Is the coast clear for outdoor youth sports to resume in San Diego?
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Regarding the return of youth sports in California, this week has been full of news. But is the coast finally clear for outdoor youth sports to return in California, just locally here in San Diego County, or both?
Wednesday, attorneys for the San Diego section of the California Interscholastic Federation said that the CIF will comply with a recent court order allowing youth sports to resume countywide, though whether sports activities resume will largely depend on the individual schools’ ability to meet testing standards and other COVID-19 protocols utilized by professional or collegiate teams.
Attorneys representing two San Diego high school athletes who sued the state and county to resume youth sports alleged in a recent filing that the CIF has violated the court order by stating it would follow the state’s tiered reopening guidelines rather than the order issued by San Diego Superior Court Judge Earl H. Maas III.
In last week’s ruling, Maas wrote that he agreed with the plaintiffs that young athletes were not at greater risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 than their professional or collegiate counterparts.
“The game is the same, the risk of spread is similar, the youth are already practicing and with school closures or limitations on attendance, youth are isolated,” Maas wrote.
CIF attorneys said in court Wednesday that the organization will comply with the order, but it could not be held in contempt because it was not a party to the lawsuit. Maas agreed and denied the contempt of court request, saying he did not have jurisdiction to do so.
A day prior, on Tuesday, the CIF issued a statement outlining its concerns with following the court order, particularly regarding financial impacts and equity issues for schools across the county.
CIF released a statement saying in part, “The San Diego Section of the CIF is excited to continue increasing in the number of education-based athletic opportunities for our student athletes and coaches throughout the section. Additionally, we have set the date of Friday, February 26, 2021, as the first practice date for the sports of football, and boys & girls soccer.”
Friday morning, San Diego CIF Commissioner Joe Heinz joined KUSI’s Paul Rudy on Good Morning San Diego to explain what got us to this point, and why there is still lingering questions with the return to outdoor youth sports.