SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County is cracking down on two local youth sports clubs that are playing games despite health orders, as some parents express frustration at the county's actions.
On Thursday, ABC 10News received confirmation of action taken by the county following youth sports events played last weekend at the Del Mar polo fields. Some players were seen on video not wearing masks, not social distancing, and playing what appeared to be games which is a violation of the current health order.
The county has since issued cease and desist orders to both San Diego Surf Cup Soccer and Adrenaline Lacrosse.
A county spokesperson wrote to ABC 10News that it has had repeated discussions with Surf Cup Soccer about what is allowed. Part of an email from the spokesperson reads, "Surf Cup indicated they were having the games as part of a youth camp but then qualified that with some of the participants were over 19 years old. We explained even if it was a youth sports camp, games would not be allowed.”
ABC 10News’ repeated attempts to talk to San Diego Surf Cup Soccer and Adrenaline Lacrosse were unsuccessful.
Parent Jennifer Raysman fought back tears as she defended her child's involvement with Surf Cup Soccer.
“These kids have missed out on their high school sports and Surf is providing a healthy, safe, outlet for them to be out of their rooms [and] to be physically active which is paramount to their mental health,” Raysman said.
Brad Hensley, with the Let Them Play California, told ABC 10News that he could not speak on behalf of Surf Cup Soccer or Adrenaline Lacrosse, but said that his nonprofit has presented studies to show the low transmission rate among kids and to show that youth sports events are not dangerous.
“Our mission right now is to bring back youth sports safely and immediately to California,” said Hensley. “We have extensive data here in California with a million touch points of kids playing a high contact sport such as football and the transfer rate was one in 90,000."
Hensley advocates for masks and distancing at sporting events. Still, critics argue that there is a serious risk.
According to the current state health department guidelines, high contact sports like soccer shouldn't start back up until San Diego County is in the orange tier, two levels from the purple tier it’s in now.
“Look, safety is everyone's concern and that is our number one concern. No parent is going to let their kid do something that's not safe,” added Hensley.
The county added that it will continue to monitor the youth groups. Its next step is reportedly to plan a visit from its compliance team and from the Sheriff’s team.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As we continue to cover stories surrounding the pandemic's impact on our community, I want to address our reporting in our article, "County issues cease and desist letters to youth sports clubs at Del Mar polo fields."
Story ideas come from various sources and sometimes within our newsroom. There are instances in which station staff members have personal experience or knowledge surrounding a story. Our editors vet these news stories in those cases and assess newsworthiness and relevance to our viewers. It is then assigned to a different reporter to avoid any conflict of interest. We thoroughly investigate every story before we air it. We did so in this case.
Social media posts and at least one other news organization have made inaccurate statements regarding this story.
It is not true that ABC 10News anchor Kimberly Hunt belongs to a group that opposes youth sports activity at the Polo Fields. The claim that Kimberly Hunt shot a video of the sporting events used in the story is also false.
We are committed to accuracy and fairness in our reporting, and we stand behind our story. As with all ABC 10News coverage, we welcome your feedback.
Doris Lewis is the News Director at ABC 10News. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org