CIF Southern Section Announces Dates for 2020-2021 Swimming, Water Polo Seasons

After the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which governs most high school sports in California, announced a condensed schedule for its 2020-2021 sports season, the CIF Southern Section has announced the official dates that it will start its seasons for individual sports.

The CIF has condensed its high school sports season into two distinct seasons, one for spring and one for fall, to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Neither of the two seasons begin until December, at the earliest.

The Southern Section is the largest of the CIF’s 10 sections and includes most of Southern California, excluding those in the Los Angeles Unified School District. There are almost 600 schools in the CIF Southern Section.

2020-2021 Aquatic Sports Seasons

Boys Water Polo

  • First Contest Date – Monday, December 21, 2020
  • SOP Date – Monday, January 11, 2021 (31 days)
  • Last League Contest – Thursday, February 18, 2021
  • Last Allowable Contest – Saturday, February 20, 2021 (62 days)
  • CIF Southern Section Championship Finals – Saturday, March 6, 2021
  • CIF Southern Regionals Finals – Friday/Saturday, March 19/20, 2021

Girls Water Polo

  • First Contest Date – Monday, December 28, 2020
  • SOP Date – Monday, January 18, 2021 (31 days)
  • Last League Contest – Thursday, February 25, 2021
  • Last Allowable Contest – Saturday, February 27, 2021 (62 days)
  • CIF Southern Section Championship Finals – Saturday, March 13, 2021
  • CIF Southern Regional Finals – Friday/Saturday, March 19/20, 2021

Boys and Girls Swimming & Diving

  • First Contest Date – Saturday, March 13, 2021
  • SOP Date – Saturday, April 17, 2021 (36 days)
  • Last League Contest – Friday, May 21, 2021
  • Last Allowable Contest Date – Saturday, May 22, 2021 (71 days)
  • CIF Southern Section Championship Finals – Monday, May 24 – Saturday, May 29, 2021
  • CIF State Championships – Friday/Saturday, June 4/5, 2021

Note: SOP is Sit-Out-Period, which relates to transfers between schools.

Notably, the CIF State Championship dates will be June 4 and 5, which is 8 days before the June 13 start of the 2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials. The CIF State Championship, a relatively-new state championship meet, has often been bypassed by swimmers focusing on bigger goals at summer long course meets. This year in particular, with only 2 weeks between even the Section championships and the Olympic Trials, we might see more athletes sit out the high school season. The CIF ruling that swimmers could participate in club and high school simultaneously could mitigate some of that strain.

There won’t be any overlap between the swimming & diving and water polo seasons, which should help reduce some of the strain on those athletes who participate in both.

As part of the changes, schools are allowed to have the same number of contests, albeit in smaller windows.

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David
3 months ago

Wow. That was fast.
All seasons will be shortened but I notice that the State CIF still insists on building in time to hold the State/Regional Water Polo tournament and State CIF Swim meet. Why not cancel them so that all kids can get in an extra week or so of their season? This forces the section tournaments/meets to be held earlier so that a few teams and some swimmers can go to the State/Regional Tournaments/meet.

SoCal coach
Reply to  David
3 months ago

All sports are still their normal length with the exception of maybe a couple, and even then it’s only reduced by maybe a week. WP and swim are still 3 months long…

Swim&PoloDad
3 months ago

Inconsistently, the North Coast Section has First Practice Dates, while the Southern Section has First Contest Date. NCS starts boys and girls water polo practice on December 14th, though it’s unspecified when games can start.

Sid Frisco
2 months ago

This presumes we don’t see another spike and spring sports get shut down again. In CA Low risk sports should be given the opportunity to proceed even if outside the traditional season or at least earlier than traditional start times.

Swim&PoloDad
Reply to  Sid Frisco
2 months ago

Agree. Golf, tennis, and swimming all seem to be low risk, would have loved to have seen them start in the fall. That said, when Newsom mandated schools be online in the fall, that pretty much killed any chance of sports resuming.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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