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CIF: Club sports during HS season not allowed

Over the summer, California Interscholastic Federation temporarily suspended bylaws that prohibit student-athletes to play for club or travel-ball teams and high school programs simultaneously. 

The CIF announced in a press release Wednesday that it is reverting to its original stance on “outside competition,” to remain consistent with California Department of Public Health COVID-19 guidelines on the return of youth and high school sports.

CDPH guidelines, released last month, forbids athletes and coaches from practicing and competing for more than one team in the same season or time period.

“Therefore, the CIF must rescind its temporary suspension of CIF Bylaws 600-605 effective immediately to avoid being in conflict with the language issued by the Governor's Office and the CDPH,” CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said in the statement. “If the CDPH Guidance is amended in the future, the CIF may elect to revisit this issue.”

CDPH's guidance on cohorting is also bad news for multi-sports athletes. Although CIF does not have a rule against participation of multiple interscholastic sports in the same season, CDPH prohibits this.

Therefore, athletes who participate in both basketball and track and field, for example, won't be able to in 2021. That's because CIF has combined traditional winter and spring sports to form “Season 2” in its revised sports calendar. 

California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said on Tuesday there will soon be an update on if sports competition may begin next Monday. CDPH tabbed Jan. 25 as a possible date for competitions to begin.