By Zach Cavanagh
Youth sports finally received the go-ahead to restart practices on Monday, June 15.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors announced that practices for youth sports will reopen under the same COVID-19 state guidance as day camps.
The state guidance and county allowance will only permit youth sports to resume practicing. The state has not provided a set time in which sporting events or games with spectators could resume.
“Orange County residents understand the severe impacts that COVID-19 has on our residents, but these issues can be mitigated by following state guidelines,” Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said. “By allowing youth sports practices to resume in a safe manner, it allows Orange County children to enjoy time with their peers and have a little bit of normalcy at this time.”
The state guidance for reopening of day camps, which went into effect on Friday, June 12, instructs the promotion of healthy hygiene practices, intensified cleaning and disinfection, implementation of physical distancing and proper training for all staff and families.
The state guidance does not explicitly state a number for the limit on participants, only limiting the number of persons in the camp to a number that can appropriately maintain physical distancing.
The San Clemente Little League has been preparing to resume its season for a few weeks. SCLL president Aaron Johnson said the league will get back to practicing shortly, but games will only come when the county and city will allow.
“Under the direction of Little League International and District 68, we have made and submitted to the city a plan of safety guidelines,” Johnson said. “The league is going to implement these protocols to help minimize health risks when we get back to play.”
San Clemente Surf Soccer Club Director of Coaching Chris Murray said the club’s younger teams will return to day camps next week with proper safety protocols in place, which include a maximum of 11 players, no-contact drills, players six feet apart and coaches wearing masks.
Murray said the club’s older teams are waiting for word back from the City of San Clemente, which is not issuing permits currently but working on a plan similar to the younger teams.
If any other youth sports leagues are returning to practices and camps, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.