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          2020-21 Athletics Update

          Following the CIF's announcement on Monday, July 20, Branson Athletics Directors Rich Mazzola and Veronica Bosque provided the following update on Branson's 2020-21 athletics planning. The text of the announcement follows:

          We hope that you are all doing well, and staying healthy and safe, while we continue to navigate this pandemic. Branson, like every other school in the state, has been anxiously awaiting news and guidance from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and North Coach Section (NCS) offices. 

          Earlier today, the state and section offices released their plans. The CIF press release explains that the usual three seasons of sport will be modified and condensed into two seasons for the 2020-21 school year. While the CIF established a schedule for state playoffs for the two  seasons, it was up to each section office to set start dates for each regular season and their plans for section playoffs. The NCS press release explains that what they are calling  the "fall season" – which includes our Cross Country, Football and Volleyball teams – will begin in December and end with state playoffs in March and April.  The "spring season" – which includes our Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis (Boys & Girls), Basketball, Golf (Boys & Girls), Baseball, Track & Field, and Lacrosse teams – will begin in March and end with state playoffs in June.

          Given the current status of many counties throughout California, it comes as no surprise that the start date for this year's athletic season has been delayed. While we all hope that the landscape changes for the better, there is certainly no guarantee that the schedules set by the CIF and NCS  will unfold as planned. That being said, an MCAL meeting has been scheduled for August 17 to discuss revised league schedules and search for solutions to the issues these changing seasons have created.  

          Like all of you, we are happy to receive the news that CIF and NCS have a plan for the coming year. We now will begin working on solving the inherent field and gym space issues, making sure our coaches are willing and able to coach under these new circumstances, and communicating with the other MCAL Athletic Directors to create parameters within these new seasons.  As we prepare for this unusual year in athletics, we will maintain our commitment to offering an excellent program, while putting the health and safety of our community at the forefront of every decision. 

          We realize you likely have many questions that are not answered in this letter, and that is simply because we do not have answers to them yet. Rest assured that, as we receive more information and create new plans, we will pass them along to you and your student-athletes. 

          Thank you for your patience and understanding during this tumultuous time. 

          Go Bulls!

          Rich Mazzola & Veronica Bosque

          Directors, Branson Athletics Department

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