Local high school sports, especially soccer, are set to return with recent drop in cases

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According to the latest numbers of coronavirus cases in Riverside County, local sports could return very soon.

As we reported last week, once the number of cases is 14 or less per 100,000 people, sports are allowed to begin. As of Tuesday, February 23, Riverside County had 16.6 cases, just 2.6 cases below the threshold that would allow a return to play.

Riverside County released this statement on Tuesday:

Moderate and high contact sports, including soccer, soccer, baseball, joy and water polo, could soon resume in Riverside County if the county’s case rate continues to decline.

The state released new sports guidelines last week allowing certain moderate and high contact sports to begin in counties with an adjusted case rate of 14 cases or less per 100,000 population. This week, Riverside County’s adjusted case rate is 16. The case rate is updated every Tuesday and posted online at www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus.

“Physical activity is so important to the well-being of our community, especially participation in sports,” said Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “Our children have sacrificed much of their normal lives throughout this pandemic. It is good news that our children will soon be able to return to the sports teams that mean so much to them. “

The new directive also applies to recreational sports teams for adults, in addition to sports for young people. Sports programs must obtain the consent of parents or caregivers on the risks of transmission by participating in sport. Additionally, weekly COVID-19 testing for all players and coaches is required for specific groups. Tests and results must be available within 24 hours of competitions.

Competitions between different teams will be permitted if both teams are in Riverside County or a neighboring county that also has an adjusted case rate of 14 or less where the sport is also permitted. Teams are only allowed to play one match per day.

Youth sports can include observers who are immediate members of the household during practice and competition. Physical distancing and face coverings should be maintained. Spectators are not allowed to participate in adult sports at this time.

This is particularly positive news for high school football teams, as a 5-game season seems more likely, if at least possible.

The CIF-SS said the high school football season is due to end on Saturday April 17. In addition, teams must train for 14 days before any match.

Based on the schedule, if Riverside County hits 14 or fewer cases per 100,000 people by next week, we could see our first local football game on Friday, March 19.

Here’s a potential schedule for high school football:

Tuesday 2 March – Approval to start playing if 14 cases or less (woo-hoo!)

Friday March 5 – First full practice

Friday March 19 – Game 1 of the 5 week program

Friday March 26 – Game 2 of the 5 week program

Friday April 2 – Game 3 of the 5 week program

Friday April 9 – Game 5 of the 5 week program

Friday April 16 – Game 5 of the 5 week program

This works especially well for LED schools since there are six teams. Each team can compete once in this format. As for DVL schools, we will see what is decided since their league is made up of 8 teams.

Now, if the case rate does not fall low enough by next week (14 cases or less per 100,000 people in Riverside County), the schedule is pushed back, which would then be a 4 week schedule, unlike to what is suggested. 5 week schedule.

We might have a high school football season after all. And if we did, it would be the first time since November 2019, the last time we played pork skin in preparation in our desert.

Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for the latest news on this developing story.

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