BAKERSFIELD — CIF State, the body responsible for interscholastic sports in California, put the brakes on any plans for practice on Tuesday until after Jan. 1, 2021, according to a news release.

The move comes as the California Department of Public Health decided to postpone updates on youth sports guidance due to the rapid increase in the novel coronavirus cases across the state.

This affects all schools across Kern County and the state and reflects already truncated sports seasons for high school athletes. As part of its updated guideline, CIF has opted to cancel all regional and state championship events for what it calls its “Season 1” sports calendar.

“By canceling Regional and State Championship events, more student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a longer season, rather than a truncated season with Regional and State post-season play for a limited number of schools,” the CIF news release states."

Ryan Tos, commissioner for the CIF Central Section — which includes California City, Mojave, Rosamond and Boron schools — said the decision makes sense.

“It opens up a week to stretch out our season if we need to. It gives a little bigger window," Tos said. "And the other piece, which is not really news, it’s just a matter of putting it on paper. Until there's new guidance, practices and games are pretty much on pause.”

Section playoffs haven't been ruled out, but will be decided n January. In addition, CIF hasn't called for a halt in conditioning, instead leaving it up to individual schools or districts.

In July, the CIF released an updated calendar that significantly impacted sports seasons into second half of the school year in order to combat COVID-19 cases.

As a result, smaller schools have weighed options and sent out surveys, including Mojave Unified School District.

A letter sent to parents and students in October asked for feedback on what sports they would like to play most, as some sports overlapped or conflicted with practice schedules. The letter also noted that student athletes who play multiple sports throughout the school year may need to make compromises on what they would like to play.

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