Football, other fall high school sports delayed until December or January

Oceanside players douse head coach David Rodriguez with water after winning the Division 1 football title game in 2019.

Torrey Pines Falcons football players at a game last season.

(Anna Scipione)

San Diego Section will meet to set master calendar but hopes to begin games in early January


The CIF State office on Monday, July 20, pushed back the start of the fall sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The office did not, however, give a universal starting date for fall sports: football, field hockey, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, girls golf, girls tennis and boys water polo.

Instead, the State CIF is leaving starting dates up to the 10 sections, but suggested starting in December and January. End dates were mandated, most in March and April. Regional and state playoffs will be reduced to one week for all sports.

Last week schools in San Diego and many other counties were barred from holding in-person classes until the coronavirus surge can be contained.

San Diego Section Commissioner Joe Heinz said he will meet with advisory committees for all sports and hopes to have a master calendar for start dates by mid August.

For this school year only, the State CIF has reduced three seasons of play — fall, winter, spring — to just fall and spring. That means some sports will switch seasons.

“But we’re going to play all our sports and will have the same number of maximum contests,” Heinz said. “Seasons may be compressed, but we plan to play once we get the green light.

“Everyone wants to get back to some kind of normalcy. No one wanted to kick the can down the road and wait another month for decisions to be made.

“Hopefully, barring any setbacks, we get clearance to start practices on December 14 with the first contests on January 8.”

— John Maffei is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune


11:55 a.m. July 20, 2020: This story was updated with additional reporting and quotes.