January.

The schedule for Season 2, with competition set to begin in March, remains unchanged at this time. Those sports include golf, tennis, soccer, wrestling, basketball, competitive cheer, swimming, baseball, softball and track and field.

• Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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