State health officials issued new guidelines for youth sports that provides for some limited participation. The state guidelines, released on Aug. 3, are a change from the previous rules which did not allow for participation in youth sports.

Under the new guidelines, youth sports can take place only when two criteria are met:

(1) Physical distancing of at least six (6) feet between participants.

(2) Stable cohort, such as a class or team when the participants remain the same, that limits the risk of transmission.

Sports that cannot be played with enough distancing and cohorting are not permitted. Competitions, including games and tournaments, are not allowed.

“The new guidelines provide for some participation for youth sports, which is something we know parents, coaches and young athletes have been waiting for, but the No. 1 priority remains the safety of those involved,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, said in a prepared statement. “These guidelines should not be looked at as a return to pre-pandemic participation.”

For sports that cannot be played with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only physical conditioning and training is permitted and only where physical distancing can be maintained. Conditioning and training should focus on individual skill building (e.g., running drills and body weight resistance training).

These guidelines cover all youth activities, including school-based, club and recreational youth sports, including but not limited to football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, softball, baseball, soccer, swim, water polo, gymnastics, cheer, dance, and karate.

To read the county’s updated advisory letter on youth sports, click here.

Image Sources

  • Baseball: Pixaby