More delays for high school sports expected as counties slip to purple tier

Sports

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – With only three weeks until the start of practice, the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s executive committee met earlier this week to discuss their options with most of the state now in the purple tier regarding COVID-19 guidelines.

Another delay is almost certain at this point.

As COVID-19 cases in the state recently surpassed 1 million, the grim reality is high school sports will almost certainly not start on time next month.

“Pretty much the entire state just went purple, so it’s looking more and more like things aren’t going to start on time,” said Will DeBoard, assistant commissioner of the Sac-Joaquin Section.

The Sac-Joaquin Section has been operating the past several months that football, soccer, cross country, volleyball and water polo could begin practice in December, with the first games starting around the first of the new year.

The section is waiting for the state’s health officials to release its updated guidelines before announcing the anticipated delays.

“I look at what I’m hearing at a lot of these conferences and they certainly don’t like people indoors and they certainly don’t like having people have contact,” DeBoard told FOX40. “So, the sports I become more optimistic about are outdoor sports where there isn’t a lot of contact and you kind of go backwards from there.”

DeBoard said that any decision made before Dec. 7 will be predicated on state guidelines.

“Any decision we make before Dec. 7 is going to be predicated on the guidelines. If nothing happens before Jan. 7 and nobody is allowed to practice, then nobody can practice,” DeBoard explained. “We’re still hopeful but the hope is slowly leaving the building a little bit.”

He also said there may be some wiggle room to keep the season somewhat normal.

“Maybe eight weeks of regular season and a couple of weeks of post-season, or something like that,” DeBoard said.

California was one of 15 states to move high school sports to after the new year. The question now is just how many of those sports will be played at all.

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