Oakland – While the 2020-21 school year begins on Monday, August 10, three weeks from today, with OUSD students studying from home through distance learning, the District and the Oakland Athletic League (OAL) announced today that interscholastic sports will not begin until December, at the earliest. The four month long delay comes mandated by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), in response to the COVID-19 shelter in place.
The school year normally has three seasons of sports: fall, winter and spring. This school year, that is being condensed into two seasons. Football and other fall sports will start in December, provided that conditions on the ground have improved enough to allow the resumption of sports. Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell says this is one of many challenges our students are facing because of COVID-19. “We know how much our student-athletes love their sports. Athletics have a huge impact on their lives, providing the confidence and motivation that help them become leaders and achieve success in school. Unfortunately, because of our present circumstances, we cannot allow sports to begin until December. But as soon as we have reached a point when our student-athletes can return to the fields of play, we will facilitate the beginning of the 20-21 seasons for everyone.”
The fall sports season will start in December and end in March, 2021. The winter and spring sports will begin in early 2021, with the last sports set to end in June 2021. As it stands now, the 2020-21 calendar includes all sports, such as football, cross country, golf, cheer, tennis, basketball, wrestling, soccer, track and field, baseball, and girls lacrosse. One note about lacrosse: Oakland Tech is the only high school that has had a girls lacrosse team, but this year, Oakland High and Skyline are both adding girls teams.
The CIF has modified timelines to standardize season length for the various sports. Schools will still be able to play the maximum allowed number of contests. The schedules include full section championship experiences, but the CIF has shortened the Regional and State Championships to no longer than one week. Summer time rules have been extended through December and the beginning of fall sports. This is the plan for high school sports, and our OAL middle school sports will follow the same framework.
In the coming weeks and months, we will release more detailed information about when the individual seasons will start and finish, and the OAL will be informing schools, teams and players when their practices and games will be scheduled to begin. As OUSD is doing with regard to the return of students to the classroom for in-person instruction, the District and the OAL are keeping in close contact with the state, the Alameda County Office of Education, and our public health partners to ensure that any return to athletic competition is orchestrated in a safe and healthy manner. For more information about the CIF decision, you can click here.
About the Oakland Unified School District
In California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 82 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success.
To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.
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