Governor’s ruling paves way for most outdoor sports to be played this spring
Thousands of California youth are celebrating a long-awaited return to the field after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a loosening of restrictions that will allow athletes a chance to play this spring.
Working closely with the California Department of Public Health, Newsom laid out a new directive on Friday that allows for outdoor sports to be played if the county they reside in has a COVID-19 infection rate of 14 or fewer per 100,000 residents. There are 27 counties in the state that meet that requirement, including all Bay Area counties. An additional 16 counties have case rates between 14 and 20 people per 100,000 and could meet the new standard soon if case rates continue to decline. Those counties include Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno.
Although the plan calls for football and soccer to start up, the ruling will not change anything for Cloverdale High School and other teams in the Coastal Mountain Conference (CMC), since those sports were canceled entirely last month.
However, the plan does allow Cloverdale athletes to participate in many other sports, such as baseball, softball, tennis and track and field this spring. There will be no COVID testing requirements to participate in these sports. Indoor sports like wrestling, volleyball and basketball remain on hold and are still not allowed under the new ruling.
“I’m very excited to get the team back together,” Eagle’s baseball coach Ben West reported. “We’ll be sure to follow all directives from the California Interscholastic Federation, the North Coast Section and CMC, as well as our school district that are put in place.”
The state guidance will require all coaches and spectators to wear masks while also calling for athletes to wear masks when not participating, such as when they’re on the sidelines.
The announcement came just days after Newsom met with youth and high school representatives, including members of the “Let Them Play” coalition, advocating for the safe return of most sports to our communities.
Although the reaction to Friday’s announcement was overwhelmingly positive, challenges lie ahead for schools to coordinate fields and facilities that may be required for multiple sports for practices and games.
Look for more updates and sports schedules in the Reveille in the coming weeks as they become available.