San Diego County cites Surf SC for health order violations, issues cease and desist order

Youth club San Diego Surf, for noncompliance with COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Youth and Adult Recreational Sports, was issued a cease and desist order by the County of San Diego, which in January 2021 suffered its worst month of COVID cases, ranks second in average total cases among California's 58 counties in the last seven days, and is at a very high risk level.

Read the entire letter HERE.

California has allowed youth soccer clubs to practice while adhering to guidelines such as "face coverings to be worn when not participating in the activity (e.g., on the sidelines)" but has not allowed games between different teams at the youth or high school levels. The cease and desist order, dated Feb. 17, cites Surf SC for holding inter-team competitions, and stated that failure to comply "may result in criminal misdemeanor citations with a $1,000 fine for each violation."

ABC 10News reported that a county spokesperson said that it has had "repeated discussions with Surf Cup Soccer about what is allowed." It also aired video of players not wearing masks as required by state ordinance, and as recommended by U.S. Soccer's guidelines while not physically active.

Surf Club Soccer responded to the cease and desist with a Feb. 17 letter in which it stated, "If your choice is to send an inspector daily to our fields, please simply let us know and we will get out our checkbook. ... We will continue to let these kids play."

On Feb. 19, California public health officials green-lighted regular competition for outdoor sports such as soccer, beginning Feb. 26, in counties with COVID-19 rates below 14 people per 100,000 residents. San Diego County's current rate is 22.2 cases per 100,000.

The New York Times reported on Friday that in San Diego County, "Cases are very high but have decreased over the past two weeks. The number of hospitalized Covid patients has also fallen in the San Diego County area, but I.C.U. occupancy is still very high. Deaths have decreased. The test positivity rate in San Diego County is high, suggesting that cases may be undercounted."

In June, U.S. Soccer released detailed Play On guidelines for various return-to-play phases to be introduced only when “local authorities have deemed it safe." In a July interview with Soccer America, Dr. George Chiampas, U.S. Soccer’s Chief Medical Officer, said "U.S. Soccer [is] not an organization that has that authority" to punish clubs that don't heed state or local regulations. In a November interview, Chiampas said, "You should obviously follow your state guidelines."

31 comments about "San Diego County cites Surf SC for health order violations, issues cease and desist order".
  1. Marshall Jones, February 19, 2021 at 11:03 p.m.

    I feel for the kids in California.  Here in Virginia, we had a full club season, travelled to a large tournament in NC, and will be playing in a small tournament this weekend in Richmond.  The rules in California are draconian.  

  2. R2 Dad, February 20, 2021 at 10:52 a.m.

    Governor Lockdown lifted sanctions on outdoor dining only when it became apparent the recall effort had reached the required 1.5M signatures. So it was all about "the Science" until it wasn't. Those dictatorial powers are just too fun to give up, but it only applies to issues where  the governor/czar wants to impose his will. Now there is no reason to keep public schools shut down, but the SFUSD already told parents/teachers/students there would be no in-class instruction through JUNE. But Governor Recall will just sit on his hands now because re-opening schools is inconvenient to his main labor supporters. 

  3. Mark Landefeld replied, February 20, 2021 at 5:14 p.m.

    This Governor has made mistakes but this supposed connection is a load of cr*p.  the same reduced Covid numbers that are allowing HS sports to resume are the same numbers that are allowing outdoor dining.  Return-to-school is a situation that has to be negotiated locally with each union based on the local circumstances.  I'm a college instructor and I want to go back, but I won't compare my situation with teachers in urban areas where the virus has been more rampant.

    I hope Surf gets major fines, if their local club competition seems to be obeying the regulations. 

    Should Surf be allowed a major marketing advantage "We having scrimmages" from violating the regs?   I'm all for relaxing the regs, but in the mean time, small clubs can't "pull out the checkbook" to break the rules.  They are dependent on city/public fields where with a violation their permit just gets pulled and they are out of business.  This particular SD conflict is elitist vs elitist and unforunately too representative of youth soccer right now.

  4. R2 Dad replied, February 20, 2021 at 5:49 p.m.

    Mark, the dicatorial powers the governor has employed beacuse of the pandemic, used to destroy thousands of businesses in California, could now be used (using that same logic) to force schools to start back up--private schools have been operating all year here in CA so it's not impossible/illegal/immoral/fattening. This should have nothing to do with unions. Remember, it was supposed to be about "The Science". Don't worry, the media are on your side, all talk about Republican challengers (who will never win) but nothing about Chamath Palihapitiya (Facebook billionaire) who would crush Gav but is not controlled by the DNC. Not a word on NPR or the MSM about this guy. Your point about picking and choosing laws to follow has been long in the works, starting around the Clinton 90's. Now every politician swears on a stack of bibles they will uphold the laws, but then ignores the ones they don't like and won't enforce them. Every mayor, governor and president now does this routinely. Our governor/lifetime politician deserves the boot for myriad reasons, the No Outdoor Dining this past fall was the icing on the cake.

  5. Matthew Pell replied, February 20, 2021 at 7:16 p.m.

    Very well said, Mark. I know how much you've contributed to soccer in this state (and country) and have always appreciaged your thoughts. 

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, February 20, 2021 at 9:28 p.m.

    @Mark... The "SCIENCE" Of this is... Kids RARELY get this WuFlu and if they Do, Side effects are Minimal... If they got Adults not wearing Masks, that's one thing, but Players not wearing Masks, When there not "Participating" is AGAINST SCIENCE.!!

  7. Vince Leone replied, February 24, 2021 at 9:41 p.m.

    Making over-the-top comments about Newsom undercuts your credibility for everything else you say.

  8. Chris Wasdyke, February 20, 2021 at 12:19 p.m.

    What a horrible lesson to teach kids.  Disobey orders when you think they don't apply to you.  That kind of mentality is what led to the traitors storming the capitol.

  9. Marshall Jones replied, February 20, 2021 at 3:49 p.m.

    The lesson is really being taught by the local government -- we can impose arbitrary rules with impunity.  Kids across the country are playing and have been playing (we've played multiple tournaments) -- just not in CA.  

  10. Chris Wasdyke replied, February 20, 2021 at 4:03 p.m.

    Marshall I live in Florida and my kids have been playing as well.  However, if our local government said no to games I would respect those rules.  This club just seems like it's run by a bunch of self serving people who care more about themselves then their community.  I'd be embarrassed to be associated to a club like that.

  11. Matthew Pell replied, February 20, 2021 at 7:18 p.m.

    Had exatly the same thoughts, Chris. It's hard to not get what you want sometimes...but good for you in a lot of ways, too. 

  12. Marshall Jones replied, February 20, 2021 at 9:41 p.m.

    The problem is the "rules" are completely arbitrary as demonstrated by the tens of thousands of kids playing all across the country.  At this point, someone needs to take a stand -- playing soccer outside against other clubs is not going to generate some sort of super spreader event.

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, February 20, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.

    @Chris... You mean like turning Seattle into the "CHAZ", Or Looting Target, Burning up Wendy's or Attempting to Kill Police Officers... Cause those are "GREAT" things to TEACH Kids.!!!

  14. Santiago 1314 replied, February 20, 2021 at 10:17 p.m.

    @Chris... They were having Inter Squad "COMPETITIONS"... Real Coaches know there are NOT Competitions... Since when does a INTERSQUAD "Scrimmage" = a COMPETITIVE League Game.???

  15. Santiago 1314 replied, February 20, 2021 at 10:27 p.m.

    @Chris,,, It has YET to be Determined what "Caused" The STUPID Storming of the Capital... That is why they are Forming a 9/11 Commision to Investigate the Reasons.!!!

  16. Bob Ashpole, February 20, 2021 at 12:37 p.m.

    I can't believe that the club managers are so dense that they cannot find a training path that avoids violating the local requirements. 

    What is wrong with having the players wear masks while on the bench?

    Why must they have inter-team competitions?

    Assuming that the club has good management, then all teams are trained to standards. So what difference does it make to the club if the matches are played by ad hoc teams rather than organized teams?

    Sounds to me like some adults are using the club to promote partisan politics at the expense of youth soccer.

  17. Chris Wasdyke replied, February 20, 2021 at 12:45 p.m.

    Bob you are 100% spot on.  

  18. Victor Mathseon replied, February 20, 2021 at 1:04 p.m.

    Agreed. You hit the point exactly. 

  19. Santiago 1314 replied, February 20, 2021 at 10:24 p.m.

    @Bob, ... What's wrong with them wearing "Yellow Stars".??? or Masks or "Pink Tutus"... It's NOT Necessary, according to "The Science" and is Meant as a Control Issue by Govt. That's Why.!!!

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, February 20, 2021 at 10:45 p.m.

    Santiago, you are talking to someone that has actually researched the topic and read reports of studies last year because I was skeptical at first. I was social distancing before anyone made it mandatory. I also wear N95 medical masks because they are more effective. For me it isn't about making a political statement. Because of my health, it is a matter of life or death. Which is why I researched the issue myself. It is too important to me to be a matter of partisan politics. How important is your familiy's life and health?

  21. Santiago 1314 replied, February 21, 2021 at 10:50 a.m.

    @Bob... "And When did you Stop BEATING your Wife.!?!?!?" ... Don't try to Ply your Legal Mumbo Jumbo On me... Married a Lawyer, and Son is an Army JAG ... I didn't say Masks Don't work, If you Read my Previous Posts above, you would see that I didn't have a Problem with Fines for Adults Going against "The Science"... But Healthy Kids(Surf Soccer Club, I coached against them, VERY HEALTHY!!!) ... Don't need a Mask, When they are around other Kids (Read Up On that Science)... by the way; My Son is doing Fine, they are on "Lock Down" at the Base... My Daughter has been IN-Person, IN-Class School all year, including Athletics... She Recently got Sick-as-Dog for 2 weeks, Tested Negative For WuFlu TWICE. But, thanks for Asking.

  22. Bob Ashpole replied, February 21, 2021 at 11:52 a.m.

    Agree that you didn't say "masks don't work". You said that "It's not necessary, according to the science". Talk about lawyer tricks, you just used the "strawman" logical fallacy.

  23. Santiago 1314 replied, February 21, 2021 at 8:04 p.m.

    @Bob... My Mom always wanted me to be a Lawyer, but I Hated Classrooms and Studying. It took me 17 years to get HER a degree(Too Much time Playing, Coaching and Watching Soccer all over the USA and World, That's all I ever wanted to do)(Many times in places where they wore Masks in the Streets and Subways, So I know they Help, DEPENDING on Quality and Proper Usage, as the Docs in my Family told me)

  24. Bob Ashpole replied, February 22, 2021 at 5:05 p.m.

    I hated the school work too. If I had not worked as a lawyer's assistant before law school and knew that I would love being an attorney, I would have never made it through law school. Nobody drops out; they just get frustrated at the grind and quit.

    Personally my first line of defense is social distancing (avoiding contact). I think that the most misunderstood aspect is the "6 foot" distance. It is merely meant as a safe distance to keep you out of range of coughs and sneezes during brief contacts. Indoors 6 feet of spearation by itself is no protection at all. Especially in modern air tight construction.

  25. R M, February 20, 2021 at 1:20 p.m.

    I applaud Surf's leadership here. It's pretty obvious that California's approach and lockdowns are politically motivated and not principally or scientifically driven.  The lack of youth sports has been quantifiably dangerous to our children, both physically and mentally.  Covid has not been proven dangerous in or around the youth sports environment. It's pretty the movement to recall the governor gains steam he immediately opens outdoor dining and then issues garbage return to play orders which are impractical , controlling, and disingenuous at best. Teams can't play teams from neighboring counties, nor can they play out of state, and all of this is tied to arbitrary ratios that the most populated areas wont reach anytime soon. Basically, little has changed for many and this is all designed to leverage more government control over Cali residents. Most Cali teams are already playing "black market" friendlies and traveling to Az, Nevada and Utah to play tournaments. The new regulations are another classic Newsom power play. Give the people enough to think they have hope but simultaneously take a major item away ( traveling out of state to play). In the end there will be many who fall for this slight of hand. I am thankful some clubs will not  

    Free people don't ask permission. 

  26. John Flanagan, February 20, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.

    California's youth athletes have been living in what is comparatively another country since last summer; it's been eye opening and depressing, perhaps made more so in realizing how few in the soccer community, particularly the national soccer community/media, have said much of anything about nearly a million registered youth players who haven't been able to scrimmage or even play opposed excercises in training (in groups of half teams or 12 no less!) while majority of country just played on. The football coaches out here may have just saved us while the soccer leaders in California stayed silent--save some pragmatic clubs like Surf--who were brave enough to cast light on health policies applied to outdoor activities that are not only absent scientific substance, but make next to no sense at all.

  27. Fajkus Rules, February 20, 2021 at 5:49 p.m.

    "Disobey orders" -- how about ignore commands from bureaucrats who are way overstepping their consititutional and legislatively authorized powers?  And don't compare average americans just trying to live a more normal life to crazy protestors in Wash. D.C or Portland, OR 

  28. Chris Wasdyke replied, February 20, 2021 at 6:12 p.m.

    That is the same mentality that lead to the treasonous insurrection on the capitol building.  We're a "law and order" country until people think rules don't apply to them.  

  29. Chris Wasdyke replied, February 20, 2021 at 6:13 p.m.

    I will compare whomever I feel like comparing.  Free country, right?  Or are you trying to "cancel" me?

  30. R2 Dad replied, February 20, 2021 at 9:56 p.m.

    Very disingenuous, Chris. The only canceling comes from the hard left/anarchists. Moderates, libertarians and the right have not canceled anyone, and won't ever.

  31. Matthew Pell, February 20, 2021 at 7:15 p.m.

    Very well said, Mark. I know how much you've contributed to soccer in this state (and country) and have always appreciaged your thoughts. 

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