Coronavirus Impact: Central Coast Section fall sports can start practicing in December

Chris Nguyen Image
ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
CIF postpones high school sports amid pandemic
High school students react to CIF's decision to postpone high school sports amid pandemic.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The California Interscholastic (CIF) Central Coast Section announced Tuesday that fall high school sports can start practicing in December.

In a press release, CCS stated Dec. 14 will be the start date for sports like football, cross country, field hockey, water polo, and volleyball.

Four out of those five sports will start their season on Dec. 28 while football is slated to begin games on Jan. 8, 2021.

Original story follows.


The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced they will be delaying education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year.

In a news release, they released a modified season schedule.

Fall sports including volleyball, football, water polo and cross country have been delayed.

Each CIF Section Office is expected to release its own calendar reflecting regular-season start and end dates, but CIF says it is anticipated that most start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.

Due to this ruling, high school athletes will now be able to participate in club sports during their high school season for the first time.

President of the Central Coast Section, which covers the Bay Area, and Aragon High School Athletic Director Steve Sell discussed what that means for your kids on ABC7's Midday Live on Monday.

Sell says, essentially, the fall sports were shifted into the wintertime and moved a lot of what would be winter into the spring.

However, Sell added, "In theory, if conditions do improve, there probably will be parts of the state that will compete in something in the fall," he said.

Sell also thinks there will be shorter seasons, with fewer rounds of playoffs and fewer days to prepare for the upcoming season. However, no high school sport will be canceled, he says.

Watch Sell's full interview with ABC7's Kristen Sze below:

Bay Area high school athletic director Steve Sell answers your questions about how the high school sports season delay will impact student athletes.

Some kids who play multiple sports may also have to pick which ones they will play.

"I'm very excited about the fact that we have a season to look forward to still," said Menlo-Atherton High School football coach Chris Saunders, who supports the delay in the name of safety. "Prolonging or extending the start of the season does prioritize that, so I think that for sure is by far the most important thing in this process."

CIF administrators say the path forward became clearer upon hearing the governor's announcement last week that many schools would start the year with distance learning.

RELATED: Stanford University cutting 11 of its varsity sports programs, plus 20 staff positions

"That made our plan evident of where we needed to head, so that our schools could focus on education first, and that we could return to sports when it was healthy and safe to do," said CIF executive director Ron Nocetti.

Silicon Valley educational consultant Allen Koh says it'll be important to keep an eye on the mental health of students this fall. He also believes student attendance and overall academic performance could take a hit.

"Even athletes who weren't thinking about playing in college, a lot of them they're missing out on the camaraderie, the physical energy expenditure, and just physical growth," said Koh.

Sohail Erekat, an incoming junior at Leland High School in San Jose who participates in varsity football and wrestling, says he's looking forward to competing, but worries about what this could all mean for college recruitment.

"Every year matters the most," said Erekat. "That's where you set your records and where you can show yourself that you should be accepted."

College coaches say students shouldn't worry about things beyond their control as many are finding ways to deal with the pandemic.

"That constant state of staying on their toes, to be able to adjust and adapt to all the environments that are going to change, and also make the best decision possible for your situation with the information that you have," said San Jose State University assistant athletic of football operations Ben Thienes.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS: