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Update: New County Guidelines for Youth Sports Events Written by Lulu diffenbaugh

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

In what will likely be great news for Pinewood athletes, on Feb. 26 Santa Clara County gave the go-ahead to permit youth sports to compete outdoors. Additionally, on Mar. 4, the state announced that indoor sports were being discussed, following a state court case decision arguing for indoor sports.

Because the state guidelines changed, the approval of youth sports will be determined by each county’s per capita cases instead of the previous tier system. Some outdoor sports allowed to resume for Pinewood athletics are football, baseball, softball, and soccer. With the new rules, outdoor sports are allowed in counties with 14 cases or lower for every 100,000 people. With Santa Clara County below this number, they have been given the green light in youth sports.

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

According to Pinewood Athletic Trainer Theresa Maksim, the official guidance for indoor sports has not yet changed to being completely cleared like some outdoor sports are. Pinewood is continuing to follow the CDPH and county guidance, and therefore some more sports activities will be allowed inside that were previously not. However, indoor competition is still not permitted, and the official guidance on indoor sports has not changed from previously.

Even with the loosened guidelines, the participants will still have to follow the basic safety protocols. Players not actively participating in physical activity and coaches on the sidelines are required to wear masks and social distance. Also, spectators will be limited, but the amount per player is still being finalized by officials. Additionally, coaches and players that participate in close contact sports like soccer and football are required to get tested weekly when they are in counties with a per capita rate above seven cases. However, moderate contact sports like baseball and softball will not be required to follow these same weekly testing rules.

After being re-evaluated on Feb. 10, the CIF determined that the one cohort rule is now a guideline and not a mandate

Additionally, the state has decided to hold these same rules for sports below the high school level. With declining cases, experts and government leaders have decided the risk of exposure is worth it to support youth mental health.

Also, according to cifstate.org, the Central Coast Section (CCS) recently lifted the ban on allowing youth participating in two sports simultaneously. After being re-evaluated on Feb. 10, the CIF determined that the one cohort rule is now a guideline and not a mandate. However, football is the one exception – football players will not be allowed to participate in any other sports. This CIF rule adjustment should affect a large portion of the Pinewood athletes, but information is still being gathered to determine the guidelines for this at Pinewood specifically.

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

With declining cases, guidelines and rules are being lifted, and youth sports are considered an important event by many government officials. The Pinewood community will be gearing up to support their athletes as more and more sports are being allowed to happen.

For more information:

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/california/california-loosens-rules-for-youth-sports-during-pandemic/2472423/

https://www.marinij.com/2021/02/19/coronavirus-california-lifts-ban-on-high-school-football-some-other-sports-2/

https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/03/04/coronavirus-california-settles-with-prep-athletes-allowing-indoor-sports-statewide/