California Loosens Rules for Youth Sports

California Loosens Rules for Youth Sports

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY―Outdoor youth sport competitions can now restart in many California counties in the red and purple tiers, including Contra Costa. This comes according to the California Department of Public Health guidance updated Feb. 26, 2021.

High-contact sports, which are likely to be played unmasked, can restart in counties with a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000 people. Contra Costa shows slightly below that threshold at 11.9 cases per 100,000 people, as of February 25.

Weekly testing will be required for football, rugby and water polo players older than 13 in counties with a case rate between 7 and 14 per 100,000. The guidelines also require testing for coaches in these sports, with results available within 24 hours of competition.

Moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, can go on without the testing requirement.

Regular protections include wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and hand washing and equipment sanitation will be required. Each player’s parent or guardian must sign an informed consent acknowledging risks in order to play.

The state’s new guidelines also apply to adult recreational sports. For information on all sports, youth and adult, see state guidelines.

Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to Mitchoff at