LOS ANGELES (CNS) - In a major blow to high school athletes, the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section today scrubbed playoffs and championships for football and other fall sports due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“These are extremely difficult times for everyone involved,'' CIF Southern Section athletics commissioner Rob Wigod wrote in a statement announcing the move. “This may be the darkest period we have experienced throughout the 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we look ahead, the holidays are now behind us, although the surge from that time frame is still being felt and is hopefully close to ending.
“Vaccines are arriving and inoculations are happening every day. Perhaps we will see case rates, hospitalizations and deaths begin to decrease and relief will come to our health care system. With those developments, the conversations with the governor's office, the California Department of Public Health and local health authorities regarding return to play can take on a different tone and real progress could potentially be made,'' he said.
The move affects fall sports such as football, gymnastics, volleyball, water polo, cross country and competitive cheer. The CIF Southern Section includes more than 500 schools.
The decision did not fully cancel the fall sports season, allowing member schools to determine individually how they wish to move forward. But schools cannot resume competition without the approval of health authorities, leaving the issue murky at best.
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