California releases new youth sports guidance

Posted at 8:19 AM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 11:19:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- California health officials released new guidelines for indoor and outdoor youth sports, whether it is school-related, community sponsored, or club sports.

The new guidance from the state’s Department of Public Health also applies to recreational adult sports.

According to the state, inter-team competitions will not be allowed until Jan. 25, 2021, at the earliest. State officials will revisit this plan during the first week of January to see if any changes need to be made.

Players and teams are allowed to practice, but health and safety measures -- such as social distancing -- must be in place.

In the new guidelines, sports are categorized by indoor or outdoor, and then they are classified under three categories: low-contact, moderate-contact, and high-contact. The sports are then grouped based on risk tier.

For San Diego County, which is in the state’s purple tier as of Dec. 15, only outdoor low-contact sports -- which includes golf, tennis, and swimming -- are allowed to compete.

Once the county reaches the red tier, sports like baseball, softball, and cheerleading will be able to compete.

Sports such as basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball would not be allowed to compete until San Diego County is in the state’s orange tier.

The state’s new guidance comes months after children, parents, and coaches held rallies and voiced their frustrations about not being able to play.

Because of the state’s rules, many teams -- specifically baseball and soccer -- have traveled to states like Arizona to play competitively because of less strict rules.

Under California’s new guidance, teams can only compete against teams from the same county, and they cannot compete outside of the state.

Click here to view the state's complete guidelines