Out of doors youth sports activities of California OK beneath sure guidelines Oklahoma Information
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – Youth sports competitions may resume in parts of California next week and could be back for a large majority of the state by the end of March. That emerges from a plan announced by public health officials on Friday that paves the way for shortcuts to spring versions of high school football, field hockey, gymnastics and water polo.
“It will be a very welcome relief for hundreds of thousands of children who have been in great pain not being able to play this fall,” said Patrick Walsh, head coach of Junipero Serra High School, a gridiron force south of San Francisco. “This gives us a sense of hope and something to look forward to in an otherwise rather melancholy situation.”
Virtually all interscholastic, club, and community league sports in California have been suspended since the pandemic began in March, as have adult recreational sports, which are also covered by the new rules. The California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body for college sports, moved most fall sports to spring in the hopes that students could save some of their season.
According to state regulations, soccer, baseball, soccer, and almost all other team sports could not be resumed until a county emerged from the most restrictive of the four levels of the state’s virus regulations. This slow process threatened to shorten the spring season.
Governor Gavin Newsom, a former college baseball player and father of four who play youth sports, said repeatedly that he wanted to put children back on the field but would only do so if it was safe. Virus cases in California have declined sharply in the past six weeks, which has resulted in a relaxation of sports guidelines.
According to the new rules, the general animal designation of a district does not matter. The only metric used for sports competitions is per capita cases. All outdoor sports are allowed – with safety protocols – once a county hits a level of 14 cases or less per 100,000 people.
There are 27 counties that meet this standard and can resume competitions as soon as next Friday, February 26th. They are virtually all located in Northern California and encompass three of the four largest counties in the San Francisco Bay Area – Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Francisco – as well as many of the most rural counties in the state.
Another 16 counties, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, and Fresno, are likely to meet the standard within a few weeks.
The new rules apply to all recreational outdoor sports for teenagers and adults, including schools and community-sponsored leagues. The rules do not apply to college or professional sports that are already being played according to a separate set of rules or “community events” such as marathons and other long-distance races. Nor do they apply to indoor sports such as basketball and volleyball.
“This is more complicated, and understandably we have more controversy here,” Newsom said Friday during a press conference at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Alameda County. “We are confident that a resumption will only help reinvigorate these children’s ability to feel more engaged and alive.”
The new rules put many restrictions in place, including a ban on indoor activities like team dinners and movie studies, and a ban on athletes having to share equipment. Non-game coaches and players are required to wear masks, and fans should limit themselves to immediate family members.
Most onerous, the rules mandate weekly virus testing for all coaches and athletes aged 13 and over in close-contact sports, including soccer, rugby, and soccer, when played in countries with a per capita rate greater than 7 cases .
Newsom said the state would pay for these tests so as not to ban some less affluent schools from taking part. But he gave no more details than saying, “We’ll pay the cost.”
The rules apply to school districts whether or not they returned to face-to-face classes. This is a key component called for by a group of high school coaches under the Let Them Play CA banner.
“This situation would be the classic cutting off our noses to annoy our faces if we wouldn’t allow sports because certain school districts weren’t open,” said Justin Alumbaugh, social science teacher and head varsity soccer coach De La Salle High School, a perennial contender for a state championship in the city of Concord in the San Francisco Bay Area. “We have punished children enough. Today much of that punishment has ceased. “
Others were less charitable to the governor, including Republican MP James Gallagher, who has been campaigning for the return of youth sports for months.
“I think that could have happened weeks ago, but I appreciate that the governor is listening to the voices of these children, parents and coaches,” said Gallagher. “Now do it for schools,” he added, indicating the reopening of more districts for classroom teaching.
This story has been corrected to say that the new rules for youth sports will go into effect on February 26th.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.