High school football players in the state of California will have to wait until at least the winter before they’re able to step back onto the field. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has decided to bump fall sports a few months.

On Monday, the CIF released a statement announcing its plans to delay fall sports until the winter months. This decision comes into response of surging outbreaks of COVID-19 in certain regions of the country.

From the CIF’s website:

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season of sport schedule (see below for 2020-21 sports calendar). Our calendar reflects the season for each CIF sport and the last date for Section Championships and Regional/State Championships in those sports where a Regional/State Championship is currently offered. Following this announcement, each CIF Section Office will release their own calendar to reflect regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.

We are continuously monitoring the directives and guidelines released from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts with student health and safety at the forefront. As these guidelines change, CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local Section. Also, given this calendar change, the CIF has temporarily suspended Bylaws 600-605 (Outside Competition) in all sports for the 2020-21 school year (see below for more specific information related to these changes).

This could have a significant impact on college football recruiting for the upcoming year. California produces some of the most talented and highest volume of prospects every year. Now potential targets may have to decide between enrolling in college early or playing their final high school season.