Parents, coaches and administrators in
California grappling with what their soccer league, club, team or school team should do got strict guidance from the
California Department of Public Health and Department of Industrial Relations today:
"Outdoor and indoor sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating are not permitted at this time. For example, tournaments, events, or competitions, regardless of whether teams are from the same school or from different schools, counties, or states are not permitted at this time."
More from the state:
Youth sports or physical education activities are permitted only when the following can be maintained:
(1) physical distancing of at least six feet; and
(2) a stable cohort (such as a class)
The only flexibility: activities should take place outdoors "to the maximum extent practicable." The emphasis should be on "conditioning and training should focus on individual skill-building." (Indoor conditioning and training is allowed only in counties where gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate indoors.)
High school sports:
The California Interscholastic Federation already shut down fall sports, moving them to the winter or early spring.
Soccer is a winter sport on both the boys and girls side in California. It will be a spring sport in 2021 with the regional championships being played no later than June 5, three months later than regionals usually finish. (The CIF will temporarily lift its ban on players playing on club teams in season.)
In the most recent survey released on Monday, 103,683 California students played boys or girls soccer in 2018-19.
The guidance came as the California Department of Public Health and Department of Industrial Relations released guidelines for schools as well as school programs.
California previously set guidelines requiring most counties -- those where the coronavirus continues to spread at elevated levels -- to begin the fall with distance learning. (It covers the state's most populous areas: counties with a 14-day rolling average that has topped the state’s benchmark of 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents.)
Only elementary schools are allowed to seek waivers -- and only if they are in counties with a 14-day rolling average below 200 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents. The waivers cover hybrid online and in-person learning or full returns to classrooms.
The approval process is so strict that only a small number of schools -- smaller public school districts or private and parochial schools with fewer students, the Los Angeles Times reported -- are expected to receive waivers. (The California Federation of Teachers opposes the waivers due to safety and equity concerns.)