The California Department of Public Health released updated county-by-county COVID-19 case rate numbers on Tuesday, signaling which counties have been cleared to start playing high school football and other outdoor sports.
For the counties to resume playing outdoor high and moderate-contact sports, their adjusted case rate has to be equal to or less than 14 per 100,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, four counties in the CIF Central Section meet the case rate threshold and have been cleared to start playing outdoor high school sports:
(The Central Section’s five counties are listed below followed by a ‘YES‘ or ‘NO‘ denoting whether they have been cleared to play as of March 2):
Madera County: 10.8, YES
Fresno County: 14.0, YES
Tulare County: 11.0, YES
Kern County: 18.5, NO
Kings County: 13.6, YES
Note: For the counties that did not meet the case rate threshold, they will have another chance on Tuesday, March 9 when the state’s county-by-county case rate data is updated.
Read the state’s complete updated youth sports guidance here. The guidance includes a chart that puts sports in tiers and lists them by their risk from low contact outdoor to high contact indoor.
After the CDPH has cleared counties to play, individual private schools and school districts can choose to be more restrictive than the guidance and not allow a particular sport to be played due to safety concerns from COVID-19. It’s also important to remember that even if a sport is allowed by the CDPH, it still needs to be in season. In many counties, baseball got the green light to be played this week, but the sport won’t be in season in some Sections until March.
HOW ARE OUTDOOR LOW, MODERATE AND HIGH-CONTACT SPORTS DEFINED?
Here is how the state defines each sport:
Low-Contact Outdoor Sports: Individual or small group sports where contact within six feet of other participants can be avoided. Some of these sports have relatively low exertion rates that allow for consistent wearing of face coverings when within six feet of other people.
Here is every low-contact outdoor sport:
- Badminton (singles)
- Corn hole
- Cross country
- Dance (no contact)
- Disc golf
- Equestrian events (including rodeos) that involve only a single rider at a time
- Ice and roller skating (no contact)
- Lawn bowling
- Martial arts (no contact)
- Physical training programs (e.g., yoga, Zumba, Tai chi)
- Pickleball (singles)
- Rowing/crew (with 1 person)
- Skeet shooting
- Skiing and snowboarding
- Swimming and diving
- Tennis (singles)
- Track and field
- Walking and hiking
Moderate-Contact Outdoor Sports: Team sports that can be played with only incidental or intermittent close contact between participants.
Here is every moderate-contact outdoor sport:
- Badminton (doubles)
- Field hockey
- Lacrosse (girls/women)
- Pickleball (doubles)
- Tennis (doubles)
High-Contact Outdoor Sports: Team sports with frequent or sustained close contact (and in many cases, face-to-face contact) between participants and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.
Here is every high-contact outdoor sport:
- Basketball (some areas can play outdoors)
- Ice hockey
- Lacrosse (boys/men)
- Rowing/crew (with 2 or more people)
- Water polo