By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Fall high school sports that had delayed its playoffs and championships into the new year were hit with a devastating blow Tuesday – the 2020-21 season has officially been canceled.

The California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section has officially canceled Fall sports playoffs and championships for cross-country, football, girls volleyball and water polo due to the ongoing pandemic.

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“These are extremely difficult times for everyone involved. This may be the darkest period we have experienced throughout the 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the commissioner’s statement said. “As we look ahead, the holidays are now behind us, although the surge from that time frame is still being felt and is hopefully close to ending. Vaccines are arriving and inoculations are happening every day. Perhaps we will see case rates, hospitalizations and deaths begin to decrease and relief will come to our health care system.”

In a statement, the commissioner of athletes said there has not been enough progress made in the region’s coronavirus fight to begin competition this season.

“We are not cancelling the entire seasons for our Fall Sports, we are cancelling the portion of the Fall Sports seasons that we have direct control over, Southern Section Championships,” CIF’s statement said. “Hopefully, the additional weeks now available during the Fall Sports season will be useful to our schools in the effort to have regular season and/or league competition in the time ahead.”

The decision to cancel entire seasons is left up to the more than 500 individual schools in CIF’s Southern Section.

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Spring sports will continue as scheduled.