Coronavirus Knightline

Youth Sports to Resume in California

According to new guidelines announced today by the California Department of Public Health, Youth and High School sports will be allowed as soon as next week in the 27 counties where coronavirus rates are lowest.

Counties where 14 cases of COVID for every 100,000 residents will be allowed to resume organized youth and adult sports as of next Friday, February 26.

That means sports may resume immediately in 27 counties, including Yolo, El Dorado, and Placer.

Placer is reported to have 12.7 daily cases per 100,000.

Generally these case rates get updated each Tuesday. According to the Sacramento County Covid dashboard, On Tuesday February 2nd, the Sacramento County case rate was 20.4. The following week 2/9 was 16.4, and as of 2/15 the rate was 13.2.

However, The California Department of Public Health says the Sacramento County rate is 18.7. Which means as of today, according to the State of California, Sacramento County will not be able to resume play right away.

The source of the conflicting numbers is a mystery.

The new ruling will require people over age 13 to get tested every week to play or coach football and test results must be available within 24 hours of competitions.

Low contact sports such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, will not have a testing requirement.

Update: Per Matt Hedges at Supervisor Sue Frost’s office, the discrepancy between State and County numbers has to do with the timing of the reporting and the date of the sampling.

Per Matt Hedges: “For the purposes of determining tier placement, the State of California adjusted case rate must be used. To calculate the case rate, the State of California uses a 7-day average with a 7-day lag. The rate is also adjusted based on the level of testing in a given county. The numbers are updated once a week.

The Sacramento County Public Health dashboard uses a 3 rolling day lag updated daily, which allows for more of a “real-time” glimpse of what is occurring in our County, but cannot be used for making determinations about tier placement or school reopening.”


Late this afternoon, the Sac-Joaquin section released a memo with relevant information regarding the guidelines, testing, scheduling, transportation, etc. Here is the section relating specifically to football:

Teams in all sports are required to practice for five days before they are able to compete in a contest. You are
allowed to practice, following state guidelines (social distancing, etc.), in any tier.

  • Football teams must follow the guidelines used in Bylaw 2001.A:
    • “There shall be no football games until the team has had 14 days of practice before the first game. Each individual student on the team must have had at least 10 days of practice before being allowed to compete in a game. No Sunday practice is permitted.”
  • For football, you can conduct your five days of acclimatization practices at any time – under any tier – starting today. We expect acclimatization practices to be conducted immediately prior to the final nine days of practice. You cannot conduct the final nine days of football practice before your first contest until you are legally allowed to play football.
  • So, for those of you of able to officially practice (post-acclimatization) on Feb. 26, 2021:
    • First practice 2/26-3/1 = first allowable game 3/12/21.
    • First practice 3/2-3/8 = first allowable game 3/19/21.
    • First practice 3/9-3/15 = first allowable game 3/26/21.

A link to the full memo is here.

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