Football season will begin on the week of January 8, 2021 (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The CIF Southern Section announced Tuesday, their schedule for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. To ensure that no sports were canceled, the Southern Section will conduct all of them during the fall or spring seasons.

“The reason for that was to help with the overlapping sports, trying to have some separation between the two seasons to allow for dual sport athletes or coaches to coach more than one sport,” said Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod.

The first week of the football season will be on January 8, Cross Country will begin competitions the day after Christmas. Basketball season will coincide with baseball and softball in March. Boys and Girls Volleyball will commence in December.

Football will still have a 10-week season by reducing a three-season year into two seasons.

“In the initial stages, there was some thought of how we would have a football season that could be condensed,” Wigod said. “As we started to focus more on two seasons, we realized that it was going to be more possible to have a full regular season for all the sports.”

To alleviate the overlap of facility use and coaching, each season will be circa 72 days, reducing some sports by no more than 12 percent.

The Southern Section leaves several rules to the discretion of the schools, like whether a team can compete in or host a tournament or whether to allow media or spectators to watch games.

“Those tournaments can actually take place if schools have the authority from their high school principal,” Wigod said. “They will be conducted in the off-season for boys’ and girls’ basketball this coming year.”

The Southern Section plan to host their Softball championships on June 18-19, 2021(Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

CIF Bylaws 600-605 will be suspended for the upcoming season, this will allow students to participate with “outside teams” (AAU, travel ball, etc.) during their sport season in high school.

“That’s a rule that our schools put in place,” Wigod said. “If they want to remove that rule from our bylaws, then they have every mechanism available to them to do it.”

The Section Championships will feature the normal number of divisions in each sport. Regional and State Championship games will last for one week right after the conclusion of the Section Championship.

For football, the Southern Section Championships will be on April 9 and 10. For boys’ and girls’ basketball, the Southern Section Championship will be on June 11 and 12.

Summertime Rules will continue through August and September to the start of the Fall season. This will allow teams to prepare before the season if it is allowed by health authorities.

Wigod mentioned how this schedule is only meant for the 2020-2021 season, he hopes that the seasons to follow will return to normal scheduling.

The choices that the Southern Section made prioritizes the student athletes and their aspirations.

“It will require vision, creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and an unwavering commitment from all involved to get this job done,” Wigod said. “We all have a tremendous amount of work to do in the time ahead to deliver what our student athletes, coaches, parents, and school communities want us to deliver.”