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EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health


August 3, 2020


TO:
All Californians

SUBJECT:
Youth Sports Questions and Answers

Update as of September 18, 2020:

  • The Youth Sports Questions and Answers document was updated on September 18, 2020 to add a link to separate guidance for collegiate sports

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, California's stay-at-home order issued on March 19, 2020, effectively suspended youth sports, including school-based, club, and recreational youth sports.

Beginning July 30, the California Department of Public Health is allowing youth sports training, conditioning, and physical education under specific circumstances.

What sports are allowed?

Youth sports and physical education are permitted only when the following can be maintained: (1) physical distancing of at least six feet between participants; and (2) a stable cohort, such as a class, that limits the risks of transmission (see CDC Guidance on Schools and Cohorting). Activities should take place outside to the maximum extent practicable.

What if the sport cannot be played with physical distancing and cohorting?

For sports that cannot be conducted with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only physical conditioning and training is permitted and ONLY where physical distancing can be maintained. Conditioning and training should focus on individual skill-building (e.g., running drills and body weight resistance training) and should take place outside, where practicable. Indoor physical conditioning and training is allowed only in counties where gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate indoors. 

What's not allowed?

As noted above, sports that cannot be played with sufficient distancing and cohorting are not permitted. In addition, 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.

What youth sports are impacted?

This impacts all youth sports and activities, including school-based, club and recreational youth sports.

Are pre-season, conditioning programs permitted?

Sport conditioning programs are permitted for individual or team training ONLY where physical distancing of at least 6 feet can be maintained. Conditioning and training should take place outside, where practicable, and focus on individual skill-building activities such as running drills and body weight resistance training.

Can individual or team conditioning be conducted indoors?

Conditioning and training should take place outside, where practicable, and indoor sports activities should follow local guidance for gyms and fitness centers, including requirements for physical distancing, face coverings, and occupancy.

  • Indoor physical conditioning is allowed only in counties where gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate indoors. 

  • Consistent with guidance for gyms and fitness facilities, cloth face coverings must be worn during indoor physical conditioning and training or physical education classes (except when showering). Activities that require heavy exertion should be conducted outside in a physically distanced manner without face coverings. Activities conducted inside should be those that do not require heavy exertion and can be done with a face covering. Players should take a break from exercise if any difficulty in breathing is noted and should change their mask or face covering if it becomes wet and sticks to the player's face and obstructs breathing. Masks that restrict airflow under heavy exertion (such as N-95 masks) are not advised for exercise.

Are adult team sports allowed?

Adult recreational team sports are not permitted at this time with guidance coming soon.  The state has issued separate guidance for collegiate sports under guidance for institutions of higher education

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