Return to play: California pushes back prep soccer playoffs by three months

The California Interscholastic Federation, which oversees high school sports in California, became the latest state high school body to adjust the 2020-21 sports calendar in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boys and girls soccer are normally winter sports, finishing with north and south regionals in March. In 2021, the season will end with sectional finals on May 29 and regional finals on June 5.

Each of California's 10 high school sections are free to set their open start and end dates. They are also free to set their own rules regarding outside play.

The CIF will temporarily lift its ban on participation on an outside team at the same time as participation on a high school team, but schools, leagues, and sections may develop more restrictive rules.

July 16 updates:

New York has delayed the start of fall sports from Aug. 26 to Sept. 21. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association also announced that regional and state Championships will be cancelled due to the pandemic.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors will proceed with all fall sports and activities as scheduled in North Dakota. Practice for boys soccer starts on Aug. 3. (The girls play in the spring.)

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association would review a proposal to shift the fall sports in Wisconsin to the spring of 2021 and spring sports to the summer of 2021. Boys soccer is a fall sport, but the girls play in the spring.


New Mexico postponed fall sports. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last Thursday that high school fall contact sports, including boys and girls soccer, will be pushed back to the spring, saying they were "just too high risk."

In New Jersey, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has pushed back the start of practice for fall sports, including boys and girls soccer, until Sept. 14 and the official start of fall sports until Oct. 1. (Virtual team meetings will be allowed as of Aug. 29.) The fall sports season will end on Nov. 22, following 10 days of regional postseason tournament play.

North Carolina, where soccer is a fall sport for the boys and spring sport for the girls, postponed the start of fall sports activities until Sept. 1 -- which will push back the start of competitive play following practice and tryouts until mid-September. (Non-contact football -- conditioning work -- has gone on all through the summer.)

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee by emergency order restricted practice or games for contact sports at levels other than the pros or college. (Tennessee is the only state with pro soccer teams in MLS, the USL Championship, USL League and NISA.) That means the start of girls soccer -- boys soccer is played in the spring -- will be pushed back at least a week until after Aug. 29 until Lee changes his order.

One of the most unusual plans has come out of Virginia, where the Virginia High School League has ruled out football for the fall and presented three sports models for the start of sports in the fall for its executive committee to choose from by July 27.  One of them is to switch the fall and spring seasons, moving low and moderate contact risk sports like soccer, a spring sport, to the fall along with others like baseball, softball and track & field.

Of the 51 states and the District of Columbia, 41 offer boys and girls soccer in the same season -- fall, winter or spring. Ten states split the soccer seasons with all but Tennessee offering boys soccer in the fall and girls soccer in the spring.

High School soccer (by season):
Fall: 31 boys, 23 girls
Winter: 7 boys, 7 girls
Spring: 13 boys, 21 girls

High School soccer season (by state):
Alabama (spring)
Alaska (spring)
Arizona (winter)
Arkansas (spring)
California (winter)
Colorado (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Connecticut (fall)
Delaware (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Florida (winter)
Georgia (spring)
Hawaii (winter)
Idaho (fall)
Illinois (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Indiana (fall)
Iowa (spring)
Kansas (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Kentucky (fall)
Louisiana (winter)
Maine (fall)
Maryland (fall)
Massachusetts (fall)
Michigan (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Minnesota (fall)
Mississippi (winter)
Missouri (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Montana (fall)
Nebraska (spring)
Nevada (fall)
New Hampshire (fall)
New Jersey (fall)
New Mexico (fall)
New York (fall)
North Carolina (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
North Dakota (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Ohio (fall)
Oklahoma (spring)
Oregon (fall)
Pennsylvania (fall)
Rhode Island (fall)
South Carolina (spring)
South Dakota (fall)
Tennessee (fall -- girls; spring -- boys)
Texas (winter)
Utah (spring)
Vermont (fall)
Virginia (spring)
Washington (spring)
Washington D.C. (fall)
West Virginia (fall)
Wisconsin (fall -- boys; girls -- spring)
Wyoming (spring)

1 comment about "Return to play: California pushes back prep soccer playoffs by three months".
  1. R2 Dad, July 21, 2020 at 10:46 p.m.

    Small detail politicians are hoping no one notices: there aren't enough fields to allow all fall and winter sports to be played along with standard spring sports. Class of 2021 is hosed.

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