The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Section updated their proposed plan for the return of educational-based athletics over the weekend but are still without a straightforward method for a return.

“Just to let you know that at this point in time, we have not received any updates from the County Department of Public Health in regards to practice, competition, tiers, etc.,” Central Section Commissioner Ryan Tos said in an email to Athletic Directors. “At this time, practice with a cohort can occur as long as social distancing takes place. Please still check with your county and district as local authorities may be more strict.”

Tos noted the one clarification that the Central Section has received is that as long as a certain county is under a “stay at home” order, no competition is allowed by the CDPH guidelines, but practices may continue while under the “stay at home” order.

The Central Sections updated proposed plan for a return to athletics is posted below:

Everyone in California wants students to return to in-person learning, sports, and all other co-curricular activities that are so important for their physical and mental wellbeing. As COVID-19 transmission rates are rising significantly in California, communities across the state must continue to take measures to limit the spread of the virus. Therefore, we implore ALL Californians to wear a mask, practice social distancing, limit mixing between households, and practice all basic hygiene. This is the way to ensure the best chance for CIF competition to begin by January 25, as allowed by the California Department of Public Health guidance. State agencies will continue to monitor epidemiological trends. The information below is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the CDPH guidance document. Please consult the link entitled “CDPH Youth Sports Guidelines” on the following page for the entire document.

• Physical conditioning, practice, skill-building, and training can be conducted outdoors, with 6-feet of physical distancing, and within stable team cohorts remain authorized regardless of county tier status. Such activities may be conducted indoors consistent with the Gym & Fitness Center Guidance Capacity. In counties under the Regional Stay at Home Order, only activities consistent with the sentence above are permitted, regardless of the county’s tier status.

• Competitions, meets, races, or similar events are authorized only if (a) both teams are located in the same county, and the sport is authorized, or (b) teams are located in immediately bordering counties, and the sport is authorized in both counties.

• Out of state competition is not allowed at this time.

• The county-based authorizations outlined in this document apply to the locations/counties in which the teams, schools, and leagues are functionally based. (e. g. where the players reside, where facilities are located, etc.).

• Any tournaments or events that involve more than two teams are not currently permitted in California. Exceptions may be made, with authorization from the local health department, for the following sports where individual competitors from multiple teams are routine: track and field; cross-country; golf; skiing and snowboarding; tennis; and swimming/diving.

Schools must still follow all guidelines from their local county and the governing board of their school district or private/parochial school.

This document is not intended as medical or legal advice. Schools and school districts should refer to their local governing bodies and their own legal counsel for assistance.