With the coronavirus continuing to spread in California, the CIF officially pushed back the 2020-2021 California high school sports calendar to December. Since the CIF's announcement of the new calendar on July 20, seven of California's 10 sections have made announcements about their sports schedules for the upcoming school year.
For water polo fans, they can now set their sights on December for the scheduled start of the 2020-2021 season.
The L.A. City Section, Central Section, North Coast Section, Sac-Joaquin Section, and Central Coast Section are all scheduled to begin boys and girls water polo practices on Dec. 14. Outside of the North Coast Section, all of those sections are scheduled to begin playing games on either Dec. 26, 28, or 29.
The North Coast Section has yet to announce when water polo contests will start. The Southern Section has not yet announced their practice start date, but boys water polo games are scheduled to begin on Dec. 21 and girls water polo games are scheduled to begin on Dec. 28.
The only outlier is the Northern Section. The section said that their schools can begin fall sports as soon as county health department officials approve it. That means they could attempt to start the boys water polo season within the next few months, and potentially be excluded from the CIF playoffs. Girls water polo will likely take place from December through February as usual.
Here are the water polo season start dates for each section:
- Southern Section: boys water polo contests begin Dec. 21; girls water polo contests begin Dec. 28
- LA City Section: practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 26
- Central Section: practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28
- Sac-Joaquin Section: practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28
- North Coast Section: practice starts Dec. 14; start date for contests has not been announced
- Central Coast Section: practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28
- San Diego Section: will make announcement in coming weeks
- San Francisco Section: no announcement yet
- Oakland Section: no announcement yet
- Northern Section: boys could start playing in the fall if cleared by local health officials; girls currently scheduled to start in December as usual
How many contests will teams play?
It will vary by section, but early indications are most teams will attempt to play a full regular season. The Southern Section is standardizing the length of every sports season to 72 days. Since boys and girls water polo season was previously 62 days, it will be left alone, and teams should be able to play a full regular season.
Will Section Championships be played?
The CIF calendar allows for full Section Championships to take place. Boys and girls water polo sectional playoffs must be finished by March 13.
Will Regional and State Championships be played?
Teams from sections who play within the CIF’s time frame will also be eligible to compete for CIF State or Regional championships, which are scheduled to wrap up on March 20 (one week after the Section Championships).
SBLive will keep this post updated on any future updates to California’s high school boys and girls water polo seasons, including announcements from sections who have yet to release their calendar.