Trey Tribble of Kaiser High School carries the football against Fontana High School in a game in 2019.  No decisions have been made regarding when the upcoming 2020 football season will begin.  (Contributed photo by Kevin N. Keith)

What will the high school sports seasons look like during the upcoming 2020-2021 school year?

The CIF Southern Section is continuing to study the situation, and the primary decisions on when to begin competition will be made by the local school districts, said Rob Wigod, the CIF commissioner, in an update on May 22.

"The message I want to convey to all of you is that all options for fall, winter and spring sports are being considered and are on the table," Wigod said. "We want to give every consideration we can to be able to provide all three seasons of sport to our member schools and all our stakeholders that are viable, meaningful and include championship competition."

Wigod said the CIF does not want to "rush to judgment in either direction" by canceling seasons of sport prematurely or having sports return before it is safe for them to do so.

"With that in mind, we will continue to stay current on this ever-changing situation and do everything we can to assist our member schools in restoring education-based athletics programs when the time is right," he said.

All high school sports in the CIF were shut down in mid-March when schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The decisions to reopen our schools, and subsequently bring back athletic programs after they have started their academic year, will be made entirely by each local superintendent/school board from a public school district or each private school head of school/school board who have the authority to make those decisions," Wigod said. "When to start school will be completely up to those local entities and I am sure they will follow the recommendations of state and local health authorities in arriving at the decisions that are in the best interests of their students and school communities.

"Once we have enough schools reopen, and their athletic programs are back on campus, we can establish a calendar for CIF Southern Section regular season and championship competition."

At this time, the original calendar that had already been published for fall sports is still in place, but the CIF has been working on several possible scenarios in regard to moving the calendar back for fall sports to start later if developments warrant it.

"That is going to be our organization's biggest challenge, in a section as large as ours with 563 member high schools," Wigod said.

The Fontana Unified School District has five schools participating in CIF athletics. At this point, the FUSD's calendar indicates that the 2020-2021 year would begin in August (as in previous years), but it could be subject to change.

"We have a wide variety of school start dates that our member schools have adopted this fall, and there will also be a wide variety of start dates for athletic programs to return to our schools," Wigod said. "There are all kinds of potential calendars ready to go, but until we have enough schools and athletic programs back in place, none of those calendars are realistic, nor can they be implemented. The CIF Southern Section and/or the CIF State Office cannot open schools and reinstitute athletic programs, we can only fully support our membership in the decisions they are empowered to make and be as prepared as we can be to fulfill our role in this process."

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