SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — From basketball tournaments to soccer conditioning to so-called “prohibition baseball,” kids have been playing organized sports for months in violation of the state’s stay-at-home order.
California’s official youth sports guidance, released Monday night by the California Department of Public Health, finally provides permission for a restricted return to youth sports.
CBS13 was the first to report that the state gave some counties permission to allow distanced drills and conditioning in May, before quietly backtracking without explanation.
We then obtained a copy of a memo stating, as of last Friday, that the state was supposed to officially begin allowing youth sports training, conditioning and physical education under specific circumstances.
On Monday evening the state finally issued that guidance, consistent with the memo, laying out three primary conditions for all youth sports:
- Physical distancing of at least six feet
- A stable cohort – “such as a class”
- Activities should take place outside
Sports that cannot be played with physical distancing and cohorting are limited to only conditioning and training, and only where physical distance can be maintained.
The state says cloth face coverings must be worn during any indoor physical activity. The guidance clarifies that activities with “heavy exertion” should be done outside, physically distanced without masks.
While distanced drills and conditioning are allowed, team competition is not. The guidance prohibits “tournaments, events, or competitions, regardless of whether teams are from the same school or from different schools, counties, or states.”
This guidance applies to all youth sports programs including school-based, club, and recreational programs.
Editor’s note: Shortly after our story aired Monday, the state released the long-awaited youth sports guidelines. The official guidance is a simplified version of the memo referenced in our on-air report.