Youth Sports Can Return To California

Los Banos Talk


A group of attorneys, coaches, parents, and high school student athletes have reached a settlement with the state of California. The attorneys and plaintiffs of the case interviewed earlier today with various news media explaining the nature of the settlement and what it means for youth sports in California. According to them, Gov. Gavin Newsom has agreed to provide testing for student athletes free of charge, which is paid for by CARES Act funding. Athletes would have to be tested weekly for outdoor sports. Indoor sports will have to test athletes 48 hours in advance of games/matches. The state is only providing testing for Football, rugby, and waterpolo. Other sports can resume, but would need to offer testing, and the districts would be on their own to provide the funding for testing of student athletes in other sports. This settlement allows for both indoor and outdoor sports to resume at the state level, and at the press conference they explained that now the decision to host youth sports again is up to the individual school districts and counties. The guidelines will be published soon, but are being reported as mirroring closely the collegiate sports guidelines. Limited number of spectators would also be allowed to attend games, and would not need to be tested. Each student athlete may invite up to 4 family members to attend a game, but other spectators will be ineligible to attend.

This decision does not impact Cheerleading, which is still ineligible to return because it does not fall under CIF and was not a part of this lawsuit. The attorneys representing the group said they are still continuing the fight for cheerleading in other counties. No female sports are covered under the state provided testing. Female sports can resume, but it will be on the individual athletes to get tested or the districts to fund the testing. The group acknowledged that the settlement is not equal and favors male over female sports as well as excludes other popular sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, etc. but that they are still happy with this victory and the progress that has been made.


So how soon can youth sports resume? The answer depends on the speed and urgency of your individual school district. Guidelines are to be posted tonight or tomorrow. The state funding for testing for water polo, football, and rugby are also available. While the state isn't providing testing for other sports, testing is free and widely available to anyone, and so districts could ask student athletes to sign up for testing on their own utilizing the existing free testing already available and provided by the federal government and start allowing for youth sports as soon as next week.

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