Sports

L.A. County Health Department Gives Outdoor High School Sports the Green Light

Courtesy photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

As of Friday, updated state guidance allows for all outdoor youth and adult recreational sports, including moderate contact and high contact sports, to resume practice, training and competitions in counties where the case rate is at or below 14 cases per 100,000 population. Since L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is now at 12.3 cases per 100,000, county protocols are being revised to align with the new state guidance.

“I know how excited people are,” L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “I would say I hear from many, many, many parents about their desire and need for their children to get back to playing sports they love. I know this is good news for so many, but I am going to temper that with let’s do this carefully. Some of the largest outbreaks we had were actually not associated with students or classroom activities but were associated with youth sports teams.”

The new state guidance requires youth leagues offering moderate and high-contact sports obtain consent from parents or guardians of participants to ensure they are aware of the risks of playing. Moderate contact sports include: baseball, field hockey, softball, and volleyball, all outdoors, and high contact sports include:  football, basketball, rugby, soccer, and water polo, all outdoors.

Youth and coaches who participate in certain high-contact sports — namely, football, rugby, and water polo — are required to get tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19.

Competitions are limited to two teams within a county or two teams playing from adjacent counties. Travel to other states and countries to play in competitions or tournaments is prohibited for counties still in the purple tier.

These revised protocols cover all youth and adult recreational sports; schools, city leagues, and private clubs are all required to adhere to all the safety measures in the protocols.

A full list of sports and guidance will be posted later today on publichealth.lacounty.gov.

February 26, 2021

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